FIA held a ‘sham hear­ing’ - Bri­a­tore

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

LON­DON: For mer Re­nault team boss Flavio Bri­a­tore ac­cused For­mula One’s gov­ern­ing body yes­ter­day of se­cret ne­go­ti­a­tions be­fore a “sham hear­ing” at which he was banned for life from the sport.

The Ital­ian was barred in Septem­ber for his role in a plot to rig last year’s Sin­ga­pore Grand Prix by hav­ing Brazil­ian driver Nel­son Pi­quet crash de­lib­er­ately so that team mate Fer­nando Alonso could win the race.

Bri­tain’s Guardian news­pa­per re­ported on Thurs­day that Bri­a­tore would be seek­ing at least one mil­lion eu­ros ($1.49 mil­lion) in dam­ages at an ap­peal hear­ing in Paris on Novem­ber 24, as well as de­mand­ing the pu­n­ish­ment be over­turned.

The gov­ern­ing In­ter na­tional Au­to­mo­bile Fed­er­a­tion (FIA) con­demned the “se­lec­tive leak­ing” of ex­tracts from Bri­a­tore’s case to the court but the Ital­ian dis­missed their ob­jec­tions.

In a state­ment is­sued on his be­half yes­ter­day, he said his action was a pub­lic one, there was noth­ing con­fi­den­tial in the doc­u­ments and he had noth­ing to hide.

He also re­jected the FIA’s po­si­tion that the life ban was agreed by an “over­whelm­ing” ma­jor­ity of World Mo­tor Sport Coun­cil mem­bers at­tend­ing the hear­ing.

For­mer cham­pi­ons Re­nault were also given a sus­pended per­ma­nent ban at that hear­ing.

“The FIA ne­glects to men­tion that, ac­cord­ing to dec­la­ra­tions by one of its own vi­cepres­i­dents to the me­dia, the world coun­cil’s de­ci­sion was rather the out­come of se­cret ne­go­ti­a­tions on the eve of the sham hear­ing,” Bri­a­tore’s state­ment said.

It gave no fur­ther de­tails but FIA vice-pres­i­dent Mo­hamed Ben Su­layem was quoted in Abu Dhabi’s Na­tional news­pa­per af­ter the Septem­ber hear­ing as say­ing: “We are not here to hang teams, we did our ne­go­ti­a­tions be­fore and ev­ery­body is happy with the re­sult.”

An FIA spokesman said the gov­ern­ing body had al­ready stated it would make no fur­ther com­ment un­til af­ter the court pro­ceed­ings were com­pleted. – Reuters

HIT­TING BACK: Flavio Bri­a­tore.

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