Formula 1 Race-Fixer Flavio Briatore Is Back And With The Same Team

Photo: Clive Rose (Getty Images)
Photo: Clive Rose (Getty Images)

BWT Alpine F1 Team announced on Friday that Flavio Briatore will serve as an executive advisor for the struggling outfit. Briatore led this same team to multiple championships as team principal before resigning in 2009 for his involvement in the worst race-fixing scandal in the sport’s history. You know what they say about desperate times.

Alpine currently sits eighth in the ten-team World Constructors’ Championship, a concerning position for a factory team. Four of the team’s five points were only scored in the last two races. Rumors swirled that the team was for sale. While Alpine bluntly denies those claims, the team is in talks with other engine manufacturers about becoming a customer for the 2026 season and shuttering its own power unit department.

Alpine views Briatore as an experienced mind who can help the team out of its precarious position. According to PlanetF1, team principal Bruno Famin said in press conference:


“I don’t really mind about the past, I’m always looking about the future, in trying what we can to get our team better,” Famin told media including

“That’s really our goal and what I see with having Flavio as an advisor of the team is the opportunity to have his experience to help us. He has a very high-level knowledge of Formula 1, he knows a lot of people. I’m sure he will support us in developing the team faster and better.”

Briatore’s past is important to know in this case. During the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, Renault driver Nelson Piquet Jr. intentionally crashed his car to cause a safety car period. The team used the incident to allow Piquet’s teammate, Fernando Alonso, to make an opportune pitstop and go on to win the race. Piquet publicly revealed his crash was ordered after he was fired by Renault during the 2009 season.

The FIA World Motor Sport Council banned Briatore, Renault’s then-team principal, for life from F1 and all FIA-sanction competitions. A French court overturned the FIA’s lifetime ban for procedural reasons, but Briatore agreed to stay out of F1 for a period of time in a settlement with the FIA.

Briatore entered F1 from the world of fashion in 1990. After helping Benetton expand in the United States, he was promoted to team principal of the fashion brand’s F1 team. In 1991, he lured a young Michael Schumacher to the team from Jordan. The pair would win two championships in 1994 and 1995. The German would depart for Ferrari in 1996, taking several key staff members with him. Briatore was fired in 1997 as Benetton slipped down the order.

Renault rehired Briatore when the French automaker in 2000. Lightning struck twice when he signed Fernando Alonso as a test driver in 2003. Alonso got promoted to a race seat in 2003. Then the pair won the world championship in 2005 and 2006.

Briatore might have the rare experience of knowing what it takes to win championships in F1. He’s also willing to do whatever it takes to win, even if it meant gambling the team’s existence to do so.

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