• Crashgate fallout

FIA reaches settlement with Briatore over Crashgate

ESPNF1 Staff
April 12, 2010 « Renault looking to get ahead of Mercedes | »
Nelson Piquet Jr's crash in Singapore sparked the Crashgate affair © Sutton Images

The FIA has drawn a line under the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix Crashgate scandal, after reaching an agreement with former Renault chiefs Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds.

Briatore and Symonds were banned from motor racing by the FIA's World Motor Sport Council after conspiring with Nelson Piquet Jr to cause a deliberate crash during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. However, the duo won an appeal against the decision in the French court earlier this year and had their bans overturned.

The FIA had planned to appeal that decision, but on Monday it announced it would be taking no further action against the pair in return for an apology and their agreement not to take part in Formula One again until the start of 2013.

"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," read an FIA statement. "Each of them recognising his share of responsibility for the deliberate crash involving the driver Nelson Piquet Jr 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."

Referring to the French court's decision, the FIA also said it was continuing to work on its structural reform to "prevent other misunderstandings" in the future.