Flavio Briatore has conceded that whilst never again as a team boss, he might one day come back to F1 – the sport that so publicly ejected him last year 'as though a criminal'.
Expelled indefinitely from the top flight as punishment for the leading role he played in the salacious 'Singapore-gate' race-fixing scandal – and having already relinquished his post at the head of Renault F1 – the flamboyant Italian subsequently proved successful in January in getting his lifetime ban quashed by the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris.
Pending a likely appeal from governing body the FIA – whose former president Max Mosley's 'desire for personal revenge' formed the backbone of Briatore's French High Court case – the 59-year-old is free to return to the grand prix paddock, and his friend and influential F1 commercial rights-holder Bernie Ecclestone has admitted: “I think he could take up a role in the promotion of Formula 1.”
Having similarly stepped down from his role as chairman of London football club Queens Park Rangers (QPR), Briatore – who has made much in recent years of the need to make F1 more entertaining and accessible to the fans – has now revealed in an interview with Italy's Sky Sport 24
: “I was thrown out as though a criminal. I will never come back to Formula 1 as team manager, but perhaps [I will return] after 2012 in another role.”