Briatore wins appeal against lifetime ban from motorsport

2008 F1 season

The lifetime ban handed to Flavio Briatore by the FIA has been overturned

The lifetime ban handed to Flavio Briatore by the FIA has been overturned

Flavio Briatore has successfully overturned his lifetime ban from motor racing.

The ban, handed down by the FIA after Briatore was found guilty of ordering Nelson Piquet Jnr to crash during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, was cancelled following Briatore’s appeal to the French Tribune de Grande Instance.

Update: The FIA has criticised the decision and is considering an appeal.

The FIA had achieved its ban by refusing to sanction events in which Briatore was involved, effectively banning him from motor racing indefinitely. Reuters quotes the judge saying “the sanction was illegal”.

But the Renault team largely escaped punishment by the FIA after Briatore and co-conspirator Pat Symonds left the team. But with Briatore’s ban now removed hardly anyone involved in the Singapore scandal has received a significant penalty.

Nelson Piquet Jnr also went unpunished but does not look like finding another F1 drive. As with him, you have to wonder if anyone in motor racing would now wish to be tainted by association with Briatore.

Briatore had demanded €1m in compensation, but received €15,000. Pat Symonds’ five-year ban was also overturned and he was awarded €5,000.

The decision is a rare defeat for the FIA which has usually triumphed when its verdicts have been challenged by external courts. It has already announced it will appeal against the decision by the court.

Update 1: Autosport reports the FIA must publish details of the bans being lifted on Briatore and Symonds within two weeks.

Update 2: The FIA has issued a strong criticism of the decision:

The FIA’s ability to exclude those who intentionally put others’ lives at risk has never before been put into doubt and the FIA is carefully considering its appeal options on this point.

The Court’s decision is not enforceable until the FIA’s appeal options have been exhausted. Until then, the World Motor Sport Council’s decision continues to apply.

In addition, the FIA intends to consider appropriate actions to ensure that no persons who would engage, or who have engaged, in such dangerous activities or acts of intentional cheating will be allowed to participate in Formula One in the future.
FIA statement

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166 comments on Briatore wins appeal against lifetime ban from motorsport

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  1. Hopefully the FIA will appeal, which means that the ban stays in place. Hopefully the FIA will also bring into action legislation that needs each member of every team to be ‘fit and proper persons’ before the appeal process ends.

  2. kimster46 said on 6th January 2010, 12:16

    if renault , alonso , and piquet can escape without a penalty , i think flavio and pat can go to ..

    It is 100 % sure that all the above parties involved in scandal :) ..oh well , its about money …and more like personal ego of big boss’s playing the game

  3. Patrickl said on 6th January 2010, 13:34

    IIRC there was no actual proof to link Briatore to the crash. They tried to pressure Symonds into blaming Briatore, but he never did. Only thing they had was Piquet’s say so that Briatore was present at a meeting on raceday.

    Most likely scenario (corroborated by 2 witnesses) was that Piquet came up wih the idea after qualifying on saturday. He and Symonds then worked out the details. Briatore probably knew about it, but is that enough to ban someone for life?

    The one that should have been banned for life is Piquet.

    • That is my position exactly.

      The *only* person shown to be irrefutably culpable by documentation, their own admission and by any proceedings by the governing bodies involved in this was Piquet.

      The FIA showed themselves to be corrupt to the point of ignoring the issue when it suited them, and being willing to rail road punishment through for convenient scape goats when it became expedient to do so.

      The one person who was actually at the sharp end of this and willing to ultimately take the risk of perhaps killing himself, spectators or other drivers was Piquet. And the smoking gun which supposedly hanged the other alleged conspirators was Piquet again – a kid who has shown how far he is willing to go to further his career. Risking lives, and committing blackmail

      And yet Piquet can still try to use his Dad’s influence to get a drive.

      The transcripts of radio comms suggested to me personally that Briatorie was not actually fully aware of what was going on. His comment when Piquet crashed was either fantastic theater with foresight that it would come to a FIA investigation, or a genuine reaction to a ****** driver’s apparently stupid mistake. I am not saying he is innocent, but there was not one shred of evidence given at any time that damned him during the so called proceedings. And there was a whole host of surrounding theater that made it look like a stitch up.

      That in itself should give enough grounds for a REAL court to tell the FIA that it should do better and overturn it’s ruling.

    • Oliver said on 6th January 2010, 16:22

      I agree with you completely. Piquet and Symonds seems to be the key characters in the fiasco.

  4. zerogee said on 6th January 2010, 14:08

    Flavio is the FIA’s monster. He got away with blatant cheating in 1994 (traction control, fuel filter), the McLaren-like espionage and various other indiscretions over the years and as Mosley himself said, he got the benefit of the doubt.

    The FIA giveth and taketh away but sadly for them, they don’t have the power to really taketh away. They gave Renault two free passes in the space of two years (espionage and Singapore crash) and Flavio has been riding his luck since 94.

    So while the FIA continually gave him the benefit of the doubt (they didn’t cut McLaren any slack for what was the SAME OFFENCE) they didn’t realise that Flavio doesn’t count that as credit in the bank. Then they hand out an arbitrary, child-like punishment (you’re not my friend anymore!) that just wouldn’t wash and Flav did what anyone would do and take the to court.

    Farcical.

  5. Peter Rippon said on 7th January 2010, 12:03

    I do not think he wants to get back into running a team. He will be content to manage his drivers and posture on the grid and all the party’s similar to Nicholas Todt. However the FIA and J Todt particularly needs to stamp on this now and accept the decision for what it is and move on, before it ruins what should be a fantastic season in F1. If they allow Moseley to change the rules to suit his personal case, they will be a laughing stock and lose all respect from both the teams and the public. Of course Moseley just cannot take a defeat in court and by the very manner of his statements you can see his twisted past!

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