The former director of the Renault F1Team and Benetton Formula team was recently appointed Formula 1 ambassador, in charge of developing commercial collaborations. In an interview with Monaco Matin, Flavio Briatore spoke about his return to the most prestigious of automobile competitions.
He didn’t expect it. After a forced absence from the sport since 2008, the Italian made his big comeback in Formula 1 this year in an ambassadorial role that fits him like a glove. “I started in my role as ambassador a few days ago at the Bahrain Grand Prix and I feel like I’ve never been away,” he told Monaco Matin. The people I used to know are still here and are delighted to see me.”
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An expert role that Flavio Briatore intends to succeed in. “I was asked to look after the sponsors, to work on the development of Grands Prix in new countries,” he explained. “We talked at length, myself and Stefano Domenicali [F1 boss] to try to find a way to help him. In Bahrain, we signed a first partnership with MSC, a cruise ship giant. This is the first sponsor I have brought into Formula One and it’s a nice catch.”
Stable boss is not on the cards
Already in the thick of it, the Monegasque resident who runs five establishments in the Principality, also spoke about his old stable owner hat, which he does not intend to wear in the future. “At the time, the pressure we had during the Grands Prix was huge. Now I’m more relaxed, in the office, having meetings. I don’t have the adrenaline I had as a stable boss anymore, but I had it for twenty-two years. Now, basta! I am very happy being in the organisation to help out and give it my all.”
The former Renault F1 Team boss then turned to the 2022 season, which is currently dominated by Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc. “There was terrific tension at the end of last season with the duel between Hamilton and Verstappen. That’s still fresh in people’s minds” he said. “And this season started off even better, with two Ferraris out in front! I think it’s going to shake up Formula One altogether. Charles Leclerc did a great job, Carlos Sainz did a great job. We’re going to have what I hope will be a great championship, with Ferrari as the dominant force. Even if winning the championship is a whole other story… “