Flavio Briatore has rubbished speculation he is eyeing a return to Formula One management.
Recent rumours have linked the flamboyant former Renault boss, banned from F1 because of the 2009 ‘crashgate’ scandal, with a leading role at Ferrari.
But the Italian told Germany’s Auto Bild Motorsport: “I do not intend to return to Formula One as a team manager.
“Italy is the land of rumours,” said the 61-year-old millionaire. “That’s why I am always brought back in connection with Ferrari, but it’s nonsense.”
In the same interview, Briatore rubbished suggestions Sebastian Vettel might be an ideal next teammate at the Maranello based team for Fernando Alonso.
“I would never want them together,” insisted Briatore, who is still involved in the management of Spaniard Alonso’s career. “It would weaken the team by splitting it into two parts.”
Briatore admitted that he has been impressed with German Vettel, 24, in 2011.
“He is super strong with the right attitude and reminds me of Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso in that once they had their first title in the bag they then got stronger and more confident.”
On the topic of Schumacher, Briatore continued: “I’d rather reminisce about the Michael of Benetton and Ferrari. Now, he has been out for too long and is fighting to be among the top ten.
“That’s something I find quite sad,” he added.