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Briatore confident in reviving Alpine's fortunes in two years

Briatore confident in reviving Alpine's fortunes in two years
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Flavio Briatore is confident he can propel the struggling Alpine team back into Formula 1's "top four" within "two years."

Flavio Briatore is confident he can propel the struggling Alpine team back into Formula 1's "top four" within "two years."

As the action commenced in Barcelona, the headline news was that the team's former successful yet controversial leader has been brought back by Renault CEO Luca de Meo as 'executive advisor'.

"Luca de Meo has put him there to stir up the hornet's nest, stir up trouble, change things, because Alpine has very serious problems," F1 broadcaster Antonio Lobato explained to DAZN.

"This is de Meo saying 'I'm hiring you as an advisor, but as an executive - meaning you're in charge'," he continued. "Get in there and please sort this out for me because the situation is terrifying."

Even Alpine's team principal Bruno Famin, who has been at the helm during the team's recent tumultuous period, acknowledges the necessity to heed the flamboyant 74-year-old Italian's advice.

"He's the advisor to the group CEO, but he will advise the team, and we are going to work and to talk permanently together, for sure," Famin stated.

For his part, Briatore expressed strong optimism about his capability to ameliorate Alpine's fortunes.

"It's not something that happened last night," he remarked regarding his new F1 role. "We've been talking about it for months."

"I have a great feeling with Luca, I think he's a genius. The only part missing is Formula 1, but I think I'm a genius in F1, so we found each other well," Briatore chuckled.

Indeed, Briatore managed highly successful phases at the Enstone-based team in its previous incarnations as Benetton and Renault, leading Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso to their inaugural F1 championships.

Although Briatore has been largely absent from F1 operations since his ban following the notorious 'crashgate' scandal, he has kept himself connected.

"I think you are less active than me," Briatore teased a reporter from French television network Canal Plus.

"I stayed in Formula 1. I am a F1 ambassador, I watch all the races," the Italian disclosed, who continues to manage Alonso's career.

"What I bring back is the culture of winning, the racing spirit. That's what allowed me to win with Renault and Benetton. That's what makes a team - the people. There is technology but also all the members of a team, all together. We can have Alpine in the top four in two years," he asserted confidently.

Alpine acknowledges that Briatore will also have a say in their future driver lineup, with Famin having already excluded Esteban Ocon from 2025 plans.

"That's a problem which is not a problem," Briatore commented.

"At the moment the problem is having a high-performance car. Pierre Gasly does the job well, and then we can put in a young man or not a young man. But it's not the priority. The priority is to have a competitive car and I hope that next season we will be on the path to do well."

There are also whispers that Briatore has initiated talks with Red Bull, Mercedes, Honda, and possibly Ferrari as Renault contemplates discontinuing its power unit program for 2026.

When pressed about these explosive rumors in Barcelona, team principal Famin was reluctant to delve into details.

"We know we are going to have some problems, which is just normal with this kind of very complex project," he noted. "But about these rumors, we just don't comment. We owe a lot of respect to everybody in Viry working on that project and the worst thing would be to comment."

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