Flavio Briatore Can Turn Alpine Around Within Two Years

Flavio Briatore
Flavio Briatore

Flavio Briatore says he can get the beleaguered Alpine team back in Formula 1’s “top four” within “two years”.

The big news as the sport got into action in Barcelona is that the factory team’s successful and controversial former boss has been signed by Renault CEO Luca de Meo as ‘executive advisor’.

“Luca de Meo has put him there to stir up the hornet’s nest, stir up trouble, change things, because Alpine has very serious problems,” F1 broadcaster Antonio Lobato told DAZN.

“This is de Meo saying ‘I’m hiring you as an advisor, but as an executive – meaning you’re in charge’,” he added. “Get in there and please sort this out for me because the situation is terrifying.”

Even team boss Bruno Famin, who has overseen the calamity unfolding at Alpine for the past couple of years, admits he will need to listen to the flamboyant 74-year-old Italian.

“He’s the advisor to the group CEO, but he will advise the team, and we are going to work and to talk permanently together, for sure,” Famin said.

For his part, Briatore sounded very confident that he can help turn around Alpine’s dire situation.

“It’s not something that happened last night,” he said of his new F1 role. “We’ve been talking about it for months.

“I have a great feeling with Luca, I think he’s a genius. The only part missing is Formula 1, but I think I’m a genius in F1, so we found each other well,” Briatore smiled.

Indeed, Briatore has overseen ultra-successful periods at the Enstone based team in its previous Benetton and Renault guises, powering Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso to their first F1 titles.

Briatore has essentially been out of F1 full-time since he was banned over the infamous ‘crashgate’ scandal, but he has remained involved.

“I think you are less active than me,” Briatore smiled at the reporter for French television Canal Plus.

“I stayed in Formula 1. I am a F1 ambassador, I watch all the races,” said the Italian, who also still oversees Alonso’s career management.

“What I bring back is the culture of winning, the racing spirit. That’s what allowed me to win with Renault and Benetton. That’s what makes a team – the people.

“There is technology but also all the members of a team, all together. We can have Alpine in the top four in two years,” he asserted.

Alpine admits that Briatore will also advise over its next driver line-up, with Famin having already ruled out Esteban Ocon for 2025.

“That’s a problem which is not a problem,” Briatore said. “At the moment the problem is having a high-performance car. Pierre Gasly does the job well, and then we can put in a young man or not a young man.

“But it’s not the priority. The priority is to have a competitive car and I hope that next season we will be on the path to do well.”

It’s also rumoured that Briatore has already kicked off discussions with Red Bull, Mercedes, Honda and perhaps even Ferrari, as Renault considers scrapping its own power unit program for 2026.

When asked about that sensational rumour in Barcelona, team boss Famin was not ready to talk at length about it.

“We know we are going to have some problems, which is just normal with this kind of very complex project,” he said. “But about these rumours, we just don’t comment.

“We owe a lot of respect to everybody in Viry working on that project and the worst thing would be to comment.”

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