“It’s a different world,” said Alpine F1 Team boss Davide Brivio, who was among the many fans in attendance on day one of the Michelin® Grand Prix of Styria. The 57-year-old was of course comparing the two disciplines of motorsport he has been working in throughout his career.
The Italian spent a fruitful 20 or so years in the premier class, helping guide Yamaha to five Championship wins, four of which were with Valentino Rossi (Petronas Yamaha SRT), the other with Jorge Lorenzo, between 2004 and 2010. A move to Suzuki followed in 2013, and he oversaw the Hamamatsu factory and Joan Mir’s wonderful rise to the top last season.
A new challenge beckoned though for Brivio at the beginning of this season, as Alpine F1 Team recruited him to take over at the helm of their Formula 1 project. Now back in the MotoGP™ paddock for the weekend, he was all too. Happy to explain the similarities and differences between the two sports, he spoke to MotoGP™ pit-lane reporter Simon Crafar during FP2 on Friday.
“It’s nice to be here, it’s a world I’ve been in for almost twenty years so I know many people, it feels very familiar so it is great. Yeah now my job is very different, a different world,” he said.
"F1 is motorsport racing for sure, but everything is bigger, bigger organisations, bigger car, more parts, more people so it is very interesting. It’s a great experience because I can see a different way to approach things. It’s very interesting, the engineering behind it, the technology behind it. There are many similarities as the riders and drivers are athletes, they train to be prepared, they have to be focused on their job when they are driving or riding."
So, what has been the biggest difference between working on a team in MotoGP™ and in F1?
In Formula 1 there is much more care given, as the drivers are connected to engineers by radio and there is continuous talking going on during the practices and during the race. Saying what’s going on, controlling the tyres, controlling the temperatures, it is a continuous discussion between engineers and drivers.”
“In MotoGP™, when the green lights go, it is up to the rider, so that is maybe the major difference. In Formula 1 riders are also much busier, starting with media duties but also technical meetings and in MotoGP™ a little bit less.”
“MotoGP™ is more of an individual sport, Formula 1 is a team job between the two drivers. All the technical meeting together, all working together, all the teams, then of course on the track it is another story. It’s very clear the concept of the team, which is also clear in MotoGP™ but we are used to saying the worst competitor is your teammate.”
Brivio also expressed his gratitude to Valentino Rossi, who yesterday announced he will hang up his leathers at the close of the season, attributing the success he has experienced to the Doctor.
"I owe everything to Valentino because everything I have done in my career, in my job it comes from him. I was in Yamaha, he was at Honda, we joined together and then we had success together. We won four titles together.”
“I learned a lot from him. He changed Yamaha’s mentality, how Yamaha was approaching racing. I mean I learned a lot, how to try to win, what a winning mentality is. Personally, my career from there it had a big development. Suzuki called me for that, not probably, for sure because of what I did with Valentino, they thought I could bring it to Suzuki. So thanks Valentino for everything done in my professional life!”
It’s certainly a pleasure to have someone of the class and calibre of Davide Brivio in attendance for the Styrian GP, and we hope the grid can provide him with thrilling action over the next few days, starting on Saturday with FP3 underway at 9.55am (CET).