Alpine reportedly seeking to hire Briatore as ‘special advisor’

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A surprising twist could be coming to the 2024 Formula 1 season with the potential return of a controversial figure: Flavio Briatore.

According to Italy’s Corriere della Sera, Briatore is being eyed by Renault CEO Luca di Meo for a, advisory role with Alpine to help turn around the beleaguered F1 outfit’s fortunes.

While Briatore is a frequent visitor to the F1 paddock and a close friend of F1 boss Stefano Domenicali, his last official involvement in the sport goes back to 2009.

That year, the flamboyant Italian was forced to step down as Renault team principal following the infamous 2008 Singapore Grand Prix ‘Crashgate’ scandal, where the team deliberately caused a crash to benefit their other driver.

Despite the controversy, Briatore's past successes are undeniable. In the 1990s, he led Benetton, the predecessor to Alpine based in Enstone, to multiple championships with Michael Schumacher.

He then replicated that success with Renault in the mid-2000s, guiding Fernando Alonso to back-to-back championships in 2005 and 2006.

The report states that Briatore wouldn't be returning to a traditional team principal role but would act instead as a "special supervisor” to Alpine", offering his experience and leadership from behind the scenes.

The rumor mill also suggests that the 74-year-old manager might be tasked with spearheading a major recruitment drive at Enstone, with Red Bull's star technical chief Adrian Newey a potential target, although such a plan seems overly ambitious.

Alpine, struggling for pace in 2024, is clearly looking for a shake-up. But whether Briatore's return would prove successful is anybody’s guess.

The French outfit has neither confirmed or denied Wednesday's reports.

"As a team, we are in frequent contact with a number of industry experts in pursuit of improving overall performance," it stated.

"We consider all relevant inputs and, when appropriate, seek advice from people with experience and previous success. We cannot comment on any individual matters."

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