Atlas F1 News Service, a Reuters report

Benetton Slam F1 Rivals' Driving Antics

Sunday July 16th, 2000

Benetton boss Flavio Briatore accused Sauber's Pedro Diniz of unprofessional driving on Sunday after the Brazilian shunted Giancarlo Fisichella out of the Austrian Grand Prix.

"Giancarlo was taken off by an incredible manoeuvre by Diniz which was not at all professional for somebody in Formula One and it's not the first time he has done things like this either," raged Italian Briatore.

Team technical director Pat Symonds was equally angry about collisions that cost Benetton their third place in the constructors' standings as well as taking Ferrari's championship leader Michael Schumacher out of the race.

Schumacher was tapped by the BAR of another Brazilian, Ricardo Zonta, and spun at the first corner.

"The driving antics of some of our competitors at the first corner were appalling and ruined the race not only for many of the drivers but also for many of the spectators," said Symonds.

Briatore also expressed his displeasure with his Austrian driver Alexander Wurz, who is unlikely to retain his place with the team next season.

"I am also disappointed with Alex's performance today," he said after Wurz finished ninth out of 12 finishers.

Fisichella, who has scored all his team's points this season and is fifth in the standings with 18, was furious. "This was just ridiculous," he said.

"As I approached the first corner it was really tight then Diniz hit me from behind at 200 kph and there was absolutely nothing I could do. I can't believe there wasn't a red flag."

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