The world’s press and reigning world champion team Renault have rejected reports that Flavio Briatore is set to retire at the end of 2006.
German tabloid ‘Bild’ and British celebrity magazine ‘Hello!’ claimed this week that the 57-year-old Italian, whose team principal’s contract with the French squad is due to expire, will not return to the formula one paddocks next year.
But, in response to the reports, prominent publications – including La Gazzetta dello Sport in Italy, broadsheet ‘The Guardian’ in Britain, Spanish sports newspaper AS and German broadcaster RTL – cited the information of official Renault team sources in denying the news.
”Renault rejected the media reports about Flavio Briatore’s resignation,” read a similar editorial in German magazine ‘Sport Bild’, explaining that Briatore had been misquoted.
Furthermore, it is understood that ‘Hello!’ magazine will publish a retraction and apology in its next issue.
Another specialist German publication, meanwhile – ‘Auto, Motor Und Sport’ – reported on Wednesday that Briatore is not only staying at Renault, but has now signed a new two-year deal.
France’s national sports newspaper ‘L’Equipe’ also spoke of a new Renault agreement for Briatore to the end of 2008, and even referred to an annual salary of about $3.8m.