Flavio Briatore, Renault, Singapore, 2008

Briatore wins appeal against lifetime ban from motorsport

2008 F1 season

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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 Tribunal de Grande Instance.

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.

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

Should Briatore’s lifetime ban have been lifted?

  • Yes (35%)
  • No (60%)
  • No opinion (5%)

Total Voters: 964

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Renault Singapore crash controversy

166 comments on “Briatore wins appeal against lifetime ban from motorsport”

    1. sweet!

      Now he’s won that case, we will soon see who is the mr ‘x’ if he goes on and sues max and the pk’s etc….

      Maybe mr ‘x’ was max’s imaginary mate made up just to make it all stick…
      I bet max never thought this would happen and is prob now chi ting himself LOL

      Be great to see max get taken down.

  1. Briatore GP on the grid for the 2011 season?

  2. I´m curious to see, who´s gonna be at his big party!

  3. The court have made the correct decision. As I’ve been saying since the punishment was handed out, a lifetime ban was way beyond what the FIA could legally do to punish Flav. Briatore needs to be punished for his role in the Singapore scandal but it must be done legally.

    1. I totally agree. I said ‘No’ in the poll above because I would like him to stay banned, but on legal grounds his ban was rightly overturned.

    2. I agree. A life time ban was far beyond what Briatore deserved, but he most definitely deserved a punishment.

      I can’t believe this whole crash scandal has gone completely unpunished now though! Granted it’ll be hard for the 3 of them to get a job now, but it wont be impossible. Nothings stopping them now.

      Can the FIA appeal the appeal ruling?…If that makes sense! Hehe

      1. Yes, the FIA can appeal. It’s worth noting, however, that though the punishments have been overturned the decision has not – i.e. Briatore and Symonds are still guilty though their punishments no longer apply.

        The best course of action for the FIA would be to recall Briatore and Symonds to the World Council and give them another punishment, one that they are legally able to enforce. Such as banning both men from areas of FIA jurisdiction (e.g. the F1 paddock) for a certain period.

        1. Aw good. Hope they do!

        2. As it stands Andy, I don’t believe they can even do that.

          Briatore and Symonds where employed by the Renault team, thus any sanction against them has to be with the team, the men as individuals are impervious to the FIA. On the other hand Piquet as a driver, is not immune and should not have got off as easily as he did.

          “The FIA … can sanction licence holders, leaders, members of the ASNs [national sporting authorities], but it cannot with respect to third parties, take measures equivalent to a sanction – in contravention of article 28 of its statutes”


          Article 28

          1. The FIA do have authority over certain areas, though, like the F1 paddock. They can permit and deny entry to whoever they like; they are certainly entitled to inform Briatore and Symonds that they are no longer welcome in an FIA-run paddock.

          2. re:

            Apparently the Paddock Club is operated by Allsport Management, now part of Formula One Group. Therefore it is Ecclestone who has the final say and regarding Briatores’ case, he is well known for stating ‘even murderers don’t get life sentences’.

            In fact Ecclestone recently said ‘He is welcome to come back to the paddock’.

            As suggested eleswhere the FIA will have to come up with something along the lines of a compulsory license for all key personnel, which will put the ball back in the FIA’s court.

            Link: The Paddock Club (grandprix.com)

            Link: Formula One Group (wiki)

            Link: Ecclestone: Briatore ‘welcome’ in F1 (autosport)

      2. I think they can Katy.

  4. Nobody will want him in F1 now so really his ban being overturned is irrelevent.

    1. I thought that initially, but he has the money to simply buy another teams entry and no one could do anything about it.

      Toro Rosso could be an opportunity for him to get back into F1. Flavio wants to buy, Red Bull want to sell, it’s a small, affordable Italian team which should now be capable of building its own cars. Toro Rosso to become Briatore GP in 2011- you heard it here first!

      Or alternatively he could team up with Zoran Stefanovic to form Stefanavio F1…

      1. Bernie has always had soft spot for Flav hehe. So who knows they might just buy off one of these new teams in 2011 & re-brand it Brabham. Its definitely possible.

        1. Ok here are the possibilities…

          1) Flavio takes a stake in Campos Meta1….second driver from his driver managements….

          2) Buys Torro Rosso.

          Both real possiblities before the start of 2010 season.

          3) Ties up with Zoran Stefanovic and SGP becomes FBGP….entry still contingent on one of the new teams failing and FIA approving the new team. If FB gets involved i can not see that happening…

          Oh BTW…..Pat Symonds will be the technical director no matter whioch team Flavio buys into… :)

      2. You might be onto something there Ned. I wonder what the bookie’s would make of this. I’m not a gambling man but wouldn’t it be worth a tenner if the odds were right????

      3. You might be onto something there Ned. I wonder what the bookie’s would make of this. I’m not a gambling man but wouldn’t it be worth a tenner if the odds were right????

        Sorry, posted it in the wrong place. :P

        1. How sure is anyone that Briatore really wants to go back into F1? Oppourtunities for him within the sport are now vastly reduced. He won’t be able to hold a position in any large team as no large corporate structure would allow his reputation anywhere near their brand image and he won’t be able to strut round the paddoc like he used to because the vast majority of the people will be dead set against him.

          He’ll probably stay in footie or start other investments if you ask me.

          1. “no large corporate structure would allow his reputation anywhere near their brand image and he won’t be able to strut round the paddock like he used to because the vast majority of the people will be dead set against him.”

            Thats exactly what was said a year and a half ago about Mosley….Money talks…

      4. good call ned, I can see this as feasible.
        Not sure if it would happen but it is totally do-able

  5. From what I know of the scandal, I wanted it to stick. However, like all F1 Drama’s there is soooooo much more to the story that we simply dont’t [and most likely never will] know.

  6. The only good side is that we have more chances to see beatiful girls on the grid.
    The bad side is that he’s really ugly. I never liked him, and in Italy some really bad stories on his past circulate.

  7. It does look as if he was setup in the whole affair. If Mosley told Briatore, that he presence wasn’t necessary at the FIA hearing, but then proceeded to use his abscence as proof of guilt, then it shows Mosley has some answering to do.

    1. I dont think Mosley told him his attendance was optional. Flavio had been sacked at that point, so he couldnt be forced to attend the FIA hearing.

      1. In fact I believe it was Flav’s own Lawyers that advised him not to attend…

  8. Completely pointless, nobody wants him now. Even if he tried to enter his own team i’m sure the FIA will male sure he doesn’t gain an entry, he could only get back in by buying an existing team, who is selling?

    Actually i’m only scared that he may buy toro rosso, but its a very outside chance.

