Once Banned From F1 for Life, Flavio Briatore Back with Alpine

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Once Banned From F1 for Life, Briatore Is BackNurPhoto - Getty Images
  • Briatore, as team principal, won championships with Michael Schumacher in 1994-95.

  • At Alpine this time around, Briatore will act as an advisor and ‘predominantly focus on top level areas of the team."

  • The Renault-controlled team is tied for eighth in the Constructors’ Championship.

Alpine’s dismal Formula 1 season has taken another eclectic turn with the appointment of Flavio Briatore as executive advisor.

It brings Briatore, 74, back to the team which he departed in 2009 after his involvement in the "Crashgate" scandal over fixing the result of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

In a statement Alpine confirmed that Renault Group CEO Luca de Meo had given the green light to the appointment.


According to Alpine, Briatore will ‘predominantly focus on top level areas of the team including: scouting top talents and providing insights on the driver market, challenging the existing project by assessing the current structure and advising on some strategic matters within the sport.’

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Briatore was charged with race fixing at Singapore in 2008 when it was alleged that he ordered Nelson Piquet Jr. to crash to help teammate Fernando Alonso win the race.Mark Thompson - Getty Images

Alpine has had a wretched season stemming from a lack of performance from its A524. The Renault-controlled team is only eighth in the Constructors’ Championship, its drivers have clashed, and it has opted to part company from Esteban Ocon at the end of the year. It has also undergone a period of managerial upheaval over the past 12 months which began with the exit of CEO Laurent Rossi.

Since then, Alpine has changed its team principal—with Bruno Famin currently holding the role—its technical director, sporting director, and a host of other senior roles within its aerodynamics team, which was restructured earlier in the year.

Rumors have surfaced in recent weeks suggesting that Renault is considering abandoning its 2026 engine project and becoming a customer team.

The colorful Briatore had a lengthy spell in Formula 1 with the squad under various guises, beginning in the late 1980s, when it was owned by the Benetton clothing company, with which he had a long-standing personal and business relationship.

Briatore, as team principal, won championships with Michael Schumacher in 1994-95, before leaving in 1997. He was re-hired as team principal in late 2000 when Renault acquired Benetton and led the squad through a second title-winning era with Fernando Alonso in 2005-06.

The commercially-minded Briatore was regarded as a successful manager, having initially arrived from outside of Formula 1, compared to several technically-minded contemporaries.

But he received a lifetime ban from Formula 1 in late 2009 after Renault was found to have instructed Nelson Piquet Jr. to crash during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. The timing of the accident, and consequent safety car period, assisted the strategy of Piquet’s Renault teammate Fernando Alonso, who went on to win the race.

Briatore appealed and in 2010 France’s high court overturned the ban.

Since then, Briatore has retained an involvement in Formula 1 predominantly through his role as a driver manager and involvement in the career of Aston Martin racer Alonso.