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Alpine Warned Against ‘Loose Cannon’ Flavio Briatore Signing; Ex-Boss Dubbed Better Option

Veerendra Vikram Singh

Alpine Warned Against ‘Loose Cannon’ Flavio Briatore Signing; Ex-Boss Dubbed Better Option

Alpine is reportedly considering bringing in Flavio Briatore, former Renault team principal, as an advisor to help boost their F1 team’s performance. Corriere della Sera states that Renault CEO Luca de Meo has approached Briatore to take on this role. However, former Ferrari boss Peter Windsor cautions Alpine against this move.

Windsor believes that instead of hiring Briatore, Alpine should admit their mistake of firing Otmar Szafnauer and bring him back. Szafnauer was let go during the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix weekend, along with other key figures like Alan Permane and Pat Fry as part of a major management overhaul.

In a recent live chat on his YouTube channel, Windsor expressed his concerns. When asked by one of his subscribers about Alpine’s potential hiring of Briatore, Windsor said,

“I can’t understand that team. Ever since they got rid of Otmar Szafnauer they’ve gone downhill. He was getting a lot of good people to come, they’re probably not coming now. And ever since he left, the whole team has looked terrible. The logical thing would be to just rehire him and admit they made a big mistake… Why would you want to bring in somebody else, particularly somebody who’s a bit of a loose cannon in so many ways?”

Since Szafnauer’s departure, several key personnel have left Alpine. Technical Director Matt Harman and Head of Aerodynamics Dirk de Beer exited. And recently, Bob Bell, who was working with Alpine in an advisory role, also departed. Flavio Briatore is being considered as a replacement for Bell. However, Briatore’s history is filled with controversy, both inside and outside the world of F1.

A quick look inside Flavio Briatore’s troubled past

Briatore’s past is marked by multiple counts of fraud. In the 1980s, he received two prison sentences and to avoid the same, he fled to Saint Thomas in the Virgin Islands. He only returned to Europe after his convictions were extinguished by amnesty.

In 2010, a Turin court rehabilitated him, effectively erasing his criminal record under Italian law.

In F1, his entry wasn’t short of controversy either. He joined Benetton as Managing Director, and during Michael Schumacher’s 1994 Championship winning season, the team faced allegations of using illegal traction control software. Initially unconfirmed, engineer Willem Toet revealed in 2015, that they did develop a traction control system using spark cutting.

However, Briatore’s most scandalous involvement was ‘Crashgate‘ at the 2008 Singapore GP. Renault’s Nelson Piquet Jr. followed his orders to intentionally crash on lap 14, which directly contributed to Fernando Alonso’s (his teammate) win.

After Piquet Jr. confirmed the same, the FIA banned Renault for two years. Briatore received an indefinite suspension from all FIA sanctioned events, which was lifted in 2010.

Given Briatore’s controversial history, Peter Windsor’s advice to Alpine seems rooted in concern for the team’s stability and reputation.

Post Edited By:Somin Bhattacharjee

About the author

Veerendra Vikram Singh

Veerendra Vikram Singh


Veerendra Singh is a senior Formula 1 journalist at TheSportsRush, with a passion for the sport that goes back to 2008. His extensive coverage and deep understanding of the sport are evident in the more than 900 articles he has written so far on the sport and its famous personalities like Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff, Charles Leclerc and more... When he's not at his work desk, Veerendra likes to spend time with his two feline friends and watch races from the Formula 1 and MotoGP archive. He is always up for a conversation about motorsport so you can hit him up anytime on his social media handles for a quick word.

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