  9. I’d love to see him back on the circuit in 2010. He’s a very talented guy and what he’s done with Renault during his tenure there was phenomenal.

    If I were a stakeholder in the new teams, I’d sign him up today!

  10. What Red Andy and Spud said.

  11. Haha 15,000Euros, i guess that’s what that sucker is worth in the end. i hope no one is dumb enough to put him back on the grid, and if he applies for a new team sometime in the future, i doubt the FIA will hear his case…

    the FIA will send out a memo negating its previous order to shun flavio away in case their appeal fails. but i doubt anyone who wants to be on the FIA’s good side will ever deal with him anyway…

    so selling 5$ jeans for 500 it is to people that don’t know what he is (not) all about…

    1. hmmmm! thank you Ron Dennis for that insight! ive only just started thinking about all the avenues and stories implied but the “real tales” behind you lot are hard to glean! Even the proper tasty stuff about the drivers is truthfully impossible to hear about! 2 of them must have been involved in a punch up “behind the scenes” somewhere in the last 5 years, but we dont know about it!!! #:) i wonder if you do?

  12. I knew he would get off, the life time ban was just to over the top for effecting the outcome of just one race.

    1. Affecting the outcome of one race? Is that what you think this is about? It’s not about the cheating – ok, the cheating is worthy of a ban in itself, but are people forgetting what happened?

      Briatore *ORDERED A DRIVER TO CRASH*. OK? Repeat that to yourselves a few times until it sinks in. He risked the lives of all the drivers on the track, the marshals who ran out to help, and the spectators nearby. The fact that F1 is safER now should not and does not mitigate that.

      What he did was the absolute worst thing a team principal could ever, ever do – cheating to achieve victory and endangering the lives of participants and spectators to do so. Anything less than a lifetime ban is unacceptable, and as far as I’m concerned, Renault should have been instantly and permanently banned from motorsport. And anyone at Renault who could be shown to have known that this happened without going to the FIA? Same. Out. Done. Period.

      The higher ups at Renault didn’t know this was happening? Tough **** – it was their job to know. They hired a scumbag and allowed him to create an environment where this was possible.

      This isn’t cheating. This is the worst of the worst of the worst, and anyone even remotely involved doesn’t deserve to go near a race car as long as they live.

      1. Perisoft, I 100% agree!

      2. Jack Bauer would have made the same orders! :D

      3. Today’s decision wasn’t taken by some dodgy sporting body but the French courts, the FIA’s punishment was clearly illegal and therefore they should find a legal way to punish those responsible.

        There’s no point in crying about how bad the crime was, it doesnt make a difference to the fact that the punishment handed out by the FIA wasn’t valid or legal. In your words it’s just “tough ****”

      4. Actually PeriSoft, it has never been conclusively proven that Briatore ordered anyone to do anything. Speculation abounds that Nelson Piroutte Piquet suggested the plan himself. And what’s more, Piquet was the one who actually went through with it.

        A little less hyerbole, perhaps?

        And while I do not condone what Briatore, Symmonds or Piquet did, the fact remains that one man actually carried the plan and got off scott free, yet the other two ‘conspirators’ were punished severely. Briatore’s ban was the result of a vendetta from S&Max, nothing more, nothing less. On that basis alone, I am glad to see it rescinded. Justice should not be meted out on the basis of personal vendetta’s.

        While I agree that he should have some form of sanction, the punishment should fit the crime.

        1. Pink Peril, i’m with you on the lot bar the S&Max vendetta…

          the cheating boiled the blood of every Fan and member of the sport, and the sporting world in general…Vendetta is in this case not applicable…you have to remember that Ecclestone, his friend partner and part confident, and possibly of whom he might of been successor voted against him on the WMSC…

        2. A voice of reason.

      5. I agree you 100% on your views about Briatore.

      6. I agree and that includes Teflonso.

        1. All of this imbroglio merely demonstrates what big money does to any sport. Sure, it brings in the very best people from engneers to drivers. Unfortunately it also attracts people with other, less savoury skills.
          I don’t know about anybody else, but people like Mosely, Ecclestone, Briatore would not be welcome guests at my dinner table. I’d trust none of them further than I could throw a suumo wrestler, and I’d count the silver both before they arrived and immediately they left.
          Does that make me naive ? I don’t think so. More likely that I can recognise a sewer rodent when I see and hear one.

          F1 people were never pure as the driven snow. They’re racers, and the most competitive are also totally ruthless about everything they do in F1. But the best of them also lift their heads from under the gearbox occasionally and look outside the grimy workshop window at the real world.

          At least we all hope they do.

      7. Absolutely agree Perisoft.

        @Ads21 – you say that the FIA’s decision was “clearly illegal” – because of the decision of this court..? Wait for the next five or ten back and forth appeals that that are sure to follow, because off and on it will be declared “clearly legal” as well.

        @Pink Peril – the people who give orders to carry out crimes are always punished more severely than the people who carry them out – as is the way it should be. Between Briatore and Piquet Jr, which one should have had more sense to hit the “let’s all stop for a second and think about what we are discussing here because it’s just so over the top wrong” button?

        1. Absolutely on the nail Maciek !

        2. Ah but Maciek, there is no proof that Briatore ordered anyone to do anything. That was my point.

      8. @PeriSoft

        Briatore *ORDERED A DRIVER TO CRASH*. OK?

        But how do you know that for sure? This is exactly the problem here. To say that Briatore “ORDERED” his driver to crash can only be concluded by saying that we believe every single word Piquet Jnr is saying.

        I dont believe that Briatore forcibly ordered Piquet to crash. If that were the case the driver would have immediately reported to the FIA, and moreover he would try to prevent this from happening. But that wasnt the case, Piquet Jnr denied involvement the core, played dumb, and showed no sign of having been forced into something he did not like. Furthermore there is no hard evidence nor proof to suggest being ORDERED.

        Instead the most likely scenario is that Piquet himself suggested the idea to the team so that he can secure a drive for the following year and happily executed the act. Briatore is of course guilty for playing along and telling Piquet when to crash, and should indeed be punished, but not with a lifetime ban entirely but perhaps a prevention of owning or running a team. The individual who should have been punished the most is the driver himself. Piquet was the one who directly and carried out the act.

      9. Totally agree. Well said.

        1. Sorry, meant that I agree with Perisoft.

  13. If a team thought the advantages of hiring someone involved in what happened at the Singapore Grand Prix in 2008 outweighed the disadvantages then they would sign them up, for example if Piquet Jnr was as good a driver as Alonso he would have no trouble getting another drive.

    With Briatore, even if the FIA don’t win an appeal and he is free to be involved in F1 again I doubt anyone would want him not just because of the race fixing but also the fact that they know they would be making an enemy of the FIA.

