Former F1 team executive Briatore in hospital with virus

Former Formula One team executive Flavio Briatore has reportedly been admitted to the hospital in Milan with coronavirus

MILAN —
Former Formula One team executive Flavio Briatore has reportedly been admitted to the hospital in Milan with coronavirus.

There has been no official statement from the the San Raffaele hospital but multiple reports in Italy say Briatore’s condition is serious though he is not in intensive care.

The 70-year-old Briatore had complained over the past month about the Italian government’s decision to close nightclubs again after the number of new virus cases started rising again. That included Briatore’s Billionaire club in Porto Cervo, which has emerged as a hotspot with about 60 staff members testing positive.

The flamboyant Italian also played soccer last week with friends, including Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, who has also tested positive for COVID-19.

Briatore was the team principal at F1 teams Benetton and Renault. He left F1 after being found guilty of ordering Nelson Piquet Jr. to deliberately crash his car to help teammate Fernando Alonso win the Singapore Grand Prix in 2008.

He was initially handed a life ban by governing body FIA but he took the matter to a French court and successfully overturned the punishment. However, he said he had no desire to return to a role in F1.

Briatore was also part-owner and chairman of English soccer club Queens Park Rangers from 2007-10.

The Italian businessman is also a friend of President Donald Trump, and attended his inauguration.

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