Flavio Briatore made a visit to Ferrari’s Maranello headquarters last week.
The news, revealed by Italian sources including Autosprint and La Gazzetta dello Sport, has unleashed a flood of rumours about the reason for the disgraced former Renault boss’ visit.
Briatore reportedly met with team boss Stefano Domenicali as well as Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo.
The 60-year-old is banned from having a direct operational role in formula one until 2013, but he remains Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso’s manager.
He also manages Mark Webber, rekindling suggestions that the disgruntled Australian driver might be eyeing a move to Ferrari, even though both he and Felipe Massa are under contract for 2011.
A sporting and commercial consultancy role with Ferrari is also rumoured, but more likely is a link with Briatore’s reported closeness to a role alongside F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone.
Also possible is that Briatore is sitting on the other side of the fence, having last year so stridently argued for leading teams to abandon Ecclestone and the FIA and set up a breakaway championship.
Amid Ecclestone’s burgeoning stance against the FOTA group, talks with F1’s most influential and famous team would therefore be a good place for Briatore to re-commence his campaign.
It is also possible that he was representing Ecclestone as talks for the 2013 Concorde Agreement commence, or that he was invited by Ferrari for his insight on the plans of the F1 supremo.
Autosprint also claims that Briatore is looking for a house in Bologna, less than an hour’s drive from Maranello.
© RIF | GMM