Flavio Briatore has said that, in his opinion, the introduction of KERS technology should have been done in such a way that all teams benefited from a common system, rather than having to each develop their own.

Speaking to journalists at the inaugural European Grand Prix in Valencia, Briatore was able to climb back on his favourite hobby-horse, the cost of competing in Formula One, addressing familiar topic such as the degree of manpower and escalating development spending

"You know, Formula One is a race, but it's entertainment as well," he sighed, "We need it to be more efficient. I believe it's possible to do the same job with at least sixty per cent less than what we spend now.

"If we're talking about new technology, to be the pioneer of new technology, we need to be sure of safety before introducing the car, because we have the responsibility to the driver. At the moment, we're talking about KERS. You know, on the one hand, we have frozen the engines because we want to have a more economical picture but, on the other hand, we are developing KERS and nobody knows how much it costs us. It looks like we've closed the window and we've opened the door, so it's a little bit strange.

"KERS is something that nobody knows how much it costs us. When you're budgeting something in Formula One, it's always fifty per cent more or a hundred per cent more. This time, it's fantastic because nobody knows much it costs, there is no limit.

"For me, I don't think it's the right way to push a small team to spend this kind of money. I agreed to develop together any system in Formula One. Formula One should develop KERS together. I'm pretty happy because I think this is the right way to go when you're talking about the environment, but it's usually the prototype every time in Formula One - everybody believes that, if they develop a system, they have a little advantage, but this way the costs are completely uncontrolled.

"I believe all the teams were quite happy to develop KERS together. Formula One together, all the working groups, all the engineers together, develop the new system and this is really the only way to control costs, because we establish the budget, there was the same tender for everybody. I'm not happy to develop any technology when I don't know what the budget is, that's for sure."

Denying suggestions that he wanted to steer F1 closer to the one-make GP2 series that he was instrumental in setting up, Briatore continued his theme by echoing Bernie Ecclestone's claim that few outsiders are interested in the technical side of the sport.

"I think it's very difficult to understand why we need a thousand people to run two cars," he said, "This is my philosophy, it's too many. We are racing. Everybody forgets what the public wants. I don't see so many people from the public interested in our gearbox. I don't see so many people interested in Fernando's suspension. I don't see the public going crazy about Fernando's brakes or Kubica's.

"I think we have all generations of press, media, IQ, but they always ask the same questions. I think this is wrong. The world has changed, we are in the entertainment business as well. We are not in the mechanical engineering business. The money is coming from the commercial side from marketing. It's not coming from selling a piece of suspension or gearbox or used cars. We are not car dealers. This is what I think about Formula One. It's as simple as that.

"I would say there are quite a few challenges. It's a big challenge to make it economically viable - and that's the first step. Then, in our view, as a second step, it should pioneer future road car technologies because we are in a unique position, having unique resources at hand, working under huge time pressure. We are able to do developments in a fraction of the time you could do it on the road car side. And, if we manage to focus on subjects which are relevant to future road cars, we can completely reposition Formula One, image-wise and on the financial side.

"In my view, it is very important, and this is why we have always supported KERS as a first step in this direction, knowing that it is not cheap, it costs us a lot of money, but it is definitely better invested than what we did before using two engines on Friday, two on Saturday and two on Sunday."

Speaking of engine development, and the freeze imposed ahead of last season, Briatore skirted close to claiming that some of Renault's rivals may have stolen an unfair march on his team by developing grey areas of the powerplant.

"There is no engine development, as far as I know," he claimed, "We have the frozen engine, so I don't think there are any developments. What happened, I believe, is quite simple. The rule to block the engines last year was first for saving money, economise the engine department, and I believe Renault did what was the principal of the rule. We redid Renault Sport completely. We have 97 people less. For me, it is not development at all, it is only a question to have the frozen engine.

"Maybe we froze a very expensive engine. It costs a lot in maintenance to keep going. If we did not have this kind of rule, maybe now we would have an engine at 27,000 revs. We followed the rule completely and, if we are behind, it is not only the engine, it is the car, the aerodynamics or something different.

"Like you have seen in the last three months, the car has improved and Fernando [Alonso] has done an amazing job in the team to motivate everybody. The idea of the engineers, the federation, everybody was to freeze engines at a certain point, to have basically one per cent up or down or every engine the same. You don't want to penalise somebody for five years, it would be too long. And, if somebody was in difficulty because the reliability was not there - I remember at the time McLaren had a problem with that - we are sure the federation should put the right arrangement to make sure the engine finishes the race. This is what we were talking about...."