AUGUST 30, 2006
The future of Flavio Briatore
For some time there have been a number of differing views about the future of Renault F1 team boss Flavio Briatore with conflicting rumours about the future of the controversial Italian. What is known for certain is that his current contract runs out at the end of the season and it has yet to be renewed. What is also known is that there is a new management at Renault, and at Renault F1 and that there has been some tension between Briatore and the new folks in Boulogne-Billancourt. We have heard a number of rumours suggesting that US accountant Brian Rall, who has been brought in by Carlos Ghosn to make Renault F1 as efficient as possible, has rocked the boat considerably and is at loggerheads with Briatore. On top of that Briatore himself said recently that things may be about to change when he revealed that he had had an operation for kidney cancer, something which made him look at his life in a different way. These remarks laid the foundation for a move. The German newspaper Bild-Zeitung quoted Flavio as telling Hello! magazine that "I am not coming back to F1 next year. It is tiring to be on the road all the time. In addition I feel that I have achieved my goals".
Bild goes on to speculate that Pat Symonds would take over as the boos of the team.
According to Renault F1, the quotes attributed to Briatore were "apparently" not what he said.
"He was talking about the tough F1 lifestyle, and this was elaborated into this quote," said a spokesman.
Elsewhere in the newspapers, The Guardian in London is reporting that "Flavio Briatore has said he will stay on as Renault team principal next year when the emerging Finnish star Heikki Kovalainen will partner Giancarlo Fisichella in the driver line-up".
So do we believe Flavio or Flavio?
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