MOTORSPORT : Former Renault team boss Flavio Briatore will discover on January 5 whether his appeal against a lifetime ban from motor racing, imposed by the FIA, is to be overturned.
Former Renault team boss Flavio Briatore will discover on January 5 whether his appeal against a lifetime ban from motor racing, imposed by the FIA, is to be overturned.
Briatore’s lawyer Philippe Ouakrat attended the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris on Tuesday to outline his client’s assertion that the punishment handed down by motor sport’s governing body in September was illegal. The 59-year-old Italian is also demanding damages of just over £900,000.
Briatore was involved in a conspiracy which saw Nelson Piquet Jnr deliberately crash his car at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix in order to help team-mate Fernando Alonso take the win. Briatore claims former FIA president Max Mosley was “blinded by an excessive desire for personal revenge” in pursuing the case, and believes the FIA did not have legal grounds to issue him with a wholesale ban from motor sport.
“The decisions to carry out an investigation and to submit it to the World Council were taken by the same person, Max Mosley, the FIA president,” Briatore said in a statement earlier this month.
The statement added that Mosley “assumed the roles of complainant, investigator, prosecutor and judge” in what Briatore claims was a breach of the “most basic rules of procedure and the rights to a fair trial”.
Briatore’s claim that the FIA World Council chaired by Mosley was out for “personal revenge” stems from his involvement in plans for a breakaway series, an issue that rumbled on through much of last season before an agreement was reached for manufacturers to stay in Formula One.
Renault’s former executive director of engineering Pat Symonds also appealed against his five-year ban for involvement in the scandal at Tuesday’s hearing.