  14. Looking back. He should get off and I think the FIA were completely foolish here. All that effort of nailing Flav and they couldn’t even hand out a legal punishment. A crime that damaged F1s reputation has been damaged further still by the FIA failing here.
    Briatore should be punished for what happened but legally punished. This whole thing has been a nightmare and shows how not to run a sport.
    I’m happy that today at least everything was put aside and a hard decision was made. Briatore should never be unpunished but the FIA has made a mess of this and allowed this to happen.

    1. Excellent points.

      Flavio’s done well here. He was very clever to only appeal how the FIA ran the “trial”, not the verdict. So he doesn’t have to actually answer the charges, he just gets off the punishment. Stays at QPR, keeps his management and F1 businesses, and can walk off into the sunset. Also, he put a big one over on Max here. Major slap on the wrist from a real court to the FIA.

      In summary:
      1 – The FIA can’t be trusted to run a simple enquiry.
      2 – The FIA can’t be trusted to stick to their own published rule book.
      3 – The man running the FIA was not acting in the interests of the sport or of the truth.

      No doubt Alan Donnelly will be out in force blustering away. The fact remains that the FIA were faced with a big problem, and as was obvious at the time, did exactly the opposite of what they should have done, and made a balls of it. If Renault had enough evidence to sack Flav and Pat, it should have been heard. Piquet should have been banned for life. Renault should have been crucified for letting it go on. Instead, we got a negotiated stitch up job in the best F1 tradition. If this opens the floodgates for more FIA rubbish to be thrown in front of a real court, all to the good.

      1. Thanks Hairs.
        I think this is pretty damning of the FIA and how the sport has been run (now we have Todt it’ll be interesting to see what he does). The FIA could still push on and try to get Flavio another way.
        I don’t really think Renault knew so I’m happy they weren’t punished but as for the rest it has been a mockery.
        Agree with you that Flavio was very clever. He could go and manage drivers again and in theory buy up a team. It comes to something when a crime comes out but the guilty parties get off because the governing body breaks its own rules in punishing them.

  15. Funny world this is. At the end of the day THE MOST SERIOUS CRIME IN THE HISTORY OF FORMULA ONE goes unpunished. And bloody hell he receives a compensation!

    And how is it that he is completely denying his role in the entire farce? Surely Pat, Piquet Jr & Mr X testified against him at the FIA hearing. Did the french court forget to take this into consideration before overturning?

    Flavio was a serious offender right from the Benetton days & I initially thought a life ban was way too harsh. It had much to do with Max’s personal vendetta that the crime itself. But surely a 5 year ban with a hefty monetary penalty is fully justifiable.

    This overturning of the ban will only encourage more teams to follow Flav’s suite. Especially the new teams who are desperate for good results.

    So who crashes next time for their team mate? Rosberg for Schumacher or Button for Hamilton.

    Or Massa for Alonso?

    This sport doesn’t seize to surprise us at all. Guess one of the reasons why we all love it.

    1. But I surely welcome this decision. I love anything that ****** off Mad Max hehe.

    2. errr……refer to my earlier post! #:)

    3. Well we don’t really know why he’s innocent according to the court. Because that is what it says, not just that the decision to ban him was illegal, but that he’s off he hook and deserves a compensation.

      Here are my (FINAL, I’m sick of Crashgate and hoped we heard the last of it after those bans) thoughts on this:

      At the end of the day it’s a horrible thing to tell a driver to crash but he’s not the one putting other people’s lives at risk. It’s Nelsinho Piquet Jr. who crashed the car into the wall and put lives at risk, not Briatore. It’s a bit “if your boss tells you to throw yourself of a bridge, would you?” and Piquet answered wrong. He should have said “no.” simple as that.

      I do think there’s some thruth in Piquet’s claims that Briatore put a lot of pressure on him but he has a strong daddy behind him and he already proved that he could go toe to toe with Hamilton in Gp2 so he probably had other options if he wanted to. So he’s definetly to blame IMO. If Briatore did what he did he shouldn’t be left alone either. He deserves punishment since he’s partially responsible, but a lifetime ban is too harsch, especially considering the fact Piquet didn’t get a “real” punishment. Except of course he’ll never get to race in F1 again but perhaps he should have thought about that before crashing his car in the wall and blurt about it, he’s such a douche.

      I think the FIA and Piquet Jr. made a deal here. “We don’t like Briatore any more than you do so you scratch our back and we’ll scratch yours”. Why else on earth would the one causing the crash have a free pass to say pretty much whatever the hell he wants. That FIA/WMC-trial was a farce. It wasn’t as bad as Stalin’s fake trials but not far from it I think. There are 2 sides to each story, we basically heard one and consequently the other one got an undeserved and illegal punishment and of course a normal court recognises that.

      For the future: I don’t care wether Nelson Piquet Jr. or Briatore returns to the F1, they don’t bother me. I just hope we can leave this ugly scandal behind us.

  16. I think it’s right that the lifetime ban has been lifted but he should still be banned for at least as long as Pat Symmonds. He needs to get some kind of punishment for this, Symmonds may have been the brains behind it but Briator was the team principal he shouldn’t have let it go ahead. Its wrong he gets off scot free.

  17. weeee more argueing…they shoulda kept the ban.

  18. The lifetime ban was absolutely wrong, and just underlined how wrong-headed the FIA had become under MM. Overbearing, pompous, “my way or the highway”-type nonsense etc etc.
    What really surprises me is the comments posted here just don’t match the result of the survey. Maybe the “no” vote was an emotional response and the “yes” vote more thoughtful….

    1. I think you’re right about the poll. It seems that the poll results reflect more that Flavio is not welcome in motorsports, as far as the fans are concerned, rather than the validity of his appeal case.

      1. amen to that.

  19. stupid french court…

  20. It will be worth waiting to see the detail of the court’s decision. Was this down to process issues or the proportionality of the punishment or both?

    The terms of the Briatore’s punishment were extremely severe – effectively banning him from participating in any FIA-sponsored form of motorsport for life and forcing him to drop various lucrative business interests (e.g. driver management deals, GP2). Stopping someone from earning their livelihood is a very serious step to take, even if that person is a very rich man who who has other interests to fall back on. There are cases where it’s acceptable, but they tend to be very serious and the procedures surrounding them tend to be fairly complex, with room for appeals, etc.

    In the end, however, it may well all be entirely academic. The damage to Briatore’s reputation has already been done and was largely self-inflicted anyway. The verdict of a French court and 15,000 Euros won’t make it all better.

    1. Stopping someone from earning their livelihood is a very serious step to take, even if that person is a very rich man who who has other interests to fall back on.

