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Briatore attempts to overturn lifetime F1 ban

Flavio Briatore
Briatore took charge of the Renault team in 2000

Ex-Renault team boss Flavio Briatore has requested a French court overturn his lifetime ban from motor racing.

Briatore was banned by motorsport's governing body, the FIA, for his part in ordering Nelson Piquet to crash in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

Brazilian Piquet was asked to deliberately crash to help team-mate Fernando Alonso to win the race.

Briatore has also demanded the FIA pay him 1m euros (£901,540) in damages. A decision is expected on 5 January.

Former Renault chief engineer Pat Symonds also asked the Paris court to quash his five-year suspension from the sport.

Neither Symonds or Briatore attended the hearing at the Tribunal de Grande Instance, France's high court, but their representatives argued that procedures adopted during the original investigation were against the FIA's international sporting code.

Nelson Piquet Jr crashes in Singapore

Piquet's crash in Singapore

It was also claimed that the enquiry contravened the laws of France, where the FIA has its headquarters.

Briatore's lawyer Philippe Ouakrat said: "When he decided to leave Renault, he took moral responsibility for the mistake, but he doesn't want to be penalised for something he is not responsible for."

FIA lawyer Jean-Francois Prat responded that it was the governing body's responsibility to guarantee the security and safety of its events.

"We hadn't seen something as unethical in a sports competition before," he said. "Many people's lives were endangered."

Should he be unsuccessful in having his punishment overturned, Briatore will be banned indefinitely from attending FIA events and forbidden from managing drivers.

His future as co-owner of Championship club Queen's Park Rangers could also be in jeopardy.

If the punishment stands, he may be in violation of the Football League's 'fit and proper person test'.

The test stipulates that an owner, prospective owner or director of a club should not be "subject to a ban from involvement in the administration of a sport by a sports governing body".

Such a ban could be classed by the League as a "disqualifying condition" which would result in a ban "from holding office or acting as a club director at a club".

Symonds' lawyer Dominique Dumas argued that his client's culpability in Piquet's crash "shouldn't be taken for granted".

"His only regret is that he didn't take all the necessary measures when Piquet told him he was going to crash his car into a wall," Dumas added.



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see also
Renault handed suspended F1 ban
21 Sep 09 |  Formula 1
Briatore out over Renault fix row
16 Sep 09 |  Formula 1


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