18 December 2009
Mosley lays into Briatore following 'revenge' claims
Former FIA president Max Mosley has hit back at Flavio Briatore's claims that he had a personal vendetta agains the Italian
Former FIA president Max Mosley has claimed that Flavio Briatore has no reason to say that he was unfairly treated by the governing body following his ousting from the sport over 'crashgate'.
The Italian, who was given a life-time ban from F1 after being accused of complicity in Nelson Piquet Jr's 2008 Singapore GP crash that engineered victory for Renault team-mate Fernando Alonso, apparently made comments following his hearing that suggested that he had been the victim of a revenge mission - something Mosley felt was serious enough to respond to with an official statement of his own.
Among Briatore's claims, made at a hearing in Paris last month, were that Mosley - who was recently succeeded as FIA president by Jean Todt - has been 'being blinded by an excessive desire for personal revenge', and that the governing body had committed 'a breach of the most basic rules of procedure and the rights to a fair trial' as a result of his public disputes with the Briton.
Mosley, however, insists that his rival had no grounds to make such accusations, particularly as he had waived the opportunity to respond to the Singapore accusations on numerous occasions.
"Briatore should be the last person to complain the FIA have not treated him fairly," Mosley's statement read, "The FIA have repeatedly given him the benefit of the doubt.
"It did so when prohibited software was found in a car under his control; again when a component was removed from his team's refuelling equipment; again when his team failed to declare properly the purpose of a particular suspension component and, most recently, when they were caught with information illicitly acquired from another team.
"Each time his team was caught, the FIA accepted Briatore's claim that he was not involved. It believed his usual story was that he was not technical and that a 'junior member' of the team (who has been appropriately dealt with) was responsible.
"This time, however, it was different. There was overwhelming evidence he was directly involved in ordering Nelson Piquet Jr to crash [and] his conduct was particularly reprehensible because he was Piquet's personal manager, the very person to whom a young driver would turn for advice if ordered to do something dangerous or unethical by his team.
"Once the FIA had a sworn statement from Nelson Piquet Jr confirming he was ordered to crash, a full inquiry conducted by outside lawyers was inevitable. That inquiry, like Renault's own investigation, established Briatore's responsibility beyond question.
"The suggestion that all this was somehow manufactured for reasons of personal vengeance is a desperate and unsustainable argument."
Briatore has filed for just short of a million pounds in damages following the ban, which was handed down by the World Motor Sport Council, and has appealed the initial decision, the outcome of which will be known on 5 January.
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