Early reports from Paris suggest that Flavio Briatore’s lifetime ban from Formula 1 has been overturned by the French courts. Briatore was at the centre of the crash-gate conspiracy regarding Singapore 2008.
The judge claims that the sanction imposed against Briatore was illegal, and should be overturned. Briatore was even awarded €15,000 in compensation. The FIA legal team are said to probably launching an appeal.
In my opinion, this is an absolute disaster for the sport. Flavio brought cheating and corruption in many ways to this sport, and to be given money for being caught cheating says it all. The silver lining is, the FIA aren’t going to let him back into F1 without a fight… hopefully.
And anyways, even if he wasn’t involved in crash-gate, he was once photographed wearing a thong. Which deserves a lifetime ban itself.
Update: Pat Symonds’ 5 year ban has also been overturned, and will receive €5,000 in compensation.
Update 2: The FIA are legally obliged to release details of the ban being lifted in the next 2 weeks. The FIA statement can be found here:
“The FIA notes the Decision of the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Paris in relation to Mr. Briatore and Mr. Symonds.
The Court has rejected the claims for damages made by Mr. Briatore and Mr. Symonds and their claim for an annulment of the FIA’s decision. In particular, the Court did not examine the facts and has not reversed the FIA’s finding that both Briatore and Symonds conspired to cause an intentional crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.
However, the Court did question the FIA’s authority to impose bans upon Mr. Briatore and Mr. Symonds for procedural reasons and because they are not FIA licence holders and, according to the Court, are therefore not subject to any FIA rules. The FIA’s ability to exclude those who intentionally put others’ lives at risk has never before been put into doubt and the FIA is carefully considering its appeal options on this point.
The Court’s decision is not enforceable until the FIA’s appeal options have been exhausted. Until then, the World Motor Sport Council’s decision continues to apply.
In addition, the FIA intends to consider appropriate actions to ensure that no persons who would engage, or who have engaged, in such dangerous activities or acts of intentional cheating will be allowed to participate in Formula One in the future.”