      It is not only a very serious step. It is completely beyond the power of the FIA to impose such a sentence. A court of law might have been able to do so but not a sporting body. That is why Briatore has won this case – not because the French judge doesn’t believe he has done anything wrong, but because the FIA did not have the authority to administer such a punishment.

      1. Allen has new interesting post up. Perhaps team heads should have licences and then the FIA would have more control. http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2010/01/top-f1-figures-to-get-licences-following-briatore-judgement/

      2. I was talking in general terms – even if it’s done by a court of law it’s a very big step to take and usually subject to a complex and lengthy appeals process.

        I wouldn’t go so far as to say a sporting body like the FIA should (whether they could is another matter entirely) never be able to ban someone from participation in that sport for life – but the offence would have to be extremely serious, the evidence clear and the process much more robust than in the Briatore case.

  21. How have the f1fanatics turned into a bunch of softies. It’s not like this man’s income is entirely dependant on motor racing, he took part in one of the worst crimes in f1 which severly tarnished it’s reputation. How is a lifetime ban too severe? What example does this set if the fia can’t even procecute within it’s own sports? Agh so infuriating

    1. How have the f1fanatics turned into a bunch of softies

      That would be because Max wanted it. We as fans must deny max anything he derives pleasure from. This life ban was one of the many things he derived pleasure.

      It would have been more suave if the FIA had banned him for say 249 years or so :)

    2. It’s not that the ban was too severe it’s just that it wasn’t up to the FIA to give it out-the whole thing was a bit of a witch hunt in my view anyway. It had to be overturned because it was found not to be legal. The FIA have spent ages trying to nail Flavio just to have the suspension thrown out becuase it wasn’t legal. It wasn’t about Singapore and hopw punished he should be it was about how the FIA handled it.
      The whole thing is hurting F1’s image. First the scandal happens, then Piquet is given immunity while Flav gets slapped with a massive ban and then the ban is overturned. F1 doesn’t exactly appear stable or fair to casual fans does it? :(

  22. This guy knows nothing about what goes on out on the track. He doesn’t even know if his drivers have wet tyres on when it’s ******* down.

    He knows how to make money out of F1, and that’s what he’s been doing these last couple of decades. He knows how to ensure that one driver receives full attention, while the other pedals the ‘parts bin’ car. You wouldn’t want to be ‘number two driver’ in a Briatore run team, because ‘number two’ means ‘loser’ in Briatore’s language.

  23. Thinking about the return of Briatori may sound insane now, but he´ll be back and with his own team!
    FIA, must understand that Civil and Criminal Courts will always have the last word in this, so applying for a High Instance always compensates!
    Remember that, there are drivers, who didn´t turn back to Briatori and moreover, at least 2 teams on the grid are having financial problems, so Briatori will buy is way back, passing FIA.
    His foolish decision of sending Piquet to crash was stupid, but Piquet is not even a good driver and only thanks to his dad bought a place on the grid.
    Where is Piquet now, if he´s so inocent?

    1. but Piquet is not even a good driver

      Don’t tell me that. Show me one other driver who could purposely crash a F1 car & make it look totally unsuspecting. give the guy some credit hehe.

      This drama wouldn’t have come out if Piquet jr hadn’t been sacked after Hungary.

  24. It is not even as if motor sport is the man’s passion. I also find it a bit off that he gets compensation for effectively bringing the sport into disrepute!

  25. I for one am glad to see Flav back. Much happier than if I saw Piquet back, thats for sure.

  26. Can’t stand Briatore and his long-time cheating, so I was glad when he was banned.

    But I can’t stand the FIA either, so I’m equally glad that they’ve had their authority challenged by a real court (as opposed to the many partisan kangaroo nonsense WMSC hearings we have seen).

    Briatore will never manage another F1 team, and the FIA has no teeth. Excellent!

  27. F1 will never be able to drag itself away from sleaze and corruption. What a stupid decision. To Keith’s casual viewers of F1 (and to a few I’ve discussed this with today who are casual viewers), this will tell them that F1 is still mired in filth.

    What an utter injustice.

  28. Wow this sport has some govering issues.

  29. Go Flava !
    He´ll be back and proving skeptics wrong
    Having won 4 WDC and mentored Shu and Fred, he has the credencials

  30. How long before one of the new teams sign up Pat Symonds then? His ban was also overturned and all that experience is surely not going to go wasted. F1 after all is about winning and how many teams will put their morals before points? And that is also the reason Flavio will be back before long. It won’t matter how utterly wrong what they did was, they’re proven championship winners and that’s what they all want to be.

    1. I wouldn’t mind see Pat back in 2010.

      1. I second that motion, i’d like to see Pat back.

        1. Why is it OK for Pat to be back. I think he has sort of admitted that he was in the know. So he is no less guilty.

          Unless you guys mean you would just like to see him back, not that he is not guilty.

  31. The FIA – Futile, Incompetent, Arrogant.

  32. The FIA must tell everyone the bans on Briatore and Symonds have been lifted


    The decision [of the FIA World Motor Sport Council] is not annulled but declared irregular

    The French court have ruled that the FIA did not have the power to ban not that Briatore is innocent.

    They article also says

    The verdict also suggested there was a conflict of interest in the ban, as former FIA president Max Mosley was already in dispute with Briatore – and he played a part in both the investigation of the matter and the handing down of the penalty.

    The court judgement added: “The decision of the World Council was presided over by the FIA president, who was well known to be in conflict with Briatore, with Mr. Mosley having played a leading role in launching the enquiry and its investigation in violation of the principle of separation of the power of the bodies.

    I think all this means the FIA will have to look at how they handle cases in the future as I am sure some will say that Mosley had a conflict of interests in other cases.

    1. Does this open the Spygates for other decisions perhaps? I doubt Ron and co would go there anyway…

  33. What ever people say i like Falvio .Characters like him are required in F1 without that it would make it dull. Schumi is back and with flav also back.It will be great for F1.Wait for some time and he will head one of the new teams…

    1. Hi all. This is my first post, so please go easy ;-)

      Arun.India – Sorry mate, but that’s complete and utter b*ll*cks! F1 doesn’t need ‘characters’ (and I use the phrase loosely) it’s needs REAL drama on the flipping circuit! Schuey? He’s a serial cheat just like Flav and I for one will always remember his behaviour on the track (and his lack of class off it) rather than his records. Eddie Irvine was a character, Damon Hill was a character – both men spoke their minds and actually had something interesting to say! And going back further, drivers like Keke, Alan Jones, Depaillier – these men were REAL characters.

