Ex-F1 team boss Briatore hospitalised with Covid-19

2020 F1 season

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Former Renault and Benetton team principal Flavio Briatore has been hospitalised after testing positive for Covid-19.

Several Italian media reports describe the 70-year-old’s condition as “serious”. He was taken to hospital yesterday.

An outbreak of the Coronavirus in Porto Cervo, Sardinia has been linked to Briatore’s Billionaire nightclub. According to La Repubblica, 52 positive cases were registered among the club’s staff. The restaurant and club was closed on August 17th. Briatore has strongly criticised the closure of clubs as a measure to limit the spread of Covid-19.

He is also known to have been in contact with football coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, who confirmed yesterday he had tested positive for Covid-19.

Italy was among the first European countries to impose a lockdown as a result of a steep increase in Covid-19 infections in March. It has begun to loosen restrictions in recent weeks.

Briatore arrived in Formula 1 with Benetton in the late eighties and guided the team to world championship success with Michael Schumacher in the mid-nineties. After leaving the sport, he returned with Renault, and enjoyed further championship success with Fernando Alonso.

However Briatore left the sport in disgrace in 2009 after it was discovered he and other Renault team members conspired for Nelson Piquet Jnr to crash his car intentionally during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, to help Alonso win the race. Briatore was originally sentenced to a lifetime ban from the sport, and although he later overturned this at France’s Tribunal de Grande Instance, he has not returned to F1.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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52 comments on “Ex-F1 team boss Briatore hospitalised with Covid-19”

  1. Scary. I hope he fully recovered soon.

    1. He’s older and I suspect he hasn’t lived awfully healthy, so he might have some underlying issues… Scary indeed.

      1. @jeffreyj
        The fact that he was straightaway hospitalized while a couple of days ago he was still in a good shape doesn’t bold well. I think it’s even more scary for Sinisa Mihajlovic. He has been suffering from Leukemia. Hope for a speedy recovery for all of them.

        1. yeah, this looks like quite a quick detoriation of their health @tifoso1989, not good. I hope everyone who got sick recovers.

          1. @tifoso1989 that all reads like they have a though time ahead. Hope they recover and don’t suffer the long term effects some do either.

    2. He’s an idiot who didn’t take necessary precautions and is now paying the price for that carelessness. If only all the people not taking the virus seriously would be the ones to suffer, leaving those who are doing what has to be done to mitigate this disaster alive and well. The world would be a smarter and better place.

  2. Whatever you may think of Flavio, he has certainly been one of Formula One’s most colourful characters. Wishing him a speedy recovery.

  3. surprisedpikachu.png

  4. Jesusy Chris

  5. Rich and famous people that don’t care about corona measures contract corona, what a surprise….

    1. this is a mean-hearted comment – is it even true that Briatore was blase about covid? he may have been careful and only caught it through bad luck. whatever his past actions, he never struck me as unintelligent, which would suggest he was taking it all seriously. perhaps he got complacent, but still, poor form from the aptly named commenter.

      1. Probably less mean-hearted and more logical. Have fun defending a guy that probably says a lot worse about you as a guy that comments on random internet articles, let alone as someone who isn’t a millionaire. These kind of rich guys honestly don’t give a hoot about anyone that isn’t in their circle.

      2. @frood19 It’s *literally* in the article…

        Briatore has strongly criticised the closure of clubs as a measure to limit the spread of Covid-19.

        1. <> Bingo! “Reading 101” lesson

        2. @optimaximal haha, oh yeah. i guess he’s not so smart after all!

          1. Yes, not smart. And on top of that disrespectful, to the politicians that have to make these hard choices, to the people that have upheld almost 6 months of corona rules, and to the healthcare workers, victims and family of victims that have al suffered horribly.

            Just as an FYI, Flavio’s career is string of disrespectful, scandalous and criminal behavior. He has been convicted for tax fraud multiple times starting in the 80’s.

      3. 52 member of staff in his night club in Sardinia got the Virus…he didn’t believe about the Virus ……and how dangerous can be

        1. I seriously hope all of those recover @domo70, just as I hope Briatore recovers. However, I also hope he will be held responsible for risking the health and safety of his guests and employees. Make him cover their medical bills from all the tax money he dodged (or simply defrauded, is that case still going, or was it finished already?)

          1. @bascb

            Make him cover their medical bills from all the tax money he dodged (or simply defrauded, is that case still going, or was it finished already?)

            The sentences resulting from multiple counts of fraud as well as the gambling scandal in which Briatore was involved in and subsequently led to his escape from the EU to the Virgin Islands in the late 80’s were somehow extinguished by Amnesty.
            Legally speaking, Briatore managed to get his name cleared from all charges in 2010 when he was rehabilitated by a Turin court after he compensated all the parties involved.

          2. Thanks for the update on that one @tifoso1989. Let’s hope he will have to settle with all of his now sick employees as well soon.

          3. Well @tifoso1989 @bascb @domo70 – I do hope that people who loudly complain about how much it is costing them personally, also will at some point realize that health risk isn’t just a cost, and that a risk of contracting, and then passing that on to others, who are possibly more at risk, even if the risk is small, isn’t the same as forgetting an umbrella when there is a small chance of rain, as in: risk is ~chance * consequences, so really hope they stop that.

            Something I saw today: comparing covid-19 risk-> need for mask to taking an umbrella when small chane of rain.
            If humans would risk melting from water, or say have a bandage over a catheter into their belly with which to exchange dialysis fluid , guess what one would certainly check that raincoat and/or umbrella even if only 1% of rain! Sorry, bit OT.

