Flavio Briatore back in Formula One as Alpine advisor

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The controversial Flavio Briatore has returned to Formula One as Alpine's executive advisor.

Briatore was issued a lifetime ban from taking part in F1 for overseeing the Crashgate scandal at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

At that event then-team boss Briatore instructed Nelson Piquet Jr. to crash on purpose in order to trigger a safety car which would help teammate Fernando Alonso win the race.

Briatore's ban was overturned by the FIA on appeal in 2013.

Renault's F1 team, now called Alpine, has brought Briatore back into the fold.

Alpine's announcement said Briatore will "predominantly focus on top level areas of the team including: scouting top talents and providing insights on the driver market, challenging the existing project by assessing the current structure and advising on some strategic matters within the sport."

Briatore was team boss when Alonso won Renault's last two world titles in 2005 and 2006.

Alpine is facing a difficult time in F1 this season.

The French manufacturer's team has fallen woefully short of its ambitions of being a title contender since returning to the grid in 2016.

This year Alpine has found itself scraping around at the bottom end of the order, prompting rumours that company CEO Luca de Meo is considering ending Renault's commitment to building its own engine and taking over a customer supply from 2026 onwards.