Briatore was handed a lifetime ban by the International Automobile Federation (FIA) as a result of his potential – never admitted by the Italian – involvement in the crash-gate scandal following the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. Symonds was only given a 5-year “penalty” from all FIA sanctioned competitions, as he confessed to his involvement in the scandal.
However, according to lawyer Dominique Dumas – representing Briatore in the Paris court – Symonds' confessions came under pressure from the FIA investigators and he cannot be held accountable for his declarations at the time, argued the aforementioned lawyer.
“Symonds' responsibility shouldn't be taken for granted,” Dumas was quoted as saying to the Associated Press, soon after leaving the courtroom on Tuesday.
As compared to Symonds, Briatore's claim is that he is not at all responsible for the crash-gate and wants his name cleared of all these allegations. In addition, because of the bad publicity he has been subject to during the past few months, he is seeking 1 million euros compensation from the ruling body.
According to several reports in the UK, the outcome of his legal proceedings will have a direct effect on his involvement in the ownership of English football club Queen's Park Rangers, as the Football League is likely to force him out of the team's ownership because of his cheating in other forms of sporting activities.
The Paris' Tribunal de Grande Istance – which has been plenty of times used by the Formula One figures through the course of this year – will give a definitive verdict on the matter on January 5th.