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After the Champagne Flavio was ready for anything...

NEWS STORY
15/12/2006

Last week, as McLaren sought agreement from Renault that it would release Fernando Alonso from his contract early in order that he could make his McLaren debut at Jerez this week, the Woking team's CEO, Martin Whitmarsh, suggested that he might attempt to ply Flavio Briatore with booze in an attempt to persuade the Italian.

Ahead of the FIA Awards in Monaco, Whitmarsh said: "If, after two bottles of champagne, Flavio agrees on Friday night then we'll rush around to get him in the car next week."

Earlier this week, Briatore appeared to dash McLaren's hopes, the Italian clearly unhappy with the way Whitmarsh had handled things.

"McLaren sent their request to the wrong address," Briatore told Gazzetta dello Sport. "If they want Alonso to join them early they should talk to Renault and not to reporters."

As for Alonso, Briatore took the opportunity to send the Spaniard an early Christmas message: "I wish Fernando a merry Christmas and a relaxing holiday," he added, "because when the new season starts we will beat him."

Well, with Fernando Alonso currently lapping Jerez in a silver, black and red MP421, albeit devoid of decals, it looks as though those bottles of bubbly did the job.

Then again, judging by this footage shot in a Monaco nightclub shortly after the awards ceremony, Flav was clearly in the mood to agree to anything.

Niki Lauda also had a great night…

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