Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

French court overturns Briatore's F1 life ban // The race-fixing scandal returns to the spotlight

Published by Mr. C

Flavio Briatore won his court case against the FIA on Tuesday. The former boss of the Renault F1 Team had a lifetime ban imposed by motorsport's governing body last September, but today that was overturned by a French court. Citing "irregularities" in the FIA's decision, the court awarded Briatore 15,000 euros in compensation.

In addition, Pat Symonds has also had his ban lifted, while he receives 5,000 euros in compensation. This result means both men are able to return to F1 will immediate effect, although the FIA have said it may launch an appeal.

Briatore has always denied claims of race-fixing and began his legal case in October last year.

The news comes the same day that the Renault F1 Team announced that Éric Boullier will be their new team principal for the 2010 season. Presumably the timing of the announcement isn't coincidental. Boullier's previous experience saw him work in both GP2 and A1GP, while recently he took up the position of CEO of Gravity Sport Management, a company associated with Renault F1 stakeholders Genii Capital.

Updated: As expected the FIA have issued a formal statement, of note it points out that:

The Court’s decision is not enforceable until the FIA’s appeal options have been exhausted. Until then, the World Motor Sport Council’s decision continues to apply.

In addition, the FIA intends to consider appropriate actions to ensure that no persons who would engage, or who have engaged, in such dangerous activities or acts of intentional cheating will be allowed to participate in Formula One in the future.

This news may serve to dampen Flavio Briatore's mood. Earlier this evening Briatore said he was happy and believed justice had been done.

I would like to express my great joy with the decision handed down by the Paris Tribunal de Grande Instance

The decision handed down today restores to me the dignity and freedom that certain people had arbitrarily attempted to deprive me of.

As yet there has been no word from Symonds.