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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

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Flavio Briatore (ITA) Renault Team Principal, Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, 24-26th, April, 2009
Harrison Newey - Van Amersfoort Racing   [pic credit: ADAC Motorsport]
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Flav Fan - Unregistered

November 24, 2009 11:41 PM

BA your views are clouded. Yep your definately related, a love child perhaps, from one of his many hookers. His case went before the FIA. your having a laugh.. do you live in some kind of bubble, shrouded from all things bad, may'be your a Hitler youth follower, cant see the wood for the tree's. I do have a problem with Mosley, that is the only thing that you have spotted correctly. He's Scum, along with his father, Hitler and Saddam Hussein. Flav being up to his wicked ways being judged by the biggest cheat the sport has ever encompassed and he works for the governing body. As bad as a bent policeman or MP.No place for them and we dont want them.



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