Flavio Briatore sees no reason to return to F1

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Flavio Briatore is not planning on making a return to Formula One in the near future despite protesting his innocence over the alleged race fixing at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

The former supremo worked with Benetton and Renault during his stint in Formula One, helping to launch the careers of Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso. However, he walked away from the sport following the race fixing scandal which saw Nelson Piquet Jr. crash on purpose in order to allow Alonso to win the race for Renault. In an interview with F1 Racing, Briatore has reinforced his innocence over the matter.

“There was no proof that I was involved in Singapore. Which is the reason I won in court. I’ve nothing more to say; I said it already at the time.”

Briatore also said that he had no trouble staying away from the sport, and that he would not be making a return any time soon.

“I was in Formula 1 for 20 years, won seven championships with two different teams, discovered the two big stars after Ayrton Senna: Schumi and Fernando.

“I know everything that’s going on and I know to have a team at this moment makes no sense financially. So, there is no reason for me to come back to F1.”

Quite whether Briatore really is done with F1 or not remains to be seen, but he does not appear to be burning to make a comeback.

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.