• Crashgate fallout

Angry Mosley slams 'desperate' Briatore

ESPNF1 Staff
December 17, 2009 « Schumacher return 'looks like it will happen' - Ecclestone | »
Max Mosley speaks to journalists after attending the World Motor Sport Council hearing into the Crashgate affair in September © Getty Images

The increasingly bitter row between former FIA president Max Mosley and Flavio Briatore has taken another twist with Mosley delivering a stinging broadside at the disgraced former Renault boss.

Briatore was slapped with an indefinite ban from motorsport for his part in the Crashgate scandal, a decision he is currently appealing. But he told a hearing in Paris last month that he had been punished because Mosley was "being blinded by an excessive desire for personal revenge". He also accused the FIA of breaching "the most basic rules of procedure and the rights to a fair trial".

Mosley, reacting to the publication earlier this week in a newspaper of what he described as leaked documents relating to the appeal hearing, launched a savage counter attack.

"He was given every opportunity to put his side of the story, but he chose not to submit himself to scrutiny," Mosley said. "Briatore should be the last person to complain the FIA have not treated him fairly. The FIA have repeatedly given him the benefit of the doubt. It did so when prohibited software was found in a car under his control; again when a component was removed from his team's refuelling equipment; again when his team failed to declare properly the purpose of a particular suspension component, and most recently when they were caught with information illicitly acquired from another team.

"Each time his team was caught, the FIA accepted Briatore's claim that he was not involved. It believed his usual story was that he was not technical and that a 'junior member' of the team (who has been appropriately dealt with) was responsible. This time, however, it was different. There was overwhelming evidence he was directly involved in ordering Nelson Piquet Jnr to crash.

"[The FIA] inquiry, like Renault's own investigation, established Briatore's responsibility beyond question. The suggestion that all this was somehow manufactured for reasons of personal vengeance is a desperate and unsustainable argument."

Mosley also denied there was long-standing bad blood between the pair after a dispute between the FIA and the Formula One Teams' Association. "There was absolutely no rancour on my part towards him … we often spoke and had a friendly lunch together in Monaco shortly after the dispute was settled."

He concluded by claiming that the newspaper article was an attempt to "distract attention from his key role in one of the worst and most dangerous examples of cheating in the history of sport".