The FIA has issued a strong response to the verdict in the Flavio Briatore case. It says that both men are still guilty of conspiring to cause the accident in Singapore and its punishment stands until it has exhausted all of its options, which include an appeal. It also hints at putting a new system in place which will make sure that people like Briatore and Symonds will not be able to compete in F1 in future. (See separate story on licences)
“The Court has rejected the claims for damages made by Mr. Briatore and Mr. Symonds and their claim for an annulment of the FIA’s decision. In particular, the Court did not examine the facts and has not reversed the FIA’s finding that both Briatore and Symonds conspired to cause an intentional crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.
“However, the Court did question the FIA’s authority to impose bans upon Mr. Briatore and Mr. Symonds for procedural reasons and because they are not FIA licence holders and, according to the Court, are therefore not subject to any FIA rules. 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.”
This presumably means licences for key individuals – licences which Briatore and Pat Symonds would not receive from the FIA.