            Again, I hope everyone recovers, without long term damage, all more than fifty people in that outbreak. Doesn’t mean that I have to rate Briatore’s opinions as sound and respectable.

          4. I also hope he will be held responsible for risking the health and safety of his guests and employees.

            I’m pretty sure he didn’t force any of his guests into a club.
            As much as I hope that everyone recovers quickly – if you go out partying at this moment in time, you only have to blame yourself.

          5. kuvemar, whilst he might not have compelled his guests to go to his club, there is the question of whether he might have compelled his employees to work at the club.

          6. I do hope he recover i dont like the person but the health is the most important even if you dont like a person…. @kuvemar staff is staff they weren’t there to party but to work….read @anon post he is 100% correct….

    2. here comes the moral brigade

      1. When you dance with the Devil
        Sometimes you get kicked in the balls

  6. While I don’t like this guy with everything I have, all the best to him and speedy recovery.

  7. I think it’s fair to say I care as much about Briatore’s welfare as he cares about mine. This is someone who basically compelled a young driver to risk his life (and potentially other lives) and his career by deliberately crashing just so his star driver could win a race, compensating for the poor car his team had delivered. And has never shown any contrition for that fact. He should not be near Formula 1 ever, and frankly I’d be happy never to have to read his name in association with the sport or anything else.

    1. I wholeheartedly agree.

  8. I hope he gets well soon, so he can come back and take charge at Ferrari. He is a true Winner. They need him!

    1. His cheating was for the most part less obvious. So that’s something to cherish I guess for Ferrari.

    2. @spafrancorchamps
      Briatore himself said that he refused a Ferrari job offer twice in his career. I can’t see why he will leave his flamboyant lifestyle running luxurious clubs, resorts, restaurants, earning dividends at the end of the year from other businesses as well and the most important for him flirting with teenagers to lock himself in a factory for 12 hours a day. BTW you can’t expect less than that for a Ferrari team principle. Jean Todt used to finish work at 10 pm… in the weekends though !

    3. Impossible he is banned for life that he walk around the paddock due his court verdict but working in F1 is not possible.

      1. @macleod
        As mentioned in the article, Briatore’s sentence was overturned at France’s Tribunal de Grande Instance which make him eligible to work again in F1. Pat Symonds was banned from F1 for five years starting from 2009. However, he overturned that sentence France’s Tribunal de Grande Instance (same as Flavio) and was able to work from 2011 as a consultant for Virgin Racing and then as a full time employee at Williams starting from 2013.
        The thing is it doesn’t make sense for a 70 years old businessman like Flavio to return to work as a full time employee.

        1. I saw it in Article but that is what i can’t believe because if he was innocent he would be working in F1 already but as you and me knows he isn’t maybe in France he is allowed to visit the paddock but very where else he is asked not to come….

          Persons like him we should forget as he broke my fandom for Alonso. Now i am not someone to wish him ill but karma seems to be a bitch.

  9. I mean, I hope he gets better.

    Just wish people like him didn’t think they knew better.

  10. Having personally seen how serious covid is it doesn’t look good. I have seen someone without underlying health issues go from testing positive to bein hospitalized to being intubated and passing away within 20 days. And that person was a whole lot younger.
    He might beat it but seeing how he has looked in recent years, I don’t feel that positive about the outcome. But i hope i am wrong.

    1. Even 90+ year olds have a better than 50% recovery chance. He should be fine. I mean, it’s likely, in the literal sense of the word, that he will.

      1. Not true, check your facts!

        1. I did and I am right. In fact most are below 40% or even 30% for the 90+ age bracket. The data is all over the internet in Wikipedia and medical journals etc. for all to see. What now, mister internet man?

      2. There’s far more to it than raw mortality figures. Morbidity figures, especially for those older folk, are much higher.

  11. I really miss guys like him in F1. Everyone is so bland and corporate nowadays. Wish him well.

  12. He took an up and coming team to be double world champions…twice. He wasn’t the first to push the rulebook and neither was he the last.

    All the best Flav 👌

  13. I do hope he recover i dont like the person but the health is the mosg important even if you dont like a person…. @kuvemar staff is staff they weren’t there to party but to work….read @anon post he is 100% correct….

  14. Liar, defrauder, denier, cheater, thief, tax evader … Yep! A colorful character. Karma’s a beach!

    1. A beach… :)

    2. It got Schumacher and Briatore. Is Brawn next?

      1. Thomas Bennett (@felipemassadobrasil)
        26th August 2020, 12:02

        Todt had better be looking over his shoulder

  15. Briatore has strongly criticised the closure of clubs as a measure to limit the spread of Covid-19.

    Knowing the sacrifices some have made in this crisis, I have little sympathy to be honest.

  16. With a ton of infections among his own club staff, Flav chooses to “strongly criticise the closure of clubs as a measure to limit the spread of Covid-19”

    I’m unable to muster any sympathy.

  17. Briatore had some management talents. He was double champion twice with teams that weren’t the biggest at that moment.
    It’s true he cheated maybe a little more than the others, but what was achieved was still impressive.

    Apart from that, he is an idiot, as several people already explained, he is infected by ia stubbornness and irresponsible behavior related to his night club. I’m sorry for the infected employees that in this contracting economy didn’t have a choice to deny working, I can’t be sorry for him.

  18. He might not give a crap about himself but his actions have caused 52 of his staff, people that are in his care, to catch this virus. The man is a disgrace.

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