The FIA has been ordered to publically lift the lifetime bans imposed on Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds – after the former successfully appealed.
Earlier today the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris ruled that the punishment dealt to both men had been “irregular” and ordered for the bans to be revoked.
The court found that the FIA did not have the power to issue such penalties as neither Briatore or Symonds held drivers’ competition licences.
“The FIA … can sanction licence holders, leaders, members of the ASNs [national sporting authorities], but it cannot with respect to third parties, take measures equivalent to a sanction – in contravention of article 28 of its statutes,” the verdict read.
“The World Council, by forbidding FIA members and licences to work with Messrs Briatore and Symonds, on the one hand added a negative condition to not work with them which is not provided for within the FIA statutes.”
The statement also suggested that the investigation into the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix race-fix scandal had been compromised due to a conflict of interest which had already existed between Briatore and the former FIA President Max Mosley. It is believed that Mosley played an active role in the investigation and the decision making behind the subsequent punishment.
“The decision of the World Council was presided over by the FIA president, who was well known to be in conflict with Briatore, with Mr. Mosley having played a leading role in launching the enquiry and its investigation in violation of the principle of separation of the power of the bodies.
“The decision [of the FIA World Motor Sport Council] is not annulled but declared irregular, and rendered without effect in its provisions against Mr. Briatore and Mr. Symonds.”
The court has now ordered the FIA to notify the public and the F1 world that the former-Renault men are now free to work within the sport. In addition governing body will also be forced to pay compensation to both men.
“The FIA is consequently obliged to notify within two weeks it is lifting the provisions to its members and licence holders, particularly the 13 teams entered into the FIA Formula 1 world championship 2010,” it stated.
“This must be published in the French newspapers, of the choice of Mr. Briatore and Mr. Symonds at the FIA’s cost, up to a limited cost of 15,000 and 5,000 respectively.”
The FIA is yet to issue a response to today’s verdict but is reported to be considering an appeal.