Former Formula One driver Philippe Streiff is facing the threat of legal action from the FIA for his comments on the governing body’s investigation into Jules Bianchi’s crash.
Streiff, who was paralysed following a crash in an F1 car in 1989, criticised the findings of the FIA’s Accident Panel, which published a summary of its report last month.
It found that Bianchi did not slow sufficiently as he was passing Adrian Sutil’s crash scene despite the presence of double waved yellow flags, but also made a number of recommendation to reduce the risk of a similar accident happening again.
Bianchi has been in hospital since the crash during the Japanese Grand Prix in October.
In a statement issued on Thursday the FIA said “President Jean Todt, as well as Gerard Saillant, President of the FIA Medical Commission, are dismayed to learn of the remarks made about them by Philippe Streiff in his recent comments on the state of Jules Bianchi’s health”.
“These remarks having been published by certain media, the FIA, Jean Todt and Gerard Saillant categorically state that Philippe Streiff’s insulting and defamatory comments are utterly unfounded and demonstrate malicious intent.”
The FIA has vowed to bring legal action against Streiff. “In view of the seriousness of this deliberate attack on their reputations, they have had to ask their lawyers to lodge a complaint for public defamation and insult so that the circulation of Philippe Streiff’s statements is stopped immediately and sanctioned in an appropriate manner,” said the statement.
“They find it regrettable that this incident only serves to add to the suffering of Jules Bianchi’s family, for whom they would like to reiterate their support.”
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