Pat Symonds and Flavio Briatore
Both Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds have agreed not to pursue further charges, after a settlement with the FIA that resulted in both effectively receiving a 3-year ban from Formula 1.
In exchange for the FIA dropping charges against the two, they have agreed not to take any “operational role” in Formula 1 until the end of 2012, or any FIA competition until the end of 2011. However, it still seems that no charges are to be brought against Nelson Piquet Jr, the driver who conspired with Briatore and Symonds to cause a deliberate crash, and give Fernando Alonso a huge advantage in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.
The full FIA statement reads as follows:
The decision handed down by the Tribunal de Grande Instance of
Paris on 5 January 2010 at the request of Mr Flavio Briatore
and Mr Pat Symonds, which the FIA has appealed, revealed a poor
understanding of how the disciplinary procedure before the
World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) works. In accordance with the
undertakings made by the FIA President during his campaign, it
will be proposed at the next General Assembly, at the end of
2010, that a structural reform, on which the FIA Statutes Review
Commission is currently working, be adopted to prevent other
In the meantime, at its meeting in Bahrain on 11 March 2010, the
WMSC decided on the one hand to adopt a Code of Practice to
clarify the working of its disciplinary procedure, and on the
other hand to give the FIA President full authority to seek a
definitive outcome, whether judicial or extrajudicial, to the
disputes with Mr Flavio Briatore and Mr Pat Symonds, best
preserving the interests of the FIA.
After discussions between their lawyers and those of the FIA,
Mr Flavio Briatore and Mr Pat Symonds have each made a settlement
offer to the FIA President with a view to putting an immediate
end to the legal proceedings.
Each of them recognising his share of responsibility for the
deliberate crash involving the driver Nelson Piquet Junior at
the 2008 Grand Prix of Singapore, as "Team Principal" of Renault
F1 where Mr Flavio Briatore is concerned, they have expressed
their regrets and presented their apologies to the FIA.
They have undertaken to abstain from having any operational role
in Formula One until 31 December 2012, as well as in all the other
competitions registered on the FIA calendars until the end of
the 2011 sporting season.
They have also abandoned all publicity and financial measures
resulting from the judgment of 5 January 2010, as well as any
further action against the FIA on the subject of this affair.
In return, they have asked the FIA to abandon the ongoing appeal
procedure, but without the FIA recognising the validity of the
criticisms levelled against the WMSC’s decision of 21 September
2009, as well as to waive the right to bring any new proceedings
against them on the subject of this affair.
Considering that the judgment of 5 January 2010 concerned only the
form and not the substance of the WMSC’s decision of 21 September
2009, and that the undertakings and renunciation of all claims
expressed by Mr Flavio Briatore and Mr Pat Symonds are in line
with what the WMSC is seeking, the FIA President has considered
that it is in the best interests of the FIA not to allow the
perpetuation of these legal disputes, which have received a great
deal of media coverage and which, regardless of the outcome, are
very prejudicial to the image of the FIA and of motor sport, and
thus to accept this settlement solution, thereby putting an end
to this affair.
If you actually read all that (bit heavy-worded wasn’t it?), you would also know that Briatore and Symonds have both rejected the £18,000 and £4,000 compensation packages that the FIA were forced to give to them in January, after a court ruled that their previous life bans were illegal.
Now though, they must bide their time, as they have to wait until the 2013 season until they can apply to get back into Formula 1. The question is, will anyone take them? Symonds might get in with a team, since he’s a nice guy, and certainly didn’t play as big a part as Briatore, though he still deserved the ban. Briatore might go back to driver managment, but it is unclear if any driver would want to work woth him after all of this.
However, the FIA have the option to turn nasty. A few months ago, the idea of driver managment liscences was suggested, to stop Flavio Briatore from getting back into Formula 1. If they were to bring it in, they could stop Briatore, without the threat of court action, since they are in the legal right this time.
Alternatively, we could just hope that the 2012 doomsday predictions are right, and they will never get into F1 again.