While a French court has declared Flavio Briatore’s lifetime ban from Formula 1, a judgment rendered by the FIA, null and void, Briatore isn’t so sure that he’s ready to jump back into the F1 fray.
As reported in Autosport, Briatore said, “Let me take a little time to enjoy this moment of happiness after this difficult period. As concerns my possible return to F1, there is plenty of time to talk about this. I would like first of all to thank the people who remained faithful to me during these difficult moments and who showed me their trust and friendship.”
What is certain, however, is that Briatore intends to resmue his activites as a driver manager. Said Briatore, “Except for [Heikki] Kovalainen and [Lucas] di Grassi, my relationship with the other drivers has never changed. In fact, now we’ll analyse the situation with the lawyers to see whether we should take legal action against anyone who has broken the contracts with us.”
In fact, litigation seems to be the order of the day for Briatore. He’s also considering suing the people whom he considers to be the authors of his most recent travails, the Piquets, both Nelson Sr and Nelson Jr. Briatore first expressed his intention to sue the Piquets last September when the Crashgate scandal first broke. When asked recently by the Italian Gazzetta dello Sport if he still intended to take legal action against the Piquets, Briatore said, “That’s very likely. The bad that has been done to me won’t be forgotten in one day.”
Briatore also directed his ire towards his old foe Max Mosley, former president of the FIA, making no bones about the fact that he feels that the FIA rushed to judgment on the Crashgate scandal, and that the punishment meted out to Briatore was largely fueled by Mosley’s personal feelings of antipathy towards the Italian.
“It was a case of vengeance from Mosley, who has always managed the FIA and the World Council as if it was private property,” Briatore said. “He had reassured me, telling me they understood I didn’t have anything to do with that story. Then came that verdict. It was an ignoble thing after 18 years of F1. First Mosley tried to make me lose titles, first with Schumi then with Alonso, and then to destroy me with this story.”
Clearly, Briatore believes that the newly elected president of the FIA, Jean Todt, is a man of greater integrity than Max Mosley. “I’ve known Jean for years, I can bet on his honesty,” said Briatore. “This is an issue between me and Mr Mosley.”
Briatore also expressed his appreciation to the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris, the French court responsible for overturning his ban, by saying, “I would like to express my great joy with the decision handed down by the Paris Tribunal de Grande Instance (Regional Court)…I believe that justice has been done today.”