Briatore and Symonds accept three-year F1 ban in Singapore crash settlement

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds can return to F1 in 2013

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.
FIA statement

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.
FIA statement

Read the full statement here.

2008 Singapore crash scandal

79 comments on “Briatore and Symonds accept three-year F1 ban in Singapore crash settlement”

  1. Piquet should definitely be allowed back. He isn’t as poor a driver as his results showed. He basically had one hand tied behind his back by Briatore. Totally unfair.

  2. The best possible solution all round!
    The evidence to convict was shaky at best – less the testimony of a disgruntled and about to be fired, underperforming driver.

    To date, I could not see Jean Todt making any improvement to a seriously flawed FIA. It looks as if I may have been wrong. A few more like decisions on his part and I will gladly admit that I was wrong – painful though that may be.

    1. I think they’ll be back. Flav’s rich and successful, Symonds is technically brilliant and successful so I think they would be wanted. I doubt they will set up their own team but if they did then yes, I think people would work there.

  3. It seems the Piquet Gate will go down as a “racing” incident. A black mark to the sport. Schumacher stopping in the Monaco tunnel was another.

    Now Flav can avoid his lifetime ban and once more pursue F1. Baseball’s Pete Rose must be jealous.

    So the FIA will monitor teams to make sure teammates are racing and not deliberating crashing. A fine line, good luck Mr. Todt.

  4. I didn’t want to see Todt as President and voted against him in the poll but the decisions taken lately by the FIA might have taken away one of my hobbies – whingeing about the FIA. Also, Todt seemingly keeping a low profile is only in comparison to the public postureing we were used to from Mosely.

    We mustn’t forget that the problems with punishing Briatore and Simmonds were a result of Mosely’s vindictiveness and his conviction that he could run the FIA as his personal fifedom which left the door open to an appeal.

  5. why all the baying for piquet’s blood? if he hadn’t spoken up / blown the whistle, then the whole thing would’ve been unsubstantiated rumour in hushed paddock whispers.
    immunity, in my mind, was the correct offer to NPJ. his reputation has been damaged through the entire thing, but at least those responsible have been brought to task over the whole sorry mess.

  6. I sure do enjoy the way money weaves its web in mysterious ways. I for one will be curious to see what rolls they do come back to fullfill, if they do return that is…

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