More Ferrari visits add fuel to Briatore rumors UPDATE #2
(GMM) Flavio Briatore has refused to simply rule out speculation linking him with a role at Ferrari.
Recent rumors have suggested the former Renault team boss could be signed shortly by the Maranello based as a consultant, in view of possibly replacing Stefano Domenicali when the 'crashgate' ban lifts in 2013.
The flamboyant Italian was asked about the speculation by Onda Cero radio in the wake of last weekend's Hungarian grand prix.
"I am a Ferrari tifoso (supporter), but in life you never know -- anything can happen," said Briatore, who is still involved in the management of Fernando Alonso's career.
In 2005 and 2006, Alonso won his two world championships at Renault under Briatore rule.
Briatore insisted: "I think Fernando Alonso can win the championship at Ferrari without Flavio Briatore.
"Fernando deserves to be the best driver in history. He has decided to be with Ferrari until the end of his career and I hope he can get the cars to win more titles than (Michael) Schumacher," he added.
Briatore said he rates the newly 30-year-old Spaniard higher than any of his current rivals.
"If he had that car," he said, referring to the Red Bull RB7, "Fernando would be winning by a huge margin. He is one of the few great drivers with Senna, Prost and Schumacher."
As for the comparison with seven time world champion Schumacher, Briatore said: "They are two totally different drivers.
"Fernando is a little better, because when Michael becomes depressed, he falls back, while in the same situation Fernando's concentration sharpens."06/11/11 Ferrari's media guru and Fernando Alonso have dismissed rumors linking Flavio Briatore with the top job at the famous team.
The Dutch website f1today.nl this week said Briatore, the disgraced and banned former Renault team boss who is still Spaniard Alonso's manager, is "in talks with Ferrari" about replacing current principal Stefano Domenicali.
The report quoted a source saying president Luca di Montezemolo is "furious" with Ferrari's progress in 2011 and wants to see more fundamental changes.
Alonso told Diario Sport newspaper in Canada that he knows nothing about the Briatore rumors.
"I am delighted with how everything is now," he insisted.
Ferrari spokesman Luca Colajanni was far less polite.
He referred to the Briatore rumors whilst discussing Ferrari's reluctance to let its drivers use the social networking site Twitter.
"I often have to deal with rumors spread on websites, of which I don't know the source," the Italian said at the FOTA fan forum in Montreal on Thursday.
"I can mention one (rumor) from a Dutch website, which is complete bullshit," he added.09/17/10 (GMM) Rumors linking Flavio Briatore with Ferrari have shifted into a higher gear. In July, it emerged that the disgraced, ousted and banned former Renault boss had visited the famous Italian team's Maranello headquarters.
The visit unleashed a flood of rumors, including talk of a possible consultancy role with Ferrari.
Now, according to the major German daily Die Welt, 60-year-old Italian Briatore has visited Ferrari no fewer than two more times in recent weeks.
Additionally, Briatore was in the Monza paddock last weekend, as was Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, and Fiat chiefs John Elkann and Sergio Marchionne.
Briatore was also seen inside the Ferrari pits.
Welt reports that the charismatic Italian is endeavoring to have his FIA ban reduced so that he can return to a direct operational role in F1 before 2013.
If successful, he could replace Stefano Domenicali as Ferrari's team boss, the newspaper said.
Briatore was asked about his Monza visit by German television Sky.
"I am meeting with Bernie (Ecclestone) and then flying back to London," he answered at the Italian circuit before the race.
"It's fantastic to be back, to see friends and to be in Italy," added Briatore. "Ferrari are on pole and everyone is happy. Just wonderful."
Briatore, who is Fernando Alonso's manager and former team boss at Renault, played down suggestions he is itching to return to F1.
"I'm feeling very good and I'm happy with the way things are," said Briatore.
To Italy's Sky Sport 24, he indicated that a return to formula one in a commercial role is more likely.
"We will see what happens in the future," said Briatore. "Next week I will not be in Singapore; I am also perfectly happy at home."