FIA condemns Briatore over leaked appeal documents

Last Updated: Friday, November 13, 2009 - 08:55

London: Formula One`s governing body hit back at former Renault team boss Flavio Briatore after he accused them of abusing their powers in handing him a life ban from the sport.

Italian Briatore was cast out in September after the International Automobile Federation (FIA) found his Brazilian driver Nelson Piquet had been ordered to crash deliberately at last year`s Singapore Grand Prix.

Renault were given a suspended permanent ban for their part in the race-fixing scandal while the team`s engineering head Pat Symonds, who had been Briatore`s effective number two, was barred for five years.

The Guardian newspaper reported on Thursday that Briatore would be seeking at least 1 million euros (USD 1.50 million) in compensation as well as annulment of the penalty against him when his appeal is heard in a Paris court on November 24.

The Italian accused the FIA`s World Motor Sport Council, led at the time by former FIA president Max Mosley, of being "clearly blinded by an excessive desire for personal revenge in the case."

He said the FIA had breached his rights to a fair trial and also referred to the "excessive and abusive power clearly exercised by both the World Council, in particular, and the FIA, in general."

In a statement, the FIA condemned the "selective leaking of extracts from Mr Briatore`s pleadings to the Tribunal de Grande Instance.

"The FIA rejects the allegations made in these leaks and confirms that the decision to impose a sanction against Mr Briatore was made by an overwhelming majority of the attending World Motor Sport Council members," it added.

Briatore had been a prominent figure in the Formula One Teams Association, who threatened earlier in the year to establish their own breakaway series after clashing with Mosley on cost-cutting measures.

The Guardian said Briatore`s statement to the Paris court said there had been "some extremely violent disputes" between Briatore and Mosley.

Mosley stood down as FIA president last month after a final year overshadowed by 2008 tabloid newspaper revelations of the Briton`s involvement in sado-masochistic sex sessions with prostitutes.

The Paris appeal is being closely watched outside Formula One, with Briatore a co-owner of English Championship (second division) soccer club Queens Park Rangers.

If the ban is upheld, the Italian could be forced out of the club under the league`s fit-and-proper persons rule.

Bureau Report




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