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FIA challenges decision to reverse Flavio Briatore ban

Flavio Briatore (left) with new FIA president Jean Todt (right)
New FIA president Todt (right) will take on Briatore (left) in the courts

Formula 1's governing body is to appeal against the French court decision that overturned former Renault boss Flavio Briatore's lifetime motorsport ban.

The ban was overturned after a ruling that the sanction, for Briatore's role in fixing the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, was illegal.

FIA president Jean Todt plans to develop new disciplinary procedures to "address the issues in the judgement".

But he and the FIA Senate felt that an appeal was still "merited".

A statement issued by the FIA added: "It was unanimously agreed that an appeal would be prepared.

"The FIA will take whatever measures are necessary to ensure the continuing integrity and safety of the sport."

Briatore's original ban from all FIA-sanctioned events has been reinstated while the appeal is active.

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The five-year ban imposed on Renault's former engineering director Pat Symonds has also been reactivated.

However, the FIA added that drivers managed by Briatore would be granted 2010 F1 licences, which will be a relief to Red Bull's Mark Webber, a two-time race-winner in 2009.

Briatore was banned for his role in the "crash-gate" scandal which shook F1 last year.

Following Nelson Piquet Jr's dismissal by the team, the Brazilian revealed he had been asked to deliberately crash to help his then Renault team-mate Fernando Alonso win the race.

Renault were subsequently given a two-year suspended ban for their role in the race-fixing scandal at an FIA hearing in September, while Briatore and Symonds were handed longer punishments.

Briatore launched his legal case in October, claiming his right to a free and fair defence to the charges was flouted.

The Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris ruled last week that the FIA's decision was procedurally incorrect but did not exonerate Briatore or Symonds of conspiring to cause the crash.

For that reason, Briatore, who had been seeking 1m euros (£675,000) in compensation was only awarded 15,000 euros (£13,500).

After winning his appeal last week, Briatore told the BBC he had "no involvement at all" in Piquet's deliberate crash and expressed his delight at having his "dignity and freedom back".

The FIA's decision to appeal means Briatore, who is also co-owner of QPR Football Club, may have to wait a little longer to find out if he still has a route back to F1.



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see also
Briatore maintains his innocence
06 Jan 10 |  Formula 1
Briatore wins battle against ban
07 Jan 10 |  Formula 1
Renault handed suspended F1 ban
21 Sep 09 |  Formula 1


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