F1: Flavio Briatore backs Azerbaijan Grand Prix in Baku as an 'F1 kind of place'
Briatore helped broker a deal that will see F1 hit the streets of Baku next season
Monday 26 May 2014
Flavio Briatore has no doubt Formula One's latest adventure into new territory will prove a resounding success.
Former Benetton and Renault team principal Briatore was the man who helped broker a deal that will see the sport take to the streets of Azerbaijan capital Baku some time next year.
F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed a contract is in place for the sport to venture into the oil-rich nation, thanks to Briatore.
The controversial Italian, involved in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix race-fixing scandal that resulted in his exit from F1 a year later, said: "If it is possible to do something for Formula One, I am very happy."
Speaking in the paddock at the Monaco Grand Prix, Briatore added: "I have a lot of friends there (in Baku), have had for many, many years, and we hope it happens in 2015.
"It's a super place, the city is amazing, like a little Dubai, and more importantly everything is new.
"All the construction is new, the heart of the town has been completely renovated, so you have the flavour of the old days and of the oil money.
"The hotels are also amazing, the restaurants, all the facilities. It's an F1 kind of place."
Briatore, though, has rejected any suggestion of a potential return to F1.
One avenue for Briatore is Caterham, apparently put up for sale by owner Tony Fernandes, who now needs as much money as possible to fund the return to the Barclays Premier League of his true love, QPR.
But a dismissive Briatore believes the running costs in F1 these days are prohibitive as he said: "The problem is too many teams are available.
"With this Formula One at the moment I don't think it makes any sense to have a team.
"What you are sure of is the team is losing money, and I'm not interested in buying any team that loses money.
"If you are very rich you want to come in and invest in Formula One. But I'm not very rich, and I want to keep what I have."
Ecclestone, meanwhile, has poured cold water on the hopes of Magny Cours circuit boss Serge Saulnier of a return to the calendar for next year of the French Grand Prix.
The race has been absent from F1 since 2008, yet Saulnier recently claimed a deal could be "done for the summer".
Ecclestone, however, said: "They'll knock at the door, but I don't think we can do anything."
Crystal Palace manager latest: Malky Mackay ruled out due to messy departure from previous club Cardiff
Sami Khedira to Arsenal: Midfield omitted from Real Madrid squad for Spanish Super Cup
David Gold furious after Carlton Cole parody account mocks up a picture of West Ham chairman as a suspect in the Madeleine McCann case
Paul Scholes: Manchester United need five experienced players who can turn round a desperate situation
Angel Di Maria latest: Manchester United target is Real Madrid's 'best player', says Diego Simeone
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 Kajieme Powell: Missouri police release video footage of second man killed by officers
- 4 Paul Scholes: Manchester United need five experienced players who can turn round a desperate situation
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women