FIA Says Briatore Is Still Guilty in Crash-Gate

Although the Paris' Tribunal de Grande Instance overturned the FIA's lifetime ban for Flavio Briatore, the international motor racing body still claims that the 59-year old Italian is very much guilty of fixing the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

Indeed, the French judges did not issue any verdicts as to whether Briatore was guilty or innocent in the crash-gate, but only referred to the FIA's right to issue a ban for a person that does not have a racing driver's license. And, in a press release on the FIA official website, the ruling body puts an emphasis on what the Tribunal's verdict really refers to.

In particular, the court did not examine the facts and has not reversed the FIA's finding that both Briatore and Symonds conspired to cause an intentional crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix,” said the statement from the FIA.

However, the court did question the FIA's authority to impose bans upon Mr Briatore and Mr Symonds for procedural reasons and because they are not FIA license holders and, according to the court, are therefore not subject to any FIA rules.

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,” added the statement, hinting that the FIA may indeed appeal the verdict issued by the Paris' court.

On the other hand, Briatore believes the Tuesday verdict restored his image in the world of motor racing, claiming that he has recovered his dignity after his involvement in the crash-gate.

The decision handed down today restores to me the dignity and freedom certain people had arbitrarily attempted to deprive me of. (...) I believe justice has been done today,” said Briatore in a statement, shortly after hearing the official verdict from Paris.

No word from Max Mosley yet...
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