Flavio Briatore first came to prominence while working in Milan in the Italian stock exchange.
During this period, he met Luciano Benetton, founder of the Benetton clothing company.
The two became friends and eventually business partners. When Benetton opened his first five stores in the United States in 1979, he appointed Briatore as director of the group's American operations.
After previously expressing to have no interest in sport Luciano Benetton appointed Briatore commercial director of his Formula One team, Benetton Formula Ltd.
Briatore was promoted to managing director and set about turning Benetton into a competitive team.
In 2000, Renault announced its plans to return to Formula One with the purchase of the Benetton Formula team. Briatore returned as managing director and team principal after being ousted by David Richards. The team raced as Benetton-Renault in 2001 before becoming Renault F1 in 2002.
Briatore has a reputation as a talent-scout, and probably his greatest 'find' has been Fernando Alonso. Briatore met with the teenage Spaniard in 1999. As his manager, Briatore secured him a race drive with Minardi in 2001, and promoted him to test-driver for Renault in 2002.
Renault won both championships in 2005, with Alonso winning the drivers' title, but he turned his back on Briatore to sign for rivals McLaren for 2007. Despite this, Renault and Alonso retained their titles in 2006.
Briatore helped John Gregory purchase Mikele Leigertwood leading to rumours that the rumoured investment in QPR was about to come to fruition.
A day later on September 1 QPR announced Briatore's arrival along with his friend in Formula One Bernie Ecclestone.
Briatore stepped down on 17/08/2011
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