F1 »

Briatore awaits result of appeal over 'Singapore-gate'

Disgraced former Renault F1 managing director Flavio Briatore is adamant that he will have the last laugh as the French High Court meets in Paris today to deliberate his appeal over his 'Singapore-gate' lifetime ban from the sport
Former Renault F1 managing director Flavio Briatore has revealed that he has 'every confidence' that the effective lifetime ban he received from the top flight for his role in the 'Singapore-gate' race-fixing scandal will be overturned by the French High Court today (Tuesday).

The Italian was barred indefinitely from all aspects of the sport – including driver management – by the FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) two months ago, for being deemed guilty as charged of having instructed Nelsinho Piquet to deliberately crash out of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, thereby inducing a safety car period that enabled team-mate Fernando Alonso to triumph in F1's inaugural night race from a disadvantaged grid position following an engine failure in qualifying.

However, Briatore was not present at the WMSC reunion to hear his fate, and he has accused the FIA and more specifically the governing body's recently-departed president Max Mosley of presiding over something akin to a far from impartial kangaroo court, claiming the decision to ban him had already been made even before the hearing and that the whole process was flawed as it was partially based upon the evidence of the at-the-time anonymous 'Witness X'.

He has also suggested that the Englishman – with whom he has rarely seen eye-to-eye, particularly at the height of the FIA/FOTA civil war during the summer – essentially took advantage of the opportunity to force him out in a form of personal revenge.

The 59-year-old has described his unprecedented penalty as a 'legal absurdity' and has berated the FIA for what he regards as a 'deliberate breach of the rights of defence', a 'breach of the rules of natural justice' and a 'manifest excess and abuse of power'. His legal team contend that the WMSC's procedures were against both the FIA International Sporting Code and French law.

Aside from the abolition of his ban, Briatore is also seeking up to €1 million in damages to his reputation, and an official publication of the Tribunal de Grande Instance's ruling, even though he himself did not attend the Paris appeal.

“I have every confidence that the French courts will resolve the matter justly and impartially,” he asserted in a statement, published by the BBC.

“When he decided to leave Renault, he took moral responsibility for the mistake, but he doesn't want to be penalised for something he is not responsible for,” added his lawyer Philippe Ouakrat, who The Guardian quotes as adding: “My client only aims to be able to do what he wants and to recover his freedom...He is calm and determined.”

FIA lawyer Jean-François Prat responded by stressing that safety was of the utmost importance to the governing body, explaining that: “We hadn't seen something as unethical in a sports competition before – many people's lives were endangered.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Flavio Briatore (ITA) Renault Team Principal, Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, 24-26th, April, 2009
Kamui Kobayashi and the Caterham Seven 250R Kamui edition
John Watson driving the McLaren MP4B at the 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix, Las Vegas
Guy Moll at the 1934 Grand Prix Automobile de Montreux   [pic credit:Agence de presse Meurisse/Bibliothèque nationale de France]
2014 FIA European F3 champion Esteban Ocon is to test with Lotus F1
12.10.2014- Race, Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
12.10.2014- Race, the start
12.10.2014- Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
12.10.2014- Vitaly Mutko (RUS) Minister of Sport of the Russian Federation
12.10.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
12.10.2014- Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
12.10.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 in the press conference after the race
12.10.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 celebrates Manufactor title of Mercedes with the team
12.10.2014- Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E22
12.10.2014- Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
12.10.2014-  Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10 with a fan
12.10.2014- Fabiana Flosi (BRA)
12.10.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Kimey - Unregistered

November 24, 2009 4:31 PM

If he is confident then he has probably been tipped the wink by Bernie. Wonder how much palm greasing (or any other part of the anatomy) has gone on with regards to this deal?

© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.