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Formula 1 confirm Briatore return after 'crashgate' scandal

Having previously been banned from the sport, Flavio Briatore is back in Formula 1 to help build promoter and partner relationships.

After plenty of speculation, Flavio Briatore has returned to Formula 1 to help grow the sport on a commercial basis. With the 71-year-old Italian recently providing support in an unofficial capacity, his ongoing responsibilities have been confirmed in a brief statement issued by F1. "Flavio Briatore, in his capacity as a long-serving ambassador for Formula 1, will continue to support us in building our relationships with existing and potential promoters and partners, and develop commercial and entertainment collaborations as we continue to grow this incredible sport," read the statement. Posting about the development on his social media channels, former Benetton and Renault team boss Briatore declared himself to be "delighted". "I am pleased and honored to be able to continue to support the commercial and entertainment development of F1, the sport that I love and that has been such an important part of my professional life," he commented.

Briatore back in F1 after 'crashgate' ban

Briatore has officially been out of F1 since 2009, when the FIA suspended him for his involvement in the previous year's 'crashgate' scandal in Singapore. Renault's team boss at the time, Briatore was found guilty - along with technical chief Pat Symonds - of conspiring to manipulate the results of the race, in which Nelson Piquet Jr. crashed intentionally to bring out the Safety Car. Piquet Jr.'s teammate, Fernando Alonso, capitalised on the situation to take victory. Piquet Jr. was fired from the team midway through the 2009 season and revealed all, prompting an FIA investigation into the aforementioned race, which led to Briatore being banned for life and Symonds for five years. However, the bans were subsequently lifted; Symonds returned to the sport first, initially at Virgin Racing and Williams, before taking on the role of F1's Chief Technical Officer; Briatore has now followed in his commercial role.

RESULTS 2024 F1 Spanish Grand Prix - Qualifying