Bruno Famin

Briatore’s lack of contrition for Crashgate doesn’t matter to new Renault team boss

Formula 1

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The boss of Renault’s Formula 1 team brushed aside any concerns about welcoming back the man who disgraced them 15 years ago.

Flavio Briatore left Renault in 2009 after his role in the ‘Crashgate’ conspiracy was revealed. He and Renault’s head of engineering Pat Symonds were found to have arranged for one of their drivers to deliberately crash, causing a Safety Car period which their other car benefited from.

The FIA originally gave Briatore a lifetime ban. Pat Symonds, Renault’s head of engineering at the time, was given a lesser five-year ban as the governing body noted he admitted what had happened.

Both bans were subsequently reduced. Briatore has insisted there is no proof he was involved in the conspiracy.

Renault was also given a suspended permanent ban from the sport, which hung over the team for two years. The manufacturer pulled out of F1 soon afterwards, remaining only as an engine supplier, but returned as a full constructor in 2016 by taking over the same Enstone-based team it ran before.

Now operating under its Alpine brand, the team confirmed today it has re-hired Briatore as an executive advisor. Team principal Bruno Famin gave a curt response when asked whether he was concerned his returning predecessor had never apologised for his role in one of F1’s most notorious conspiracies.

“I’m looking ahead, not backward,” Famin stated.

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“I already answered questions about the past and I don’t really mind about the past,” he stated. “I’m always looking about future and trying what we can get and to get our team better. That’s really our goal.

“What I see with having Flavio as an advisor of the team is the opportunity to have his experience and to help us. He has a very high-level knowledge of Formula 1. He knows a lot of people. And I’m sure he will support us in developing the team faster and better. That’s all.”

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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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18 comments on “Briatore’s lack of contrition for Crashgate doesn’t matter to new Renault team boss”

  1. Flavio did a lot of good (and bad) in F1 but this cannot be a sign of a team moving forwards…

    Renault should go back to being a engine manufacturer and sell that team to Andretti. They’d recover a whole chunk of money given how desperate Mario and Michael are and they’d keep a much cheaper (with less risk) tie with F1.

  2. BLS (@brightlampshade)
    21st June 2024, 18:32

    I can’t see a corporation wanting to be overly associated with Flavio so I feel like this is just the beginning of some sort of Flavio related takeover of the team.

    1. If the rumours of the team stopping production of their own engines are correct then that could tie-in with your idea.

  3. Flavio may have been brought in to get the best price for the team at some point…and he is the guy to do that

    1. And to negotiate the engine deal and downgrade this sinking ship to the customer team status.

  4. A lot of the shenanigans at this team make some sense if the idea is to clear the scene for a new owner. But… this has been going on for a long time now, and nothing is happening. It’s odd.

    As for Briatore… whatever one’s opinions of the Singapore-episode, he’s no Didier Calmels is he? And Alpine thought that associating with him was just a-okay too.

    1. i didnt know who Didier Calmels was until this moment. That sent me down a wikipedia rabbit hole.

  5. All they need is Gene Haas as a new partner, and Lance Stroll as a driver, to be the perfect team to choose not to support. But if we talk about realistic efforts, they have really tried everything in their power to deserve such a role. I don’t know what’s to like here, really, at least on the management level (we could easily include the drivers here too).

  6. I mean, Flavio is there to accommodate the sale, so why would crashgate matter?

    1. It matter if their role is to advise how the team is needed to be managed, speacially strategies. Otherwise, he is just a salesman with a lot of contacts.

  7. You can tell a lot about a persons own moral fibre by what they will accept and tolerate in others.

    1. Oh please. You act like this guy should never be allowed in F1 while many teams and the FIA are employing people involved in much more serious sporting scandals. And he never said he didn’t care about a lack of contrition. Never said anything close. He said he is looking forward and not to the past. I dislike Famin, but it’s absurd to say he is a man of low morality because he is working with Briatore.

      1. Employing Briatore implies acceptance of his character and past. Failure to denounce the past as a problem also implies acceptance, even if it is a simple statement that “we all make mistakes, and Briatore is now moved on to doing good”. That in turn implies that Famin, and Alpine/Renault, don’t mind as long as they get what they want. Ergo, their morals are unavoidably in question. Stating that is absurd doesn’t change things.

        1. So, we can assume everyone who decided to employ the many other team directors and engineers who were involved in many other cheating scandals are of low moral fiber? Also, is it Famin’s role to continue to punish someone who was already punished?

          1. I see your point, but I think its non-sequitur. We are not considering whether its Famin/Alpine’s role to punish. Rather, the point is that choice they made does call their morals into question.

            That others have done similar by hiring others has no bearing on the moral of the issue.

          2. The others having done exactly the same, not just similar, absolutely has a bearing on the situation. Unless, you are both willing to call the TPs who hired them of low moral fiber, this is nothing more than a double-standard.

            And the first point is not a non-sequitur, unless you’re of the opinion that anyone who hires someone who has formerly been convicted of a crime and served their time or hires a white collar worker who had once done something wrong also makes them someone of low moral fiber.

    2. if you think Formula 1 is the pinnacle of decency and morality, you are horribly confused. Flavio is competent, and Famine wants to think more about Feasting.

  8. It’s strange that Renault did not sue him for destroying the team the last time since they lost so much value and goodwill for the brand.

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