• Crashgate

The FIA to consider appeal over Briatore verdict

ESPNF1 Staff
January 5, 2010 « Delighted Briatore left to ponder his future | »
- The FIA is looking at its options to appeal the court's decision © Sutton Images

The FIA is "carefully considering" its appeal options, after the Tribunal de Grande Instance overturned the bans it imposed on Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds. It also confirmed that the sanctions remain in force until after the appeal process.

The court decided that the FIA had no right to impose such a penalty on the two men over the Crashgate affair, because they are not FIA licence holders and according to the court are not subject to the FIA rules.

"The court has rejected the claims for damages made by Mr Briatore and Mr Symonds and their claim for an annulment of the FIA's decision," the FIA statement said. "In particular, the court did not examine the facts and has not reversed the FIA's finding that both Briatore and Symonds conspired to cause an intentional crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

"The FIA's ability to exclude those who intentionally put others' lives at risk has never before been put into doubt and the FIA is carefully considering its appeal options on this point. The court's decision is not enforceable until the FIA's appeal options have been exhausted. Until then, the World Motor Sport Council's [WMSC] decision continues to apply."

The FIA will also look at rule amendments that would ban anyone who has engaged in acts of cheating, or other dangerous activities, from participating in F1 in the future.

F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone expects the FIA to appeal and the story to develop further.

"It's not over by a long way," he said. "Just because a judge has said what he's said doesn't make any difference. The court said it [the WMSC ruling] was wrong, so the FIA can start all over again and it will go on and on."

However, Briatore's lawyer Philippe Ouakrat disagreed.

"I think the decision is very well-structured, it is going to be very difficult for the FIA to appeal against it," he told The Guardian.