Once banned for life by Formula 1, Flavio Briatore is back in an executive role for Alpine

June 21, 2024

Once banned for life by Formula 1, Flavio Briatore is back in an executive role for Alpine

Briatore was suspended for instructing Nelson Piquet Jr. to crash during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix

Flavio Briatore was banned by Formula 1 for telling Nelson Piquet to crash during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. (Photo by Clive Rose – Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)More

Flavio Briatore is back in Formula 1.

The former Benetton and Renault executive has been hired as an executive adviser for Alpine, Renault’s current factory team. Briatore, 74, was banned for life from Formula 1 before that suspension was overturned on appeal in 2013.

Briatore was banned from Formula 1 because of Renault’s purposeful crashing scandal in 2008. He told Nelson Piquet Jr. to crash on purpose during the Singapore Grand Prix so that teammate Fernando Alonso could win. The incident quickly became known as “Crashgate.”


Piquet crashed early in the race right before the pit window opened for teams. Alonso had pitted earlier in the race and took over the lead as the race leaders at the time of Piquet’s crash hit pit road. Alonso, who had started 15th, went on to win the race.

A year later after he was removed from his seat, Piquet said he was told to purposely crash the car. The FIA immediately investigated Piquet’s claims and charged Renault with race fixing in September of 2009. Renault was eventually given a suspended two-year disqualification from the series pending any further rules breaches — the team wasn’t actually kicked out of F1 — and Briatore, Renault’s managing director at the time, was banned for life.

Briatore was previously convicted in an Italian court on multiple fraud counts in the 1980s. He took over as Benetton’s managing director in the late 1980s and continued to work for the team after Renault purchased the team in 2000.

Alpine is in the midst of a miserable start to the 2024 Formula 1 season. The team ranks eighth of 10 in the constructor’s standings as Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon have scored just five points combined this season. Gasly and Ocon have been plagued by a lack of speed and mechanical issues, and they’ve also not gotten along together on the track. Ocon is leaving the team at the end of the season and is considered a candidate to drive for Haas alongside Ollie Bearman in 2025.