Flavio Briatore’s "not broadcastable" response to F1 return critics revealed

Flavio Briatore had a "not broadcastable" message to those criticising his return to F1.

Flavio Briatore (ITA). Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, Race Day. -
Flavio Briatore (ITA). Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand…

Flavio Briatore’s response to critics of his F1 return was “not broadcastable”, according to Sky Sports News reporter Craig Slater.

The controversial figure has returned to F1 15 years after he received a lifetime ban from the sport, having been appointed as executive director of the struggling Alpine team.

Briatore was forced to resign from the team in 2009 for his involvement in the fixing of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix - known as the ‘Crashgate’ scandal - when Nelson Piquet Jr was told to crash to hand an advantage to Renault teammate Fernando Alonso, who went on to win the race.

The ban was overturned in in 2010 by France’s high court and Briatore has continued to make appearances in the F1 paddock since.

“He’s one of F1’s big beasts, 74 years old,” Slater said.

“I did ask him if he’s in favour of Alpine becoming a customer, in engine terms. Maybe taking Mercedes engines. He wouldn’t be drawn on that.

“I also asked him what he’d say to those who don’t want him back in the F1 paddock.

“His response was to the point, short, and not broadcastable.”

Asked what his message was to those questioning his F1 comeback, Briatore told Sky Sports F1: “F*** off.”

Explaining his decision to return, the 74-year-old Italian said: “I know the chairman of Renault, Luca de Meo, very well and have lots of respect for Luca.

“He met some difficulties in the performance of the team. He asked if it was possible for me to be the executive advisor of the chairman. We negotiated for two or three months, maybe more.

“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.”

Briatore led the Enstone team to world championships under their previous Benetton and Renault guises during the 1990s and 2000s.

Asked if he will effectively become team principal in his new position, Briatore replied: “No, no. Team principal? We have a team principal, we have Bruno. No problem at all.

“I’m working with Bruno, 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.

“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.”

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