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If you were looking at fixing Formula 1’s reputation and overall package, why not get the effusive and enigmatic Italian and former team boss Flavio Briatore? That’s what F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone told team in Hungary last week.

It seems that Ecclestone thought that having Flavio back in F1 working in a special group focused on improving F1 might be a good idea. According to AUTOSPORT, he later recanted in the German press.

Regardless, Mercedes whip-cracker, Niki Lauda (An elderly F1 fan), says the sport needs Briatore like it needs another DRS-ish system.

“Why do we need Flavio?” said Lauda. “Bernie is the man in charge, and he should stay in charge.

“I think we should think together with Bernie, as he is the master of what we can improve.”

He’s right, of course, the sport is ran by many smart people who have many smart ideas on how best to improve the racing program but all of those people have personal interests and this is where it have been good to have Ecclestone or even a removed party such as Briatore to make a decision that all teams must live by.

Many years ago, when the team were threatening to leave the sport under the banner of FOTA (Formula One Teams Association), Ecclestone said something that has always remained true. He said that the teams could never agree with each other no matter what they tired to do because of the differing self-interests each team has. I’m paraphrasing here as Ecclestone said it much more succinctly and with a measure of bravado.

In the end, he’s proven to be right and the only person in recent memory who has gotten all the teams together on one goal is Ecclestone himself. He’s used divide and conquer as well as unification tactics when the sport needed it.

For Niki, the sport needs tweaks, not big Flavio-style panache. Lauda suggested the recent rein-pulling on race stewards has paid dividends:

“I have to say the change that we had with the stewards, to not get involved as much as before, was a great move,” said Lauda.

“Even the Sauber in the middle of the road [in Hockenheim] was exciting. If there was a safety car, everyone would have got bored.

“So Hockenheim was an improvement, and in Hungary there was no investigation as there were a lot of things that could have been looked at. It is going in the right direction.”

If Flavio would bring too much “spice” to the show, is Niki not thinking of enough to get F1 back on the radar? Maybe it’s a combination of both but to be honest, Flavio might be an interesting character to have in the meetings for levity alone. No one can wear a mankini and get away with it like Flavio and that is worth a seat at the table alone.

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • Andreas

    Bringing Flavio in to improve the show…? No thanks. He did his bit back in 2008-2009, and it didn’t help. Thankfully, according to AMuS, Bernie has already shelved the idea. He also said that there will be no standing restarts next season. Although I can’t say how he could decide that (even though I agree with him on the restarts) – I thought regulations were outside his control? But Bernie will always be Bernie – if he can buy himself out of a criminal charge in Germany, who knows what else he can decide?

  • wait… could it be that Bernie is selecting his successor in Flavio?

    • HaHaHa….

    • Andreas

      God help us…

    • Bernie’s successor will come in the form of a management team and group. Either a nice way to start a new generation of F1 or death by committee. We’ll see. I take a lot of heat for being a fan of Bernie Ecclestone but I do like the guy and credit him for very much of F1’s success. It hasn’t been without bumps in the road but the guy is a shrewd businessman and I like him. :) He’s a lot of fun for a quote too. :)

  • MIE

    If Flavio is the answer, I don’t want to know the question.

    • The Captain

      Apparently from the clickbait ads I’ve been seeing for the last two months featuring a pic of The Flav in the mankini, the question is “15 hot celebrities with ugly spouses”.

      The best part was he wasn’t even in the list, they just used a pic of The Flav.

      • “How I got a hot chick half my age with this one weird trick”

        • Tom Firth

          LOL

  • Rapierman

    “Even the Sauber in the middle of the road [in Hockenheim] was exciting. If there was a safety car, everyone would have got bored.” Seriously? If that were the case, I would have emphatically suggested land mines, figure-eight racing and demonlition derbies! Give me a break! 9_9

  • jcm

    can’t say i agree with lauda about the sauber, but he’s right about the flav. that man brought the sport into disrepute, and show utter contempt for the whole notion of car racing. it’s delusional to think that someone like that would be good for the sport.

    hire whoever it is that markets mcdonald’s~that man or woman is a miracle worker selling a nasty product. compared to chicken mcnuggets, f1 is steak and lobster.

    • jcm

      *showed

      (egads)

  • Well, I don’t know… Briatore is a shrewd publicity man. Maybe he can generate more publicity for Formula 1.

    On the other hand his morality is not that good, convictions in the eighties in Italy, doubts about driver aids in the nineties and the junior junior thing in the noughties.

    Hmmmmm, in the end it’s maybe better to stay away from him.

  • Wikipedia has a paragraph about his views on the future of F1 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flavio_Briatore):

    Stance on the future of F1

    Briatore has always spoken out about his desires to see F1 provide better entertainment. In 1994 he said: “All the team owners are orientated towards the technical side rather than the entertainment side, and this is a big fault. Every meeting that I go to, people are talking about pistons and suspensions. Nobody goes to a race to see that kind of thing… People come to see Schumacher and Senna racing each other.”

    Twelve years later his feelings were much the same: “The people in charge should be businessmen, as they are in Hollywood, not ex-engineers. Nothing costs more, and delivers less entertainment, than hidden technology. And that’s what engineers love most of all.”

    In 2007 he even went so far as to suggest that Grands Prix be split into two separate races as in the GP2 series.

    On 20 March 2014 he said it was wrong to let the car manufacturers succeed in their push for the all-new regulations, featuring ‘greener’ engines that use less fuel. “They delegated the writing of rules to engineers who do not care about the fans or entertainment, If Formula One does not change again in the near future, then the audience will be lost. Look at the comments on the internet, in blogs, on Twitter — they did not like the Australian Grand Prix. It was an indecipherable and depressing show. This is unacceptable and now we have chaos” said Briatore. [40]

    On 12 June 2014 he said: “I do not like this new Formula One. It’s not our Formula 1.” “He pointed a finger at cars that “do not make a noise”, drivers having to “save fuel” and “fake overtaking”. He added: “It is no longer a sport of gladiators, it is a sport of accountants.”

  • Matthew Jagusak

    If they really wanted to bring back F! to it’s previous glory, they should adopt the rules from the late 60’s/early 70’s. Give basic car dimensions, choose an engine displacement and let the teams develop cars to those rules. Fuel economy regulations are bullshit. It was interesting when you had V8’s, V12’s, and turbo 4’s and 6’s racing against each other. The cars looked different and the races were fabulous. Overtaking and drafting were an art form and the DRIVER was responsible for getting his car home in one piece.It really started to go down hill when semi-automatic transmissions came in and has continued ever since. Why don’t they just put all these guys in Formula Fords and let them have at it. It would be much more interesting for everybody.

  • Briatore’s done something right. Pulling Heidi Klum in her prime and his current wife whilst rocking 100lbs of man-gut, a euro-mullet, orange-glo spray tan complexion, and a banana hammock is no small feat.

    Dude is a walking nightmare.

    • I didn’t know euro mullet, so that is my expression of the day.