      Back to the verdict. I agree with Perisoft above. I think a lot of visitors to this site don’t know what F1 was like before technology and (IMHO) the sterilisation of the circuits. Watch F1 reviews or Youtube from races in the 70s/80s and early 90s to see what I mean. Back then, the drivers were true gladiators, risking their lives every time they went out on the track. Qualifying back then was something to be despised as you risked death (or serious injury) for a grid place. Anyone who disagrees with that point would do well to aquaint themsleves with the tragic death of Gilles Villenueve.

      And what’s my point? Back to what Perisoft wrote, BRIATORE ORDERED his driver to risk his own life, the lives of his fellow drivers, the marshalls and (perhaps most importantly) the paying spectators. Yes, F1 is immeasureably safer than in the past, but imagine if one of the Renault’s wheels had become completely detached… or simply talk to John Surtees. Honestly, those of you that don’t see the seriousness of the offense really worry me…

      And finally (this is my like a rather rambling blog than a post!), I have a something of a rhetorical question for those who say that Flav deserves to be bacl because they hate the FIA/hate MM/think the paddock is dull etc. – what are you tuning for? Surely it’s the RACING? If that’s the case, what we need is less downforce on the cars and proper circuits with camber and elevation, not sleaze. If the drama on the track isn’t cutting it for you, why not watch Eastenders instead? There’s plenty of intrigue there…

      1. I think a lot of visitors to this site don’t know what F1 was like before technology and (IMHO) the sterilisation of the circuits. Watch F1 reviews or Youtube from races in the 70s/80s and early 90s to see what I mean. Back then, the drivers were true gladiators, risking their lives every time they went out on the track. Qualifying back then was something to be despised as you risked death (or serious injury) for a grid place.

        Yes the drivers back then were risking their lives. That doesn’t make them “gladiators” – in most cases it made them victims. A lot of teams and drivers in the 70’s and 80’s weren’t actually competent enough to be there – running ancient 2nd hand chassis and putting them in the hands of men who weren’t able to drive them but had the money to buy their way in. Qualifying was to be avoided because it was a mad 10 minute scramble with every driver on the track at the same time. That’s for those that made it through “pre-qualifying” – ie weeding out those that were so slow they were dangerous.

        It was not a golden time, as the tone of your post suggests, it was embarrassing. I remember it well.

        1. Hey there!

          I remember the early 80s and onward well but not so much the 70s (born 70s) ;-) I take your point re. victims to a certain extent and definitely agree that there were many teams on the grid that really shouldn’t have been there. As for the drivers buying their way in, that’s always been the case and still is, unless I’m very much mistaken?

          Pre-qualifying was more prevalent in the late 80s/early 90s as I recall. Funnily enough, at the time I just saw the likes of the Coloni et al as embarrassing – but you’re quite right: had they been on the circuit during the race they really WOULD have been dangerous, given their relative lack of pace. Saying that, back in those days, back markers seemed to ignore the blue flags!

          As for a ‘golden time’, I guess it’s a matter of perspective. As I wrote in my previous post, I want to see RACING (not going around in circles waiting foe the next pit stop) on exciting circuits. Due to a combination of sterile, stop-start circuits and an over reliance on aero grip, I’m rather disenchanted with F1 at the mo’, and bemused by talk of ‘show’ and ‘characters’ and so on. I want SPORT.

          In conclusion, I agree (to a greater or lesser extent) with a lot of what you say, and surely that means that what Flav and Pat santioned was just wrong, wrong, wrong?

          1. No one is saying that what occurred was not wrong on many levels.

            I am just pointing out that a. because the matter was not heard in a ‘real’ court and subject to due diligence, it was never conclusively proven who suggested what, and who ordered whom to do what. It may be your opinion that Flav ‘ordered’ Piquet to crash, but that is all it is. Your opinion. The facts of the matter have never been established, so your comment is wrong to assert sole blame, when none has been proven.

            and b. the punishment handed out to Flav was flawed because it was the result of a vendetta from S&Max against Flav. I see the French Courts agree with me on that score. As I said earlier, justice should be transparent and not to wielded about by someone harbouring a vendetta. So S&Max was the judge and jury – sound fair and impartial to you? Furthermore, as the French Court points out, the FIA does not have the power to impose such sanctions.

            As stated earlier, I am glad that the ban has been rescinded because *legally* it was unjust, and invalid. I have never said that Flav does not deserve some form of sanction for his actions (although IMO Piquet certainly deserves all Flav gets and more).

      2. @ John Heath – It is contradictory to say that we need real drama on the race track and blast the most successful driver in the history of the sport based on a couple dramatic past (on-track) incidents.

  34. I for one am happy to see that he is allowed back, his charisma and humour, is one that stands out in what is becoming a very dull a dreary paddock.

    Although the fact that he is getting compensation for what he did is a bit ridiculous, I still dont understand the way the FIA works, how they hand McLaren a stupid $100 million fine, and Renault get a slap on the wrist for something far more worse is beyond me..

  35. This is a friggin joke! I think the ban was excessive anyway but I also think Renault have effectively got away scot free. The FIA have brought this further embarrassment on themselves, as it should not have been executed in the first instance. If I was Ron Dennis I would be feeling almost murderous and cheated etc. This is F1 joke justice. Perhaps FIA should pay back the McLaren fine…

    1. Let’s place bets as to which race we expect to see Flavio at first…

  36. Is Piguet lite on suicide watch? Because apparently he’s the only one who is going to suffer any real consequences from this. That’s the message I’m getting from this decision.

  37. Phew! For a while there it seemed F1 would be mistaken for a credible sport! Thankfully normal service resumed. Shouldn’t he be paid heaps of money too? Just 15,000 Euros is a real insult given his fantastic contribution to the global image of F1 in helping fix a race.

  38. What A Joke. He’s a disgrace to Formula 1 and he doesn’t get punished for it. Shocking.

  39. Surely he can at least be banned from F1 for life.

  40. This decision is possibly strictly legally correct, but bizarre to natural justice – reading the little detail available, the court seems to be saying not that Briatore was not guilty, but that the FIA has no jurisdiction over him because he has no licence (which actually is what Briatore claimed immediately after the ban)…… but take that to it’s logical conclusion that means that if say a mechanic deliberately set fire to all the cars on the grid or deliberately laced a drivers drinking water with drugs then the FIA couldn’t ban them either….because they don’t have a licence…..

    What this seems to mean is that the FIA will have to now issue licences to just about anybody that has anything to do with any form of FIA sanctioned motorsport so that they have the authority to issue punishment….. that to me seems a huge pity and very wrong …. and probably very expensive at grass roots motorsport….

    For me this is a very sad day for motorsport…. I very much hope that the FIA do appeal and win.

