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GP Week : Issue 48
>>F1 INSIGHT the calendar and the location of the races.” But what of Michel himself? As a man who started out in team management, has the budget cap and opening of the grid for 2010 got his sense tingling for a return to the spectre of race team management? “No,” he states, matter of fact. “No, absolutely none whatsoever. I’ve done it, it was good enough and I am much happier organising a series.” His comments come after rumours linking him with a potential taking over from Flavio Briatore when the flamboyant Italian retires from his position at the Renault F1 Team. A nice rumour, says Michel, but nowhere near true. “That’s a very good rumour, but never… over my dead body. No, it’s a different world and honestly first of all there’s no question of Flavio retiring, second there’s no question of me taking on whatever job and third you know I think between the main series, Asia and GP3 I’ve got enough work and I am not interested in shifting to something else. I think this is an incredibly interesting job, challenging and always involving. So the answer is no I won’t move.” Interestingly, Michel has always had one arm in driver management. He’s been responsible for the likes of Jarno Trulli, Mark Webber and Heikki Kovalainen and has steered them all to F1 success. It’s something of which he remains very proud, even if today he’s handed over such responsibilities to his brother, Mathieu. “I would say driver management is probably the most difficult business in the F1 environment. You’ve got to be very humble, you never know what’s around you, but at the end of the day of course you’re happy. First because generally you know them since they were very, very young and you’ve been helping them to develop and obviously prove successful. And second you create and you develop some very strong relationships with them. All of these guys are my friends now and on top of that I’m incredibly happy for them and what happens in their life. Over the last five years, Bruno Michel has gone from driver manager and former F1 team boss, to the man who has launched the careers of some of the most recognisable faces in modern day Formula 1. With GP2 going from strength to strength and the all-new GP3 promising to take on a similar success story in Michel’s hands, he reflects on the twists and turns the last few years have handed him. “You know, you don’t know what life is going to hand to you. Fortunately you have no idea what is going to happen, and what you think is going to happen never happens. It’s always something different. The motor racing environment is so rich in terms of projects and personalities that there’s no limitation to what can be done. That’s what is very, very rewarding about it.” Bruno's brother Mathieu now deals with the driver management side of the family business (Here with Nelson Piquet)