• Crashgate scandal

Briatore to take legal action over indefinite ban

ESPNF1 Staff
October 20, 2009 « Dennis insists McLaren will benefit from Mercedes split | »

Former Renault chief Flavio Briatore will appeal the indefinite ban from the FIA for his role in the 'crashgate' affair on November 24.

Briatore will take his appeal to the High Court in Paris to challenge the FIA's ruling which banned him from the sport for life for his role in the race fixing saga. Briatore along with Renault chief engineer Pat Symonds and driver Nelson Piquet Jnr were found guilty of conspiring to cause a crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

Speaking of his intention to appeal, the former Renault boss described the ruling as a "legal absurdity". "In this case the FIA has been used as a tool to exact vengeance on behalf of one man," he said. "This decision is a legal absurdity and I have every confidence that the French courts will resolve the matter justly and impartially."

While Piquet was granted immunity from prosecution in return for giving evidence, the World Motor Sport Council banned Symonds from the sport for five years, and the Renault team were handed a ban suspended for two years pending further comparable rule infringements.

However, Briatore's ban extends beyond the Renault team, with his management firm FFBB managing other F1 drivers including Heikki Kovalainen, Mark Webber and Romain Grosjean, who have been forced to sever their links with the Italian.

Meanwhile, Briatore's involvement with English football club Queen's Park Rangers (QPR) remains in the balance after the Football League announced they would await the outcome of the court proceedings before deciding on his future involvement.

Under the Football League's "fit and proper persons test", any individual banned by another recognised sporting authority is forbidden from owning one of its clubs, but the Football League will not come to a decision until court proceedings are over. The FIA has no such test for potential team owners.

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