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Briatore Jail

Outside Line: F1 Scumbag-in-Chief Briatore should f@ck off himself

Briatore Jail

Flavio Briatore – Formula 1’s Scumbag-in-Chief and Greatest Cheat – is back in the sport officially as Special Advisor to the beleaguered Alpine F1 Team, and immediately stirred the pot first claiming he is a “genius in F1” and now telling his detractors to “F@ck Off.”

Crashgate ring-leader Briatore, and his sidekick at Renault, needing to save the team from collapse decided to alter the course of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. They ordered Nelson Piquet Junior to risk his life (and those of his rivals) by crashing his car when ordered, so as to favour his teammate Fernando Alonso, who won the race that night.

A year later Piquet broke his silence on the affair, and Crashgate became the blackest and ugliest scandal to befall F1 ever. The dirty rotten scoundrels responsible Pat Symonds and his master Briatore were banned from the sport. That turned out to be a kiss on the wrist instead of the hand chop they both deserved.

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Even Inspector Clouseau would ask a question that has gone unasked in the wake of Crashgate: Did Symonds and/or Briatore (or their family, agents or friends) have money on that race? No? Prove it!

Whatever the case, if F1 was the real world and I were a judge of their case, Flavio and Pat would have shared a jail-cell for their shenanigans. And without hesitation banned from the sport for life. Watch it on TV boys!

Several years ago Symonds wormed his way back into the sport, on an official capacity. Something like the ‘thief’ showing the ‘cops’ how it is done. Now he is with Andretti, where I am sure General Motors do not care of his dark past as Briatore’s sidekick.

Singapore 2008 Crashgate a crime against F1 and sport as a whole

Briatore Nelson Piquet crashgate sig=ngapore accident Massa legal action

That’s the F1 ‘crime’ they were bust for. With Briatore and his gang, suspicion of cheating always lingered through the paddock. An example is the traction control software saga of 1994, which the Briatore-run Benetton team was discovered to have on the car after it was banned.

And that’s not going into Briatore’s life outside the F1 paddock. In the 1980s, Briatore was convicted in an Italian court on multiple fraud counts. He took over as Benetton’s F1 managing director in the late eighties and continued to work for the team after it morphed into Renault in 2000.

Despite his ‘ crimes’ within F1. Briatore remains very much part of the inner circle that runs the sport on all levels. He was a confidante and great friend of Bernie Ecclestone and can be seen on social media feeds hanging out with the likes of F1 Cheif Stefano Domenicali and Mercedes boss Toto Wolff. Are they the silent cabal that motorsport, not just F1?

Briatore may be back officially, but, surely, he has always had interests in F1, from driver management to brokering GP deals (eg. Azerbaijan) which keep him very connected.

So much for Formula’1 crusade for transparency, diversity and youth

wolff domenicali briatore f1 susie toto-001

The inevitable and justifiable disdain most F1 fans I know, drivers and pundits feel for Briatore is reciprocal. He too despises them. The Italian 74-year-old Super Cheat said as much in an interview with Sky F1 when asked what he had to say to his detractors, he replied: “F*** off.” No apology, no humility. No contrition.

Briatore went on to explain how he found himself back at Renault (aka Alpine) for a third time: “Luca [de Meo] the chairman at Renault, I know him very well. I have a lot of respect for him. He encountered some difficulties with performance and asked me if it was possible to be the executive advisor to the chairman. We negotiated for two or three months, maybe more.”

This suggests Briatore will take on the kind of role that Helmut Marko has with Red Bull and Niki Lauda’s involvement with Mercedes before his passing. Expect many headlines.

While F1 lobbies hard for diversity, transparency, youth and the like. They welcome back a 74-year-old, F1’s greatest cheat, with no accountability for his ‘crimes’ against the sport. Glossing over it, as if he was simply on extended gardening leave before the grand return.

Briatore: I’m not changing the tyres yet

Schumacher Briatore

Of course, Briatore is pumped for his new role: “I feel I have the motivation to do it. I feel it is possible to do it. I feel that it’s possible to put the team again on the right direction to performing and this is what I like, to go back in the competition.”

Quizzed if he would be taking over as team principal at Alpine, a post currently filled by Bruno Famin, Briatore said: “No, no. Why team principal? We have a team principal, we have Bruno. No problem at all. I’m working with him, I’m working with everybody. For me, I’m working with Luca. This is my job, I report to him and we try together to get the best performance for the team.”

Uber-Cheat Briatore seems to have his fingers in every pie in a very short four or five days since he was appointed. But assures all: “I’m not changing the tyres yet. I don’t want to change the tyres, I don’t want to drive the car. I just want to be competitive. In two years’ time, we will be there.

“I want to give my contribution. We have a team principal who is doing a very good job, we have an organisation working together and I’m sure we’ll put everything together in a very short time,” ventured Briatore.

Flav’s back, Alpine faster than ever, fire at McLaren. Makes you think ;-)

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As for reports that Renault were considering shutting down their F1 Power Unit production, perhaps switching Alpine to rebadged Mercedes engines, Briatore revealed: “No, it’s not a goal at the moment. Sure, to make the team competitive we see different opportunities and, after, we choose the best opportunity for the team.

“Formula 1 has a lot of gossip all the time. For the moment, we haven’t made any decision. We’re working and we’ll find the best solution for the team,” added Briatore.

If the weekend of his return at the Spanish Grand Prix is anything to go by, there will be many quotes from Briatore in the future. For now to end this piece on a lighthearted note instead of the brutal reality that Flav is back.

During the weekend in Barcelona, I amused myself thinking: 1. Fire at McLaren. 2. Alpines were faster than they have ever been this year. 3. Seriously, Flavio?

Big Question: Flavio Briatore returning to Formula 1: good or bad?