Disgraced former Renault F1 managing director Flavio Briatore has been given a date for the High Court appeal in France that he hopes will overturn the lifetime ban he received from the sport for his leading role in the 'Singapore-gate' race-fixing scandal.
Absent from the F1 paddock since the FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) hearing last month that decided his fate, Briatore confirmed over the weekend of the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos that he intended to initiate legal proceedings in the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris against what he called 'a legal absurdity' on the part of the governing body, arguing that 'the FIA has been used as a tool to exact vengeance on behalf of one man' [see separate story – click here
The Italian has also accused the FIA of committing a 'deliberate breach of the rights', a 'breach of the rules of natural justice' and 'manifest excess and abuse of power' in sentencing him in absentia
on 21 September, and a spokeswoman has revealed that Briatore's lawyers have presented a motion to the High Court. A hearing has now been granted for 24 November.
The 59-year-old was found guilty by the WMSC of manipulating the result of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, by instructing Nelsinho Piquet to deliberately crash out of the top flight's inaugural night race in order to propel Renault team-mate Fernando Alonso to the head of the order from well outside the top ten following an engine failure in qualifying. The Spaniard went on to win the race.
Aside from his ban from all FIA-sanctioned events, Briatore was also outlawed from any driver management deals. At the time of the ruling, he looked after the F1 careers of Alonso, Red Bull Racing star Mark Webber, McLaren-Mercedes ace Heikki Kovalainen and Renault new boy Romain Grosjean.
Neither the French manufacturer nor the FIA have responded to the confirmation of Briatore's legal action.