  41. It seems to me that Bernie Ecclestone may have played a role in this, it seems very timely that just six months after being banned Briatore has this go in his favour. Just enough time for the dust to settle!
    If I were Ron Dennis, I would be coming out asking for my $100 million back but I doubt he would get it!

    1. Ecclestone’s powerful but I don’t think he has much power over the French judiciary!

  42. Unlike Nelsinho, at least Briatore is a proven winner… he might find someone rich enough and not bothered by his past…

  43. Hahaha, I can’t stand it. FIA seems to be confused in this situation. They have lost rest of theirs honour. Piece of big s…t.

  44. The UK witch hunt is obviously on. Was the full moon not 5 days ago? Briatore was never innocent in this but the FIA (Max) had no legal reason to ban him for life. Briatore is a character that F1 needs and he has shown his desire to be there by this fight. F1 sickens me with corporate sh** and political yes men. Flavio is outspoken, offensive and willing to do what is needed to keep this sport going. F1 was never a “clean” sport, it has always been about getting the edge (not always by the right means). If you are shocked by this you should not be watching F1. It has always gone on and although we may not like it the sport exists because of if.

  45. Can the FIA now apply some sort of other punishment that cannot be overturned? For his alleged involvement he should be punished in some way.

    I’ve always thought that it was a conflict of interest being the principal of one team, whilst managing drivers who race for other teams. Maybe the FIA can introduce a rule that prevents such conflict of interests.

    F1 in general needs more senior people that are there for the competition, and not for the money. More people who believe in racing hard, but racing fairly and honestly.

  46. My two pennies worth.

    I know I’m really anti-FIA. Maybe a little paranoid. But I think Mosley and the FIA were out to get Briatore after the FOTA issues earlier.

    They compromised justice for the sake of revenge – doing deals with Piquet Jnr, and not pursuing Renault or looking further to who else might have been involved.

    Although Briatore would appear to be guilty they went beyond their remit in punishing him. As a result we now have the biggest scandal of the last decade unpunished.

    FIA disgrace. How many more times will those two words go together?

  47. HounslowBusGarage
    5th January 2010, 21:27

    So, here we have a proper legal judgement that says Mosley had already decided that Fat Flav had to go before the FIA hearing – i.e. being judge, jury and executioner all at the same time.
    It also points out that the FIA were not empowered to ban Flav from all-FIA sanctioned sport.
    I confidently expect that Briatore will be in deep consultation with his lawyers concerning an action for humungous damages against the FIA.
    Perhaps the MacLaren $100 million will come in handy to pay off Flavio!

  48. Find it funny how people make Flavio out to be the devil when I have seen just as worse actions from both other drivers and teams in the past.

    1. Really? What about his record at Benetton?

  49. This is a sad day for F1. Renault committed arguably the worst instance of cheating in sporting history; yet not a single individual, nor the team itself, is given any real punishment. In fact, Flavio is awarded €15,000; Pat, €5,000! Ludicrous.

    ‘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

    If that’s indeed the case, the FIA had better ban Schumi and Alonso from next year’s championship.

    1. don’t forget hamilton and all of mclaren.

  50. French justice!

  51. Welcome back Flav,

    It’s one law for them & another for the rest of us

  52. I am happy with the decision. the legal jurisdiction (or lack there of) for the FIA to implement such a punishment is an issue in it’s self, but my main gripe is how can he be banned for life, and yet the man who happily pulled the trigger was not punished in a similar if not harsher way? The whole think reeked of personal revenge against Briatore and the biggest scandal the sport has ever seen is effectively left unpunished? What a mess, not a surprise.

  53. Prisoner Monkeys
    5th January 2010, 23:15

    It does’t matter that Briatore won his appeal – he won’t be coming back. He is persona non grata in the paddock; even if he is peritted to come back, no-oneis going to want to work. The simple fact is that Briatore’s time has been mared by endless controvrsies; he has been accused of cheating on at least thre occasions – uing traction control in 1994, possessing Ferrari’s documents in 2007 and now the Singapore affair. This last is the most serious one, because not only did Briatore cheat in order to win, but he endangered the lives of drivers, marshalls and spectators alike in doing it. No-one is going to want their name associated with him. If he comes back, there’s only going to be more trouble.

    I’ve long been under the impression tha the paddock is actully quite sick of Briatore. His relationship wth is drivers (as both their manager and team principal) is very unusual, to say the least, and Nelson Piquet isn’t the only one who has commented that he has no idea what he is doing when it comes to setting up the car. Briatore has screwed a lot of people over, from Eddie Jordan to Jenson Button, and all in the name of getting he best drivers signed to him as a manager and then into his championsip-winng cars. Briatore apparently takes as much as 20% of his drivers’ earnings, more than double what any other manager gets.

    Briatore’s single biggest problem is that he think’s he’s a bigger star than the drivers. The FIA were right to ban him.

    1. It doesn’t matter that Briatore won his appeal – he won’t be coming back. He is persona non grata in the paddock; even if he is permitted to come back, no-one is going to want to work.

      I hope you’re right.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        5th January 2010, 23:41

        Would you recruit him into your team, Keith?

        Briatore no doubt wants to go back to the old ways, probably as a team principal. Except that there ae thirteen teams, and thiteen team principals. Who would Briatore replace?

        He’d probably want to go back to mnaging drivers as well, and he might get one or two – but the teams will be reluctant to sign anyone associated with Briatore given that he told one of his own drivers to crash.

        There are darker rumours about Briatore, as well. When he was in charge of franchising at Bennetton (before they became a team), the company had a very odd structure. If you wanted to set up a Bennetton outlet, you paid an exobriant amount to the company for the rights to use their name. They’d give you your first shipment of stock, and nothing else. You were on your own from thereon in, and company policy was that you had to setup in a section of town that would give you maximum exposure – which usually ment paying the highest rent in town. It was not uncommon to see two outlets three blocks away in a town where one would struggle, because how many people did you ever see going into them? A lot of people thought that Bennetton as a scam, or some sort of front. Whatever the case, their franchising policy was incredibly unusual – it virtually guaranteed an outlet would only survive with a hell of a lot of luck. And it was engineered – masterminded migth be a better word by Flavio Bratore.

        I guess the reason why I’m bringing this up is because Briatore has a criminal record after the events in Singapore. The problem is that he won’t face justice for it – Singapore does not have an extradition treaty with Italy. Pat Symonds could be charged in a Singaporean court, because they do have an arrangement with England, but Briatore escapes the long arm of the law. His infraction was a worse case than the only other man to receive a lifetime ban (at least in recent history): Bruno Sassetti. And yet he gets his ban overturned? Who cares if it was a witch-hunt by Max Mosley; the Law of Averages says that sooner or later, the hunters will find a witch.

