Earlier this year, Flavio Briatore, ex-team principal of Renault’s Formula 1 team, was banned from motorsports indefinitely. In a surprising turn of events, Briatore won his appeal against Formula 1’s sanctioning body, the FIA, and has had his ban lifted.
Briatore was banned indefinitely from any sort of involvement in motorsports after former Renault driver Nelson Piquet Jr. exposed what became known as “the crashgate scandal.” During the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, Briatore and Renault F1 engineering director Pat Symonds reportedly ordered Piquet to crash his car to aid the team’s star, driver Fernando Alonso. The ordered crash worked well enough to propel Alonso to the top spot of the podium at the end of the race.
The FIA’s defeat is a rare occurrence, as the racing body’s decisions usually hold when challenged in an external court. In this case, the presiding judge ruled that the sanction was illegal, and nixed Symonds’ 5-year suspension and Briatore’s indefinite ban. As a whistleblower, Piquet was not punished, and Renault’s F1 team was allowed to continue after Briatore and Symonds left the team.
The FIA is not amused by the verdict, and released a statement announcing it plans on appealing the decision.
“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,” reads the statement.
“In addition, the FIA intends to consider appropriate actions to ensure that no persons who would engage, or who have engaged, in such dangerous acts or acts of intentional cheating will be allowed to participate in Formula One in the future.”
Source: F1Fanatic, FIA