Formula 1: flavio briatore’s life ban inadmissible

Success for flavio briatore: the life ban of the former formula 1 team boss by the automobile world association was overturned by a french court. The "tribunal de grande instance" in paris on tuesday declared the ban imposed by the world motor sport council on september 21. September 2009, as inadmissible. The evidence was very thin because the witness was anonymous and could not be questioned by the defense, it said. "The court ruled that the sentence was illegal", said the competent judge. Briatore received 15.000 euros in compensation.

However, it is unclear whether the italian will be able to work again in formula 1. It is clear that this is a serious blow for the international automobile federation (fia), with whose ex-president max mosley briatore had a sometimes heated public dispute in the course of the affair. The italian denied that the federation had the authority to ban him and demanded millions in compensation. His lawyer also declared him innocent of the charges.

Briatore, from whom renault had parted company after the affair came to light, saw himself as a pawn in the game. While the french carmaker, whose exit from formula 1 was feared, got off with a two-year suspended sentence, briatore was severely punished. The fia world council also sanctioned former chief engineer pat symonds: he was banned for five years.

Briatore was accused of causing the accident of then renault driver nelson piquet jr. At the singapore grand prix in 2008. The beneficiary was fernando alonso, piquet’s colleague at the time won the race. In reaching its decision, the world motor sport council described the faked crash as a rule violation of unprecedented "unprecedented severity". This was followed by a ban for an "indefinite time" from all fia racing series.

Briatore’s former employer immediately responded to the serious allegations and accepted the world council’s decision. "We apologize unreservedly to the formula 1 world for this unacceptable behavior", the french carmaker had announced at the time. By good will in the clarification as well as the separation from the two backers, he had also provided arguments for the rather lenient sentence for renault.

The former team boss, on the other hand, was not even granted access to a paddock anymore. Drivers who employ briatore as manager will also no longer receive a license from the fia. With these draconian sanctions, the world council had not only wanted to punish briatore’s complicity in the events, but also the fact that he had continued his involvement despite all the evidence, "that he continued to deny his involvement despite all the evidence", he said in the reasoning for the verdict.

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