The outcome of Flavio Briatore's appeal against his lifetime ban from involvement in motor racing will not be known until early 2010. The hearing got under way in Paris yesterday, with the French court indicating that the verdict will be announced on Jan. 5.
Briatore was given the ban by the FIA for his involvement in the race-fixing scandal in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, in which Nelson Piquet was found to have deliberately crashed his Renault to help teammate Fernando Alonso's strategy.
Both team boss Briatore and engineering chief Pat Symonds parted company from Renault prior to the World Motor Sport Council hearing into the incident, at which the FIA barred Briatore from its championships indefinitely and imposed a five-year ban on Symonds, who is also appealing. Piquet was given immunity in exchange for his evidence, while the Renault team received a suspended ban.
In a statement issued when he announced his intention to appeal, Briatore – who did not attend yesterday's hearing – argued that the process of the WMSC decision was incorrect.
"This decision is a legal absurdity and I have every confidence that the French courts will resolve the matter justly and impartially," he said.