        I was reading an article on Autosport where Briatore says he hasn’t made up his mind about whether he’ll come back. That, I hope is the realisation that he is neither wanted nor welcomed in the paddock. Because given his track record, Briatore should have been kicked out of the sport years ago. He’s a disgrace – to his drivers, to his team, to his sponsors and worst of all, to the sport.

        Throw him to the wolves. We’ll all be better off for it.

        1. Would you recruit him into your team, Keith?

          You know, for years teams have been using Marelli electronics, to the disbelief of most electronics/software engineers in the business (including people who had to use it). Nothing surprises me in this business anymore…

        2. His infraction was a worse case than the only other man to receive a lifetime ban (at least in recent history): Bruno Sassetti.

          I’m assuming you mean Andrea Sassetti, former team principal of Andrea Moda. Sassetti’s main offence was running one of the worst F1 teams known to man and that’s what he was banned for.

          But I think that one instance, where the team sent Perry McCarthy out to qualify at Spa knowing the car had a faulty steering rack which promptly locked going into Eau Rouge, was worse than Briatore’s actions. Piquet may have been put at risk but he did at least have some control over his actions, whereas McCarthy knew nothing about the faulty steering rack until it failed…

    2. yes i think you are right pm. I agree with the decision, but i don’t think he should be unpunished by any stretch of the imagination. The most expensive loss to him was his reputation and respect and you are right, who will want to work with him and what sponsor would want him parachuting into a team they are funding.

    3. It was McLaren documents, not Ferrari.

      I still think it was rotten that Piquet got away with it in the first place – and also the fact he used the crash as a personal vendetta. Forget about Mosley. I hope Briatore doesn’t come back to F1 – it doesn’t need a cheat like him skulking around. As for Symonds, I think that once the original ban is lifted, he should be a free man. He spoke of remorse and sent letters of apology. He’s effectively a man in gaol. When he’s served his time, he should be allowed to go about his business.

      Also, what does this verdict mean for the bans against Coughlan and Stepney? That must be a can of worms…

      1. You’re right about Symonds. But Briatore has stuck by the dictum of those who abuse power the world over: deny everything, admit nothing, even when it’s ‘obvious’ you were involved. Unfortunately the legal systems (judges) in many countries respond to this position favourably – only when the wealthy are involved, obviously – since it forms the basis of most ruling economic and political elites. It’s ‘how the system works.’ Eventually the fuss dies down, the power (money) remains in the same hands – and people like Briatore can sneak back in again.

        Alonso seems to have learned this lesson well from his mentor too.

  54. Mike "the bike" Schumacher
    5th January 2010, 23:28

    So everyone involved has got off with no punishment. It’s an absolute disgrace.

    1. You are right,it’s a big shame for the sport.

  55. The FIA screwed up (why doesn’t that surprise me?)
    FB should have been banned for life, don’t forget, him telling PK to crash could have got someone killed.

    1. … a fact that often seems overlooked in these days of relative safety in F1…

  56. hmm, many good points here. Why has this turned out to be such a complicated issue? After PK Jr. gave up everything on a plate, and Symonds and co confessed, this should not have turned into such a complicated mess.
    PK jr- finned and banned for life. He may have been under pressure, but he was the main man, the one who pulled the trigger. he could have stopped even at the last minute but choose not to. He did put lives in danger, was it Monza 2000 when a martial died?
    Symonds and Briatore – Same again. They were in senior positions of power, but how can they be punished like that when Jr can still seek a drive?

    :( what a mess.

    1. That’s the problem of offering, in exchange for a delation, any benefit to the delator… it’s not uncommon in Criminal Law, it might solve some misterious cases, but it’s pretty unfair, when it means immunity for the one who effectively behaved illegaly, like Nelsinho…

  57. Until the FIA have exhausted all their appeal rights, the ban will remain inforce. Which should give them ample time to come up with legislation that only allows ‘fit and proper persons’ to take part in F1.

  58. Forget about the ban,will you want him in your team?

  59. Briatore should get a job at Mclaren

  60. So… how exactly were Renault punished for their cheating now?

    1. They still have a suspended 2 year ban. Which I think is quite fair given the actions they took.

      1. Yeah, but a suspended sentence is not punishment it’s merely a threat.

  61. Here’s something that hasn’t been memntioned yet and I am very curious to see if the FIA take action on.

    Wether you like the courts decision or not, it seems like the entire overturn has to do with the simple fact the neither Biratore or Symmonds held an FIA license and therefore were out of the FIA’s jurisdiction.

    So I just wonder if the FIA will, in the near future, require ANYONE who enter an FIA sactioned paddock have some sort of FIA license, effectively allowing the FIA to saction whomever they like, how they like, providing it’s within the law.

    I’m very curious to see if the FIA take this action. I would think they are, at the very least, discussing it within the ranks.

  62. “stupid French court” .. “French justice”: those are nasty and unjustifiable racist comments.

    So here’s mine, and that will be all for today: F1fanatic filter failed.

    1. I don’t agree the comments are racist which I why I haven’t taken them down.

  63. I am disappointed and disheartened by this decision. Though, to tell the truth, not completely surprised.

    French court or a court in Wherethefugarewestan, it matters not. What has happened here is a terrible thing: Law has been upheld, while Justice has taken a terrible slap in the face.

    I am still shaking my head in amazement, that the Court cited as part of their reasoning for their decision that since Max Mosley had it in for Briatore and that Mosley initiated the investigation, that made it all trash. Truth is, it would be the duty of the President of the FiA to initiate such an investigation upon receiving credible information indicating such an infraction had taken place. Apparently the Court fails to realize that the President of the FiA at that time was Max Mosley, and that Mosley, regardless of his feelings toward Briatore, had no choice but to do his job.

    I believe the Court’s decision was given under the strictest interpretation of French law, and that the Court does not fully understand motorsport or Formula 1. It may be that is the position of the Court. In not having intimate knowledge of motorsport, they did not attempt to give a judgement call, they simply gave the strictest decision of the law. Still, it is a huge dis-service to Justice.

    As others have mentioned, this is a good time for FiA to look into additional licensing for participants. Which is a good idea, I think.

  64. Briatore escapes the long arm of the law. His infraction was a worse case than the only other man to receive a lifetime ban (at least in recent history): Bruno Sassetti.

    PM, were you thinking of Andrea Sassetti(Andrea Moda Formula 1), banned for bringing the sport into disrepute after his arrest in Belgium paddock for forging invoices?

    I admit, I’m drawing a blank on Bruno Sassetti. But then, the old man’s memory isn’t what it used to be.

