Former Renault boss Flavio Briatore will begin his fight against a lifetime ban from motor racing on Monday when he takes the matter to the French courts.
Briatore is set to lodge papers at the Tribunal de Grand Instance in Paris to try and cancel the lifetime ban that was handed to him by the FIA as the result of his involvement in Renault's race-fixing controversy at last year's Singapore Grand Prix. In a statement issued on Sunday, Briatore stated that he believes the FIA had acted incorrectly in the way it dealt with its hearing into the race-fix case, and the punishment handed down.
"In this case, the FIA has been used as a tool to exact vengeance on behalf of one man," said Briatore in the statement. "This decision is a legal absurdity and I have every confidence that the French courts will resolve the matter justly and impartially."
Briatore has stated that the grounds for his action were that there was a delay in the issue of the summons, a failure to state the charges in advance and a lack of access provided to prosecution document and to the key witness. Briatore also stated that there had been a "breach of the natural rules of justice," including a lack of impartiality of the body passing judgment, the secret negotiation of the decision before the hearing and the granting of selective immunities.
He also claims that the FIA has abused its power by imposing a penalty on a non-licensee of the FIA, the disproportionate and illegal nature of an indefinite ban and the threat to refuse to renew FIA licenses to any driver