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Briatore: F1 'will be a long time' without me

Ex-Renault F1 managing director Flavio Briatore has re-asserted that the grand prix paddock will be 'a long time' without him - as he accused former FIA President Max Mosley of liking 'to punish people...in private as well as in public'
Flavio Briatore has confirmed that he will not be returning to F1 anytime soon following the overturning of his lifetime ban from the sport by the French High Court last week – as he seized the opportunity to take one more dig at former FIA President Max Mosley, the man he is convinced was almost single-handedly behind his punishment in the first place.

After being barred from involvement in any FIA-sanctioned form of motor racing by the governing body's World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) back in September for the leading role he was deemed to have played in the salacious 'Singapore-gate' race-fixing scandal, Briatore successfully appealed his unprecedented penalty, convincing the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris that not only had the WMSC hearing been a 'sham' to cover up the fact that it was merely 'a tool to exact vengeance on one man' – but that it had also been illegal.

The FIA has since announced that it will appeal the High Court verdict and that pending the outcome of that, Briatore remains unable to set foot inside the paddock – but the Italian has confessed in an interview with broadcaster Sky that in any case, he has no great desire to return.

“F1 will be a long time without Briatore,” the 59-year-old stressed. “I am going to take my time for my paternity.”

That much refers to the fact that his 29-year-old model wife Elisabetta is expecting Briatore's first baby boy, who he quipped will 'not be called Max' – but in reflecting on the whole sorry saga, the ex-Renault F1 managing director well recognises that the subject is no joking matter, adding that he hopes after years of 'dictatorship' under a man who he has described as 'blinded by a desire for personal revenge', the top flight can now return its focus to the on-track action rather than all the off-track controversies that have blighted recent seasons.

“I have thanks for a democratic verdict where legality has been restored,” Briatore concluded. “I hope this is the first step towards a turnaround after years of dictatorship at the will of Max Mosley.

“Mosley likes to punish people; he has done it a lot in his private as well as his public life. For a long time I tried to contribute to Formula 1. If we arrived at this situation, it is because we created FOTA (the Formula One Teams' Association) and somebody lost their head.”

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Flavio Briatore (ITA) Renault Team Principal, Bahrain F1 Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, 24-26th, April, 2009
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