    1. Me too. Andrea Sassetti would make sense though.

  65. I cannot believe that one of the very few RIGHT decisions by the FIA has been reversed by some stupid court.

  66. His knowledge and insight into F1 is invaluable for a new F1 team and although his reputation is tainted he would be a powerful asset to have pulling the strings and giving guidance in the background!

  67. The crucial issues are:-
    1) Did Flavio tell Piquet to crash or was it Piquet who offered to crash. Because from Symonds’ statement, it does appear like Piquet was the one who brought up the idea.

    2) Did Flavio play an active role in it after the suggestion had been made or was it simply Symonds and Piquet working things out.

    3) Why adidn’t Bernie want Flavio to take the matter to a civil court.

  68. Even if Flav returns to F1 – who would be willing to work with him, unless he/she’s planning a suicide and wants it to be covered well by the media :-)

    It will be much like Nelsinho – not guilty by law, but out of job and no big chances for one.

  69. This is possibly the worst day for Formula 1’s image ever. Forget breakaway rows, this takes things to a whole new level.

    So the judgement was legally correct. That’s about the only correct thing about it. Here we have the greatest, moat heinous act of cheating ever and it’s going unpunished. One of the biggest names in modern F1 nearly got banned because of the actions of the employees and not the team itself, whilst all three culprits have now got away scott-free.

    This stinks to high heaven. It angers me more than the incident itself. F1 is apparently incapable of preventing you from being associated with it if you cheat and you’re not a driver.

    Do you think Flavio will really care that people will shun him? All he cares about is making money, and he’ll be back doing so with his own team at some point.

    I’m also very disappointed in some of my fellow fanatics on here, excusing or mitigating his crime and/or welcoming the decision to allow him back. You really hate McLaren and/or Max Mosley enough that you want such a vile character back in F1 just to make a point about Spy/Liegate and Mosley’s tenure? I don’t disagree it was a witch-hunt but Flavio has no place in the sport and two wrongs don’t make a right.

    If Flavio comes back to a team then, as much as it would break my heart, I would seriously consider never watching F1 as long as he’s there. A lot of sneering columnists have used what happened in Singapore as an excuse to say F1 is not a sport. The fallacies and hypocrisies of that aside, if Flavio (or Symonds, in the next five years) comes back to F1 ever again, they’ll finally have a leg to stand on.

    1. This is possibly the worst day for Formula 1’s image ever. Forget breakaway rows, this takes things to a whole new level.

      The Court’s Sentence is not about what Briatore is, or about what he has done in F1. The French court judged the capacity of FIA for imposing that kind of penalties as well as the process they ran when the FIA judged that affair.

      I heard all the recorded session and it was really very impressive how a man can manage that kind of issues: Max, “dictating” witnesses’ declarations, suggesting his own interpretation to the rest of the court members, taking his own conclusions when talking about people that was not able to make their own defense, offering to the main actor FULL IMMUNITY just for making the rest guilty… It seemed to me, I was attending to a “banana Republic” court.

      One of the worst days for F1 was when all of us took note about THREE guys making that kind of arrangement for wining a race.

      And if we want to talk about the persons, well, Briatore, despite he is not an hero for me (for those interested who can understand Italian, see this quite enlightening comment), is the only one of those three that has showed at least some character.

      I’ve seen some people here, excusing Symonds someway as if he were “a nice guy”, just a professional making his work.

      Well for me, he had a main role on this and after all was discovered: he kept silence during the investigation, he sold his aim to the FIA just to have a lower penalty and after that, he was part of the Briatore’s claim. Really a “model to follow”.

      I’m happy to see NONE of them re-joining F1 again, but I’m happy to see also a Real Court telling the FIA they cannot run the organization as a Kangaroo Court.

      I’m also very disappointed in some of my fellow fanatics on here, excusing or mitigating his crime and/or welcoming the decision to allow him back. You really hate McLaren and/or Max Mosley enough that you want such a vile character back in F1 just to make a point about Spy/Liegate and Mosley’s tenure?

      I’m still wondering why people who like Briatore have to hate McLaren. For me, the only answer to that is maybe you hate Briatore only because you love McLaren?

      1. IDR, I agree with you fully.

        If any prosecutor exceeds his authority in prosecuting a case, he can expect to have his entire case thrown out, regardless of whether the accused deserves to get away without charge or not. It’s not up to the French court whether Flavio did or didn’t get his just desserts for all his past wrongs here. I’m inclined to think FB was destroyed professionally by this anyway, and will never again walk the F1 pitlane in an influential role (I certainly wouldn’t want to be the corporate leader who dares to hire him), but that’s not the issue here.

        “Possibly the worst day for Formula 1’s image ever…” I beg to differ. It’s far from that and there have been plenty of days which are really, really bad for F1’s image (Spa’08, Monza’06, $100M and so on). At issue here is the authoritarian, dictatorial wielding of absolute power by Mosley and the FIA over many years and in a self-interested and partisan way, something which also goes back through the days of Balestre. Any day in which that authority is challenged or denied can never be a bad day for F1.

  70. Had the FIA effectively proved it’s case rather than made their own proceedings appear like more of an old boys meeting, then I might have some sympathy with them.

    As it stands the FIA has not proved to me that Briatore is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in this matter, and past transgressions or personal animosities are not something the FIA should allow to cloud their collective judgement. So because of that (and a perverse personal liking for Briatore that I have to admit to) I’m 100% on his side in this.

  71. The FIA can resolve this without appealling.

    They simply need to change the rules so that all key figures, including drivers agents, need an FIA license of some description to partake in the sport. Then they can choose who they weant to give them to.

    They have perfectly reasonable grounds not to issue Symonds and Briatore with a license and therefore they still would no be able to partake without officially being banned!

    This gives them an opportunity to clean up the sport and screen everybody who enter nots just drivers.

    Everybody who makes major decisions in a team should have to have them and also driver agents who can influence their drivers.

  72. I hope Pat Symonds get’s a job in F1 soon. He’s a good guy and if he had anything to do with the crash fixing he would have been dragged/bullied along by Flavio.

  73. And so it begins, Flavio is now making himself out to be the victim and innocent party in all of this…

    …what he fails to see is that the French Court ruling doesn’t say that he’s not guilty, just that the punishment imposed by the FiA was “irregular”…

  74. 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.

  75. 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

  76. 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.

    1. 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.

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

  77. 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.


    1. So why were Renault not punished?, why only a single individual. I think this is a case of selective justice.

      1. Renault were punished. They received a suspended ban.

        1. I.e: They got nothing but a threat of possible future punishment for any future infractions.

  78. 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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