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Briatore: No decision yet on 2026 engine project

Briatore: No decision yet on 2026 engine project
© Reuters
Alpine's new F1 advisor, Flavio Briatore, is keeping options open regarding Renault potentially discarding its engine plans for 2026.

Alpine's new F1 advisor, Flavio Briatore, is keeping options open regarding Renault potentially discarding its engine plans for 2026.

"I don't comment on these kinds of rumours," Alpine team boss Bruno Famin expressed to Canal Plus in Barcelona, regarding the ongoing speculation.

Briatore, formerly at the helm during the Renault factory team's more successful earlier times, has been brought back by Renault CEO Luca de Meo to tackle the team's current performance issues.

"I'm looking at the whole situation now," Briatore, aged 74, shared with Sonntagsblick newspaper. "I'll quickly find out where the problems are."

"I'm returning thanks to Luca. I wouldn't have done it with anyone who was previously at the top of the Renault group," Briatore explained to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"He is one of the geniuses we exported from Italy, a fantastic person who wants results right away. He's not getting them and so he took someone who knows how to get results. More or less that's how the whole thing started."

Surprisingly, at the challenging Barcelona circuit, Alpine's 2024 car showed unexpected improvements. "Now we have to understand why," Pierre Gasly said with a smile.

"I wish I could give you the answer, but I don't have it."

Historically, Renault has struggled to produce a competitive 'hybrid' engine for over a decade. With even more emphasis on electric elements for the 2026 regulations, rumors suggest Alpine might resort to using Red Bull or Mercedes engines.

"I will be the boss's advisor and will do whatever I can to help the team win races," Briatore committed. "Therefore I will do what I know how to do."

Regarding whether this could mean abandoning their own works engine, he clarified to La Repubblica newspaper, "There is no decision and no ongoing negotiations."

"We are evaluating all options to become competitive again."

However, Famin expressed his exasperation with the speculation. "We don't know who makes the rumours, but one thing is certain - they are extremely destabilising for the team," he stated. "We are looking for every opportunity to develop the team's performance as quickly as possible."

Briatore, alongside similar recent comments made by Famin and Renault CEO de Meo, also confirmed there are no plans to sell the team.

"100 percent not," Briatore affirmed in Barcelona.

His role also includes advising on the 2025 driver lineup, with Gasly likely retaining his position.

Regarding the second seat, former F1 driver Ralf Schumacher expressed hope that Briatore's past connection with Michael Schumacher could benefit young Mick's return to racing.

"Flavio wants to see performance first," Ralf mentioned to Auto Bild. "That is crucial. But it is certainly not a disadvantage that there are still good contacts with the family."

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Flavio Briatore at the Abu Dhabi GP on November 26, 2023
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