Jacques Villeneuve (left) is rumored to be supported in his F1 bid by Flavio Briatore (right)
The Italians don't play when it comes to tax evasion and financial crimes, with a special branch of the army called the Guardia di Finanza solely devoted to busting those who play with numbers. Flavio Briatore is one of the most recent big fish caught in the Guardia's net; his $22-million yacht, Force Blue, was impounded over the weekend off the coast of the Italian Riviera.
It's been a long, drawn-out affair extending back two years since the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. That's when then-Renault F1 chiefs Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds allegedly instructed their rookie driver Nelson Piquet Jr to crash on purpose and give the advantage to his world-champion wingman Fernando Alonso. The scandal erupted the following/last season when Piquet blew the whistle. Briatore and Symonds were summarily excommunicated from Formula One and any FIA-regulated racing series (which i
You didn't actually think we'd heard the last of Crashgate, did you? The scandal that rocked the Formula One racing world last season and well into the post-season involved the Renault F1 team, its driver Nelson Piquet, Jr. and its top executives Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds.
Flavio Briatore is out for blood. The flamboyant Italian billionaire and disgraced former director of the Renault Formula One team was kicked out of the sport by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) in the wake of the "Crashgate" affair involving Nelson Piquet Jr., but subsequently won an appeal in French courts overturning the FIA's ban (along with that of his cohort Pat Symonds) The courts upheld the argument made by Briatore's lawyers that the FIA's judicial process was corrupt
The World Motor Sports Council took only 90 minutes to reach a verdict in the case of Crashgate – wherein former driver Nelson Piquet, Jr. intentionally chucked his car into the wall at last year's Singapore GP to hand the win to Renault teammate Fernando Alonso. Realizing that Renault was contrite and that the company's disappearance from F1 would be bad for a lot of people, the WSMC handed the company a two-year suspended sentence. If Renault – and its people – keep clean unt
Flavio Briatore might have wished that he had been a little kinder to client and former Renault F1 driver Nelson Piquet. After Piquet was sacked for non-performance following the Hungarian Grand Prix this year, he sought revenge by saying that Briatore and team engineering director Pat Symonds instructed him to crash during last year's Singapore GP. The crash, done correctly, would cause the safety car to come out, and that would give teammate Fernando Alonso the best chance of winning the race.
Renault R29 F1 – Click above for a high-res image gallery
Not that we'd have any reason to, but if we had to make a list of the world's biggest playboys, Flavio Briatore would certainly rank in the top five. Certainly the biggest in the automotive industry. He's best known as team principal of Renault F1, but the Italian businessman also owns several beach clubs, night clubs and restaurants in Sardinia, Tuscany, Kenya and London, as well as an English football club and, having been a senior director for the Benetton clothing label, has his own fashion
Could supermodel Heidi Klum be a closet gearhead? Despite parting ways with Renault F1 bigwig Flavio Briatore, the camera-friendly celebrity appears to still have a thing for motorsports, having reportedly 'coptered in to chat with the Audi DTM crew at the EuroSpeedway over the weekend. Klum talked with the team, then walked around the starting grid and took in the race from the Audi Lounge over pit lane.