Flavio Briatore planning to Formula 1 return?

Flavio Briatore’s fresh attendance in the Monaco GP could well have been a mixture of both business and enjoyment, according to reports.

Even though Briatore is prohibited from working in F1 until 2013 for his part in the Crash gate scandal, he may already be planning his come back. Finland’s Turun Sanomat reports that Briatore detained “subtle negotiations” with F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone in Monaco earlier this month and he was again present during the Monaco GP weekend. The article said that although 79-year-old Ecclestone is not planning to stop working, he does intend to delegate some of his responsibilities and “sees Briatore as a natural successor”.

Turun Sanomat also cites British sources as saying Briatore will shortly be accountable for the attainment of new sponsors with the Ecclestone-led Formula One Management. Ecclestone said last month that his personal friend and business partner could soon “take up a role in the promotion of formula one”. No unfamiliar person to controversy, Briatore recently had his $25 million yacht seized by Italian police over allegations he owes several million dollars in unpaid taxes.

Aside from unpaid tax which largely results from chartering the boat, which has a crew of 17, at $300,000 a week, it is also claimed it refueled in EU waters without paying VAT which could total as much as one million dollars.

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