Briatore Doesn't Show Up at Paris Hearing

All eyes are now turned at Place de la Concorde in Paris, where the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) is currently in session to issue a definitive verdict on the famous crash gate. According to selected media present in the French capital, Fernando Alonso, the Piquets and Renault's F1 president Bernard Rey have already arrived at the FIA headquarters. Flavio Briatore was nowhere to be seen, however, although he was expected in Paris for the hearing.

Ahead of today's meeting, the Italian media has already projected some verdicts from the WMSC, the most probable one being a $50 million fine and expulsion from this year's Constructors' Standings, as suggested by the Gazzetta dello Sport.

However, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone insisted the members of the Council should act in total balance in order to make sure no unnecessary measures will be taken following the Renault saga. After all, seeing one of his car makers – especially since it represents France, a country with a long tradition in F1 – leave or being thrown out of the sport is not something the 78-year old Brit is very keen on seeing in the near future.

I think we need to show balance. What they did was very serious. But they have acted to get rid of the culprits,” Ecclestone was quoted as saying to the Daily Mail.

Renault have issued a statement last week in which they revealed they will not dispute the FIA race-fixing charges.

Another important member of the FIA will be present in Paris today, Spanish motor racing federation chief Carlos Gracia. Gracia will presumably come to the WMSC meeting to make sure Fernando Alonso will get out of it in one piece. In addition, the Spanish official characterized as “shameful” the FIA's decision to grant Piquet Jr. with full immunity over what happened in the 2008 Singapore GP.

The kid (Piquet), if it was up to me, wouldn't be allowed to walk blind people on the sidewalk. The father has an uncontrollable kid and he is a resentful parent. When they turn the fan on, they try to get the shit to hit as many people as possible,” said Gracia for Spanish Onda Cero radio.
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