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Briatore: “Justice has been done”; F1 return on hold
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Briatore: “Justice has been done”; F1 return on hold
Posted By: James Allen  |  05 Jan 2010   |  8:24 pm GMT  |  19 comments

Flavio Briatore has issued a statement following his victory in the Paris court today against the FIA.

Picture 66
Briatore and his Renault F1 colleague Pat Symonds successfully challenged the bans imposed on them by the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council in September 2009 over the Singapore crash fixing scandal.

The Italian made it clear that he respects the FIA as a body and as a sportsman it took a great deal for him to go outside the jurisdiction of the FIA to the civil courts to seek justice. It is highly unusual for a civil court to overrule a sport’s governing body; they tend to rule that the governing body is competent to manage its own processes. But in this case the court agreed with Briatore’s complaints about the way the case was handled.

As for a possible return to F1, Briatore says that this is on hold while he enjoys the moment and reflects on his next move. The FIA has the right of appeal against today’s decision and may well take it.

“I would like to express my great joy with the decision handed down by the Paris Tribunal de Grande Instance (Regional Court), ” said the statement.

“I believe it important for FIA to play the active role it deserves in automobile competition. As a sports person and one passionately involved in car racing for more than 20 years, the decision to apply to the civil courts to contest a decision of the FIA was a difficult one for me to take.

“The fact that the World Automobile Sport Council had been utilized to deal with a personal agenda aimed at pushing me out of the world of competition left me no other choice.

“The decision handed down today restores to me the dignity and freedom that certain people had arbitrarily attempted to deprive me of.

“The Court recognized that all the criticisms I had formulated against the decision of the World Council were founded, by finding that the FIA had:
- rendered a decision that it was not competent to pronounce
- infringed its own articles of association
- totally failed to respect my right to a fair defense
- finally, entrusted the tasks of investigation, prosecution and judgment to a principle player known by all to be hostile to me.

“I believe that justice has been done today.

“Let me take a little time to enjoy this moment of happiness after this difficult period. As concerns my possible return to F1, there is plenty of time to talk about this. I would like first of all to thank the people who remained faithful to me during these difficult moments and who showed me their trust and friendship.”

The fact that he volunteers the subject means that he’s thinking about it very seriously. There is money to be made in F1 these days, thanks to the cost restrictions now imposed. This has attracted businessmen like Gerard Lopez and Tony Fernandes. Briatore knows the ropes far better than both men.

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19 Comments
  1. Chris says:

    James. Was the picture in your article taken outside the court?

  2. Simon Pearce says:

    Your opinion James?

  3. Chris Crawford says:

    The question for me is, is he guilty let off with a technicality regarding FIA or has he been found ‘not guilty’

    I’m thinking the TGI have found the FIA unfair and incorrect on how they handled the case making it null and void.

    If this is the case, where and how do the FIA handle legal situations in the future?

  4. Jeremy says:

    Look out for the announcement of Briatore and Lopez teaming up on that investment.

  5. Andrea says:

    Briatore calls himself a sports person?! HA! This must be the worst joke of the decade… Along with the French court’s decision. Today French judges practically legitimised cheating, what will they legitimise tomorrow or next week? Killing? :S

    I hope, people in motorsports and especially in F1 have more brain than those French judges…

  6. Frankie Allen says:

    So French courts don’t like private members clubs modifying EU laws as they see fit. This says nothing about Briatores innocence or guilt, but it does show what a shambles the FIA was.

    1. James Allen says:

      Out of interest, why do you call yourself Frankie Allen?

      1. Frankie Allen says:

        As I stated before James, it’s on the birth certificate (without the ie).

  7. Alistair Blevins says:

    Aside from driver management, what options would would be open to Flav?

    Surely no team would want to be associated with him given what has happened.

    Equally, the FIA would not grant him a slot for his own team should one become available – nor a licence when they undoubtedly become mandatory.

    Also, on a technicality – can Flav now return to FIA sanctioned events and work if the case goes to appeal? This could potentially drag on into the new season.

    Anyone know what is Flav and Jean Todt’s relationship was like in their team management days?

  8. Jodum5 says:

    I’m interested in HOW he could get involved in F1 again. If a team is exiting the sport they would be wary (as would Bernie) in selling to him.

    I think most drivers (experienced or up and coming) would also be wary of having him manage them (would teams want to deal with him? won’t they be worried about his treatment of Piquet?).

    He would have to find some way to totally absolve himself of the charges he has been accused of.

    The smart bet would be to enjoy the egg on Max Mosely and the FIA’s face and move on to other things.

