close
close
Once banned for life from Formula 1, Flavio Briatore returns to an executive role for Alpine

Once banned for life from Formula 1, Flavio Briatore returns to an executive role for Alpine

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JUNE 21: Flavio Briatore, newly announced Executive Advisor of Alpine F1, walks in the Paddock before practice ahead of the F1 Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit Barcelona-Catalunya on June 21, 2024 in Barcelona, ​​Spain .  (Photo by Clive Rose - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Flavio Briatore was banned from Formula 1 for telling Nelson Piquet to crash during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. (Photo by Clive Rose – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Flavio Briatore is back in Formula 1.

The former Benetton and Renault executive has been hired as executive adviser to Alpine, Renault’s current factory team. Briatore, 74, was banned for life from Formula 1 before that ban was overturned on appeal in 2013.

Briatore was banned from Formula One due to Renault’s intentional crash scandal in 2008. He told Nelson Piquet Jr. to crash on purpose during the Singapore Grand Prix so teammate Fernando Alonso could win. The incident quickly became known as “Crashgate”.

Piquet crashed early in the race just before the pit window opened for the teams. Alonso pitted earlier in the race and took over as race leader at the time of Piquet’s crash. Alonso, who started 15th, went on to win the race.

A year later, after being unseated, Piquet said he was told to hit the car on purpose. The FIA ​​immediately investigated Piquet’s claims and charged Renault with race-fixing in September 2009. Renault was eventually given a suspended two-year ban from the series pending any further breaches of the rules – the team was not actually kicked out of F1 – and Briatore, CEO of Renault at the time, was banned for life.

Briatore was previously convicted in an Italian court of several fraud charges in the 1980s. He took over as Benetton’s managing director in the late 1980s and continued to work for the team after Renault acquired the team in 2000.

Alpine is in the midst of a miserable start to the 2024 Formula 1 season. The team sits eighth out of 10 in the constructors’ standings, with Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon scoring just five points combined so far this season. Gasly and Ocon were plagued by lack of speed and mechanical problems and also did not get along on track. Ocon is leaving the team at the end of the season and is considered a candidate to drive for Haas alongside Ollie Bearman in 2025.