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Briatore back in paddock amid rumours of future role

Rumours continue to mount about Flavio Briatore and a major future role for the Italian in formula one.

At Silverstone last weekend, the former Renault boss – banned for life by the FIA amid the crash-gate scandal last year – was once again spotted in the paddock.

It was his third appearance in five races and less than eight weeks, including his famous visit to Monaco and then his stroll on the Valencia grid.

Briatore was wearing a VIP paddock pass, which can only be issued by his friend, business partner and F1’s chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.

British grand prix winner Mark Webber, still managed by Briatore, gave the flamboyant Italian a mention in the post-race press conference.

“I spoke to Flavio last night and he said ‘Mark, just make a good start’,” said the Australian.

A deal with the FIA means Briatore, 60, can resume a direct operational role in F1 in 2013, and speculation is hinting at a role alongside Ecclestone in the area of sponsorship.

Another bearer of a VIP paddock pass at Silverstone was McLaren chairman Ron Dennis, who is reportedly in trouble with the BBC for jokingly cutting the wire to Eddie Jordan’s earpiece live on television after the race.