Flavio Briatore, Luca de Meo, Alpine, Circuit de Catalunya, 2024

Ecclestone recommended Briatore to “desperate” De Meo for Alpine role

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In the round-up: Former Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone reveals his role in Flavio Briatore’s return to Alpine.

In brief

Ecclestone recommended “bandit” Briatore

Ecclestone said Renault CEO Luca de Meo consulted him on whether to invite Briatore back to the team he ran until 2009, when he was banned by the FIA for his role in the Crashgate scandal.

“I spoke to Renault boss Luca de Meo on the phone for a long time,” Ecclestone told Blick. “He was desperate.

“Then the word Briatore came up. We quickly agreed that in such a confusing situation only a doer, a bandit among angels, could help. And there are enough saints in the grand prix circus.”

Ecclestone believes Briatore is the right person to turn the struggling team around. “Flavio’s great strength has always been: ‘Keep the discussions short, do things and think big’,” he said. “You don’t need friends in Formula 1, you just need success.”

McLaren rattled Red Bull – Norris

Lando Norris believes Red Bull’s mistakes in the Austrian Grand Prix was a result of them being put under pressure by McLaren.

Despite retiring after his collision with Max Verstappen while fighting with him for the lead, Norris said: “I thought it was a good race until then.

“Clearly a little bit on the back foot in terms of overall pace compared to Max: In the first and second stints he would always just edge away that little bit.

“But they just seemed to make a lot more mistakes than what we did. They messed up that pit stop, which is rare from them, but clearly a bit of pressure from their side and they started to slip up a little bit.”

Red Bull to reveal special livery

Red Bull will reveal a special livery for this weekend’s round of the championship at Silverstone, which is a short distance from their Milton Keynes base. Teaser images on social media indicated the car will feature more red this weekend as they mark their 20th season in F1.

Doohan to run in practice again

Alpine announced Jack Doohan will make his second appearance in a free practice session on Friday when he takes over Pierre Gasly’s car for first practice. As he previously drove Ocon’s car in Canada, where rain limited his running to just three laps, Doohan’s latest appearance will complete the team’s obligation to run a junior driver in each of their cars during the season.

Two other drivers, Oliver Bearman and Franco Colapinto, will also participate in the first practice session, for Haas and Williams respectively.

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madness, what a race! #f1 #austriangp #fyp #trending #pourtoi #landonorris #maxverstappen #crash #redbullring

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Comment of the day

PlosslF1 takes issue with Helmut Marko’s insistence Max Verstappen should not have been penalised last weekend:

This from Marko is why Max needs to get away from Red Bull, if you don’t learn from your mistakes your doomed to repeat them.

And as for “no real danger” this has got to be one of the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard, you can be injured in a crash doing as little as 5mph, let alone doing 60-70mph with the cars liable to be thrown in the air due to being open wheeled.

In a way this has made me angry as what sort of message does it show to up an coming drivers, and I don’t mean just racing drivers…

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Troma, Chris Preston and Marcia Simon!

Author information

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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30 comments on “Ecclestone recommended Briatore to “desperate” De Meo for Alpine role”

  1. title (source)


    Whilst a riveting read, I don’t think it justifies running it twice.

    1. This site’s never readproof.
      I like that they make a typo on a copy/paste:

      « And there are enough saints in the prand prix circus. »

      1. That and the storms of copy and pasted teams press releases, with little to no commentary or color, are why I don’t subscribe any more.

        1. I personally don’t do anything different depending on typos or copy pasted press releases, however I won’t pay money for f1 related stuff, so I don’t pay for f1 tv, I either watch on the free tv delayed or free streams, or websites that show full race replays, and for example “the race”, a different website similar to this is also one I follow and read articles of, earlier on it was possible to make comments, sometimes there’s some ratings or opinions about drivers to argue about, but now they restricted comments to subscribers, so I just won’t comment there, I don’t support that kind of practices.

          1. Indeed, I don’t understand what kind of people are willing to pay to have basic freedom of speech. They didn’t add value for subscribers, but have taken away things from the rest. So you have to pay them to help them generate traffic by writing comments (!?), and even they podcast becomes more of “premium” feature (in times when listening to all popular podcast is absolutely free). Weird company, but that’s their problem, if they choose absolute greed over relevance.

        2. Even though otherwise I think that’s also a good site.

    2. @cairnsfella Apologies, my mistake there, have corrected.

      1. @keithcollantine It was a tongue in cheek comment. I didn’t consider the consequences.

  2. I can’t help but notice that Briatore and Ecclestone appear these days as disheveled,unshaven hobos, fresh from a public bench nap (no offense to hobos). I thought that we were done with these comic book villains, these slovenly felons. I could spit.

    1. Making fun of peoples looks is the least intellectual thing a person can do. It’s juvenile, off putting, and actually gives them support from people who would otherwise have disdain for them.

      Briatore is a cheat and a fraud but I hope he turns Alpine around. Ecclestone is such yesterdays-news that I don’t even care what he has to say. Just for the record, Briatore is 74 and Ecclestone is 93. I hope I make it to 93 years old!

      1. José Lopes da Silva
        3rd July 2024, 10:25

        “actually gives them support from people who would otherwise have disdain for them.”

        No, it doesn’t. It never does. The people who would otherwise have disdain for them either laugh and agree, increasing their disdain for them, or just ignore.

        The people who support them would support them anyway. The only issue is that they take those jokes personally, as if it were directed at themselves.

        You don’t care that Briatore is a cheat is a fraud and you don’t care the huge disrepute he brought. Don’t say you have “disdain” for him. I don’t hope he turns Alpine around. I hope he leaves. “I think that guy is awful but that’s the guy we need”. This is not disdain.

        I also hope to make it to 93 years old and I would be glad if Ecclestone behaved like the emmeritus pope Benedict behaved.

        1. You just proved my point!

          1. José Lopes da Silva
            4th July 2024, 15:07

            No. I just proved, by your mute answer, that you just admire Briatore and you’d like to put the “blame” for it on others. Don’t ashame your yourself for admiring Briatore. No one is cancelling you! Be brave, puff your chest out in wind!
            People who disdain for them clap the making fun or ignore it. They don’t change their opinion on it.

    2. “fresh from a public bench nap (no offense to hobos)”
      None taken :)

    3. There’s an Italian term, sprezzatura, which the Oxford English Dictionary has defined as “studied carelessness”. It usually applies to the idea of well-designed fashion that is worn slightly off/nonchalantly. I think this is what Flavio is going for but he looks less studied and just careless at this point.

  3. Of course! Who else would have done so? He probably said to De Meo “you need a guy that could get things done”.

  4. In the voice of Victor Meldrew “I Dont Believe It” thanks for COTD Keith. I said to myself many years ago if I ever get COTD for the nonsense I spout I would subscribe, so I resurrected my old account and subscribed.
    After 16 years of visiting this site I think its about time I helped to keep it rolling.

    1. 16 years? Stop it, you’re making me feel old even thinking about it.

    2. Congrats on COTD! I’m also a grey-haired member of this site xD probably around the same time as you, 2008.

      That being said, I disagree with your last bit of your post. You can indeed get injured even in almost slow motion, but contact in such scenario in motorsport is just fine… you need to think about the relative speed between the two, it’s not like one is doing 60 and the other is standing still… they are both doing the same sort of speed, and the worst consequence of such contact is basically what we saw between Lando and Max: two punctures. Otherwise, you’d not even notice it… As an example, see Perez vs Piastri at the beginning: much faster speed, but the relative is still low between the two, the only consequence being a damaged sidepod…

      1. Hey Fer no.65, Iam pretty sure I remember you from back then on that excellent blog, F1 Insight ;-) along with Alinora…
        The 5mph was a bit on the hyperbole side but not beyond the realms of the impossible if you consider someone hitting your front wheels at that speed and you dont see it coming and your gripping the wheel, wheel does a sudden 90 degree and its a sprained wrist/thumb at the least. If you own force feedback wheel your know what I mean.
        What grinded my gears though :) was the throw away nature of the comment when things like this can influence youngsters in lower categories, you see it all the time with Footballers behaviour being replicated in Junior Sunday Football leagues.
        Then there’s the classic when a new driver with a car full of mates getting pulled over by the Police for dodgy driving and they say “Who do you think you are…Max Verstappen” or a current driver of the day…. err.. not that its happened to me..

    3. Wow, that’s an interesting occurance to subscribe when you get COTD, especially after so many years!

    4. Here since 2009 !

  5. RE: the cynical tweet I was wondering why Silverstone, my first thought was being in England near the bases would be sensible to chuck the juniors in but now you’ve got me wondering…

    If Briatore manages to turn Alpine around I’ll be very surprised. I wonder if this is they hail mary play before the sale.

  6. Derek Edwards
    3rd July 2024, 13:08

    Counting down to the “Ecclestone says Briatore return great news for Formula One” article…

    It took longer than I thought, but still…

    1. Ahah, indeed, I remember reading something like that in the briatore article!

  7. The more angles I see of the Max/Lando incident the more that I see that it was blatantly Lando’s fault. Max left a generous car’s width and then Lando clumsily turned into Max not once but twice…

    How is that not completely obvious to everyone?

    1. It’s what you want to see so Lando fans see this side and the racefans see Max side.
      It’s always hard to conclude something if you not a racing driver.

    2. Verstappen always races hard, there were at least 2 car widths when he began turning left and there was barely 1 when they touched.

      Oh, but one thing: either you are right and the stewards are wrong, or viceversa, you can’t have it both ways, here on this site we have people who think stewards can do no wrong, while I’ve seen several questionable calls over the years.

      1. Verstappen always races hard, there were at least 2 car widths when he began turning left and there was barely 1 when they touched.

        Began turning left, you say? I thought it was a right-hand corner. Maybe someone mirrored the video.

    3. If all you’re doing is looking at a freeze frame, sure there’s a cars width, but you have to think about a cars trajectory, there is just no where for Lando to go but off the track.

      My take has always been that Max was not letting Lando around the outside there no matter what because he knows what you’re saying is exactly what it looks like. As he says, he doesn’t turn after he breaks. He’ll get away with every trick he can.

      It’s no fault of his, but it’s a certain mentality. I like how Brundle says Lando will need to be more crafty if he wants to beat Max, which is true.

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