F1: Alpine Announces Flavio Briatore's Return as Executive Advisor

Flavio Briatore returns to F1 in an official role as Alpine's new Executive Advisor, marking his comeback with the Renault-backed team.

By Divyam Dubey | on June 21, 2024 Follow us on Autox Google News

Flavio Briatore, former Renault team principal, returns to Formula One after 14 years as an executive advisor for the Alpine F1 team. Having left Formula 1 due to the 2008 Crashgate scandal, he has been making a comeback since then. Despite past controversies, Briatore brings invaluable experience, having led Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso to championship victories. Alpine, currently facing performance challenges, seeks to leverage Briatore's expertise in navigating pivotal strategic decisions ahead of the 2026 Formula One regulation changes. A key decision involves determining their engine strategy—whether to pursue a manufacturer or customer role. Briatore's appointment confirms Alpine's aggressive approach to revitalizing its competitive edge in the fiercely contested F1 arena.

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F1: The Crashgate

Flavio Briatore's return to F1 with Alpine is a curious case of a prodigal son. The Italian's past is a mix of successes and controversies. On the one hand, he's a championship architect, having steered Benetton and Renault to glory with Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso at the wheel. But then came the infamous "Crashgate" scandal that sent Briatore crashing out of F1 in 2008. 

The Singapore Grand Prix that year saw him axed and facing a lifetime ban for his alleged role in a plot involving teammate Nelson Piquet Jr. deliberately crashing to manipulate the race in Alonso's favour. The elaborate scheme unravelled when Piquet Jr. spilt the beans the following season, leading to Briatore's dramatic exit. While the FIA initially imposed a lifetime ban, ever the fighter, Briatore successfully challenged it in court, arguing procedural irregularities.

Now, Briatore finds himself back in the F1 paddock at a pivotal moment for Alpine. Briatore's experience is a double-edged sword. He brings the undeniable know-how of a championship winner, but his return also dredges up memories of past controversies. 

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Also, Briatore's arrival at Alpine coincides with a tumultuous period for the team. Following significant changes in management in mid-2023, Alpine began the 2024 season with the slowest car on the grid. This week, reports surfaced suggesting Alpine is contemplating relinquishing its status as a factory team to pursue a customer engine deal in the future.

Tags: F1 Alpine

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