Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds have agreed not to pursue further legal action against the FIA over the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix scandal.
In exchange for the FIA dropping the case the pair have agreed not to have any “operational role” in Formula 1 until the end of 2012, or any other FIA competition until the end of 2011, according to an FIA statement.
The agreement should help bring to an end the row over Nelson Piquet Jnr’s infamous crash in the race, which Briatore and Symonds orchestrated to help Fernando Alonso win the race.
The FIA statement read:
[Briatore and Symonds] have undertaken to abstain from having any operational role in Formula One until 31 December 2012, as well as in all the other competitions registered on the FIA calendars until the end of the 2011 sporting season.
They have also abandoned all publicity and financial measures resulting from the judgement of 5 January 2010, as well as any further action against the FIA on the subject of this affair.
In return, they have asked the FIA to abandon the ongoing appeal procedure, but without the FIA recognising the validity of the criticisms levelled against the WMSC’s decision of 21 September 2009, as well as to waive the right to bring any new proceedings against them on the subject of this affair.
Briatore was originally handed the equivalent of a lifetime ban by the FIA and Symonds was excluded from the sport for a minimum of five years. He succeeded in overturning the decision at the Tribune de Grande Instance in January.
The FIA repeated its criticism of that decision today, saying it “revealed a poor understanding of how the disciplinary procedure before the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) works.”
However the FIA has made significant changes to how World Motor Sports Council decisions are made, taking the FIA president out of the process.
Although Briatore and Symonds’ punishments have been significantly reduced, the FIA can now at least say that two of the guilty parties have been disciplined, when for a while it looked as through no punishments at all would be handed down for the conspiracy. Nelson Piquet Jnr was offered immunity in exchange for revealing the plot.
But Piquet looks set to remain unpunished. The FIA considers this the end of the matter:
Considering that the judgment of 5 January 2010 concerned only the form and not the substance of the WMSC’s decision of 21 September 2009, and that the undertakings and renunciation of all claims expressed by Mr Flavio Briatore and Mr Pat Symonds are in line with what the WMSC is seeking, the FIA President has considered that it is in the best interests of the FIA not to allow the perpetuation of these legal disputes, which have received a great deal of media coverage and which, regardless of the outcome, are very prejudicial to the image of the FIA and of motor sport, and thus to accept this settlement solution, thereby putting an end to this affair.
2008 Singapore crash scandal
- Flavio Briatore wins appeal against lifetime ban from motorsport
- Fernando Alonso should renounce his Singapore Grand Prix ‘win’
- Briatore and Symonds step down as Renault accepts Singapore crash charge
- Statement by Nelson Piquet Jnr on his Singapore crash leaked online
- Nelson Piquet Jnr and Fernando Alonso in Renault conspiracy claim