Briatore to Leave F1 in 2010

Renault might not follow Honda's path and leave the sport very soon, but they will have to find a proper replacement for their current Managing Director soon enough. As presented in the Italian media throughout the weekend, Flavio Briatore looks set to leaving Formula 1 in a couple of years. The Italian admitted he will not stick around long enough to become new managing director of Ferrari in the near future.

“I like to beat Ferrari but when my team doesn't win, being Italian, I obviously support Ferrari. But I don't think I will go to work at Maranello, especially as in two years I will stop,” Briatore was quoted as saying to the Italian media earlier this weekend.

Speculations surrounding a possible switch to Ferrari commenced shortly after Briatore's comments in the closing stages of 2008. The Italian then favored Felipe Massa and Ferrari to winning the world titles ahed of Lewis Hamilton and McLaren Mercedes respectively.

However, Briatore confirmed he will be staying with Renault for at least 2 more years – curiously enough, the exact period of time Fernando Alonso signed for with the French manufacturer – after which he'll retire from the sport. Should Renault also have to find a replacement for Alonso in 2011 – as the two are known to have a very close relationship within the F1 paddock – is yet to be decided.

Until then, the Italian seems more focused than ever to get Renault back on the winning streak, especially since the French team has been granted an important engine power boost by the FIA on Friday. With the extra horsepower, Renault are believed to become a title contender in 2009, a position which Briatore knows all too well in Formula 1.

Following his great success with Benetton in the mid-90s – having Michael Schumacher by his side - Briatore took on a Managing Director job with Renault in 2001. He has won 4 titles in the last 8 years – 2 manufacturers' and 2 drivers', all through Fernando Alonso – with the French manufacturer.
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