• Crashgate

Delighted Briatore left to ponder his future

ESPNF1 Staff
January 6, 2010 « Flavio Briatore's ban overturned by French court | »
Flavio Briatore's indefinite ban was overturned by a French court © Getty Images

Flavio Briatore said his "dignity and freedom" had been restored by the decision to overturn his indefinite ban from motorsport.

"I would like to express my great joy with the decision handed down by the Paris Tribunal de Grande Instance," he said, adding he had been reluctant to take the FIA to court but had been left with no alternative. "The fact that the World Motor Sport Council had been utilised to deal with a personal agenda aimed at pushing me out of the world of competition left me no other choice.

"The decision handed down today restores to me the dignity and freedom that certain people had arbitrarily attempted to deprive me of."

He said he had no immediate plans to return to F1, and that view was endorsed by Bernie Ecclestone. "I said at the time that even murderers don't get life sentences these days and the court seems to agree," he said. "He is welcome to come back to the paddock. He was a great character in F1 but I am not sure if that is what he wants to do now.

"I think he will move on from that. It's good for him but it is not good for the FIA when you read the verdict."

In recent weeks there have been bitter exchanges between Briatore and Max Mosley, the former FIA president, over the handling of the original investigation, with Briatore claiming much of what happened had been driven by personal animosity from Mosley. The court made clear it was unhappy with Mosley's role, ruling he "played a key role in launching the inquiry and the legal process, violating the principle of a separation of the bodies that are responsible for the investigation and judgment".