Motorsport's governing body appeals against decision to overturn bans
12 January 2010

The FIA has decided to appeal the French court's decision to overturn the motorsport bans handed down to Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds for their involvement in race fixing.

Last week, Briatore successfully won a court action against the FIA by claiming his indefinite ban from the sport had been wrong.

The French court suggested that the punishments given to Briatore and Symonds were 'irregular' - even though it did not disagree with the original guilty verdict given to the pair.

Following discussions between FIA president Jean Todt and other representatives of his organisation over the weekend, motor racing's governing body has decided to appeal that French court's verdict.

A statement issued on Monday said: "The President of the FIA has consulted the FIA Senate and the FIA's lawyers about the decision of the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris of 5 January. It was unanimously agreed that an appeal would be prepared.

"In his election campaign last summer, FIA President Jean Todt and his team announced that new measures for constructive change, including a disciplinary procedure, would be introduced. Work on this is well advanced. Once in place, this will address the issues in the Court's judgement. Nonetheless, an appeal is merited."

The FIA has also made it clear that while the appeal is underway, it believes the decisions of the World Motor Sport Council are still valid - meaning Briatore and Symonds still cannot work in motor sport.

However, the FIA has told Briatore-managed drivers that it will not enforce the original ban on issuing mandatory F1 superlicences to those whose careers are looked after by the former Renault boss.

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"While the appeal is underway, the World Motor Sport Council's decision of 21 September 2009 remains in full effect," added the statement.

"However, in view of the uncertainty that this may create for drivers who may be affected by this decision, the FIA President and FIA Senate have decided that, pending the outcome of the FIA's appeal, superlicences will continue to be issued to qualifying drivers in the usual way.

"The FIA President, the FIA Senate, the World Motor Sport Council, and the FIA's Member Clubs from all countries will take whatever measures are necessary to ensure the continuing integrity and safety of the sport."

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