Bernie Ecclestone behind Alpine’s decision to hire Flavio Briatore

Bernie Ecclestone has revealed his involvement in the decision-making process to hire Flavio Briatore as he shares the talks he had with Alpine boss Luca de Meo

Bernie Ecclestone has revealed his involvement in the decision-making process to hire Flavio Briatore as he shares the talks he had with Alpine boss Luca de Meo.

While former F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone is no longer involved in the official running of the sport, his influence and expertise in facilitating good deals remains strong. The 93-year-old former F1 supremo, knew precisely the “bandit” for the job when Renault Group CEO Luca de Meo asked for advise on how to turn the Alpine team in the right direction.

The ideal candidate was Flavio Briatore, a man whose name in F1 is synonymous with both controversy and success and who is always one step away from redefining the status quo.

Briatore was not just one of the most controversial figures in Formula 1 but also the driving force behind Renault’s victories in world championships. However, the man who had spent 20 years in Formula 1 received a lifetime ban from the sport following the 2008 crash gate incident.

The Italian disappeared from the F1 scene until a French judge recently decided that a lifetime ban ought to be lifted, and as a result, Briatore is currently working closely with Luca de Meo. His decision to make a return as Alpine’s executive advisor was seen as a bold one due to his track record for reversing status quo and delivering results.

The former team principal has been asked to assist in getting Alpine back to fighting for podiums now that he is back with the team. Meo claims Briatore is the perfect man for the job as the Italian led Renault to four drivers’ championships and constructors titles.

This comes as Alpine faces a steep decline in recent years and is currently struggling to make footing at the bottom of the grid. But given that the team needs a turnaround, Bernie Ecclestone reveals the details of his conversation with Meo, explaining why the team needs a “bandit” for a return to the podium.

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“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.

“Flavio’s great strength has always been: ‘Keep the discussions short, do and think big! You don’t need friends in Formula 1, you just need success.”

When Flavio Briatore was invited as a guest on Radio Rai on ‘La politica nel calcio’, he shared his goals and where he wanted the team to be.

“In 2026, I will win races; the Alpine will be on the podium; then, I don’t know how many we will be able to do,” he said. “This year we have many handicaps; we are reshaping the whole team.

“I had full powers from Luca de Meo. I’m used to using them and I guarantee that in two seasons we’ll be talking about podiums.”

Meo appears to have handed Briatore all the powers required to get the squad back to its winning ways.

The only thing the team needs is a second driver since Esteban Ocon is set to leave and they have launched a bid to sign Carlos Sainz, a driver who has the potential to play a major role in helping the team repeat its Fernando Alonso-era success.

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