The FIA should not waste its money on appealing against the French High Court ruling on Flavio Briatore's lifetime ban from F1, the Italian's lawyer has warned – bluntly rating the governing body's chances of succeeding in such a venture as 'zero'.
Earlier this week, Briatore was cleared to return to work in the sport after the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris deemed that the initial FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) hearing into the 'Singapore-gate' race-fixing scandal – of which the ex-Renault F1 managing director was held to be the leading culprit – had been both 'irregular' and 'illegal' [see separate story – click here
Though former FIA President Max Mosley – the man who presided over the WMSC reunion that deliberated Briatore's fate, and who the latter claimed had conducted a 'personal vendetta' against him in a bid to force him out of the sport for good – is adamant that the High Court verdict will not be the end of the matter and that his nemesis will be punished for his life-endangering behaviour [see separate story – click here
], contending that it was merely the procedure that was disputed and not Briatore's actual guilt, Philippe Ouakrat argues such a course of action would be futile.
“First of all, we aim at having the verdict enforced,” the Queens Park Rangers (QPR) co-owner's lawyer told Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport
. “In any case, the FIA has zero chance if it decides to appeal. It's a real cataclysm for them. They prefer to shut up like a clam. We would have liked to find a different solution, but Briatore now has a real boulevard ahead of him.
“The FIA could take a step backwards. Up to now Briatore has accepted to save the team, but he will never accept his name to be linked to a cheat. We could ask for compensation for the damages suffered by my client's driver management company. The figures would be a lot more significant. We believe that Mosley, despite being blinded by the dispute with Briatore, had acted only as President of the FIA, where it's certainly not up to us to decide whether there's still room for him.”
Ouakrat added that the Briatore camp is now 'evaluating its position' with regard to pursuing legal redress against the Piquet family, who blew the whistle on the scandal in the first place after 'Nelsinho' was unceremoniously sacked by Renault midway through the 2009 campaign.