    1. Frankie Allen says:

      At the present time, there is no regulation that stops him. The French courts have decided the penalty that was passed onto Briatore was not done in a correct and fair manner, so that decision is void and he is not banned from anything. I just cannot see Briatore coming back, his only ally is Ecclestone and it would not surprise me if the FIA introduced some sort of licensing scheme to cover future attachments to the sport. That way you don’t get the massive legal battle in the courts and the publicity is minimised for the good of the sport.

      I cannot fully describe my contempt for the FIA under Mosley but I am very hopeful of what I have seen from Todt. This mess is none of his doing and I believe they are getting their house in order. I fully understand they should not let this decision rest, but there are a lot of simple, easy ways of rending Briatore in a neutered state. We have had what was looking like one of the worst years ever in F1, with manufacturers leaving, McLaren lying and Piquet deliberately smashing into the wall. Then completely over shadowed by the return of Schumacher, the Button move and all the team pair ups causing a lip smacking start to the next season. It would be a disappointment if this is over blighted by more elongated court proceedings.

  9. Stephen Kellett JAF1 says:

    The smart bet would be to enjoy the egg on Max Mosely and the FIA’s face and move on to other things.

    You cannot seriously think he is that smart or lacking in the vanity department to do that.

    James – your website is broken. I cannot post to your website using any browser, even if I delete all caches, cookies etc. Now trying a new email address and name.

    And yes, I did recommend Inbound Marketing. Did you find it useful.

    1. James Allen says:

      Well it must be you, because over 200 people have posted comments in a steady stream in the last 24 hours and there is no sign of any break. The book is excellent and I’ve recommended it to quite a few people.

      1. Stephen Kellett JAF1 says:

        My guess is there is some form of anti-spam system (which I am triggering somehow) that relies on name or email address and that is why my comments disappear into a black hole – that would explain why it happens regardless of browser or cache/cookie settings.

        Glad you found the book useful.

        Flav was on Radio 4 “Today program” this morning. I had no idea he was so unintelligible – he doesn’t appear to talk so much as mumble. His grasp of English appears to be poor (not that my Italian is any good).

  10. Shahzad says:

    Flav’s BACK & 15,000 euros RICHER…….but I reckon he has a tough road ahead in F1 Job hunting…….well at least he can now HANG around the Paddock quiet often now ;-)

  11. Josh says:

    So what about Pat? Can he now work in F1 or is he still banned for 5 years?

    Would love to see him at Mercedes for a Benetton Brawn/Schumacher/Symmonds reunited-comeback-story.

  12. FerrariStu says:

    If either Flavio or Nelson (or indeed Pat)come back to F1 then we will be left in no doubt about the morals and ethics of people involved in Formula One.

    Money and Image rules all.

  13. Robert says:

    I don’t think that anyone here seriously doubted that… Regards The morals and ethics of the people in F1. They start from the top with people like Bernie / Mosley / Dennis / Todt / Schumacher … Senna even… Alonso too.. And Briatore (you could go on and on) … They’re cut from the same mustard. It’s in their nature to do anything that is required for success; whether that success be on the track, to further their image or for the money. For these type of very successful people whatever their field may be, they do the maximum it takes to achieve their aim. To be successful for these people and particularly in F1 the smartest and most successful will be the one person who can bend the rules and sometimes break them, and for everyone to be none the wiser. If piquet jnr had not brought this to our attention where would we be? Probably all heralding briatore for his charismatic charachter and flavor he brings to the sport. On piquet how can we be sure… 100% sure his word that Briatore was involved Is fact? Symonds basically admitted he was involved and therefore we can be sure of his involvment.. We have these factors as I can see it:
    Piquet implicating Briatore.
    An unknown, unnamed witness who’s existence cannot be proven .. To us anyway(not sure about behind closed doors) .. Whose motivations for implicating flavio may be as personally driven as piquets; this we again don’t know.
    Then we have max, whose motivations for banning Briatore are clear to all.
    Then we have Briatore who flattly and strongly denies the claims he was aware of what transpired.
    Telemetry , footage , piquet and symonds have proven it was a planned crash… But i don’t see anyone who is in an objective position to say and prove that Flavio was definetly involved. If he came out tomorrow and said ‘yes’ I knew I authorized it… Banish his scams from motorsport.. He hasn’t yet so we cannot do that. Then how does it make sense that: the 2 people that admitted guilt get; let off… And a smaller 5 year ban? While someone who did not even have an opportunity to defend himself get a life sentence??? It is nonsensical ! He may have , he may not have.. But no one has proven actually either.. Benefit of the doubt I think needs to be given unless some new evidence comes to prove for sure.   

  14. Roger says:

    Have Flav and Pat forgotten …both men are still guilty of conspiring to cause the accident in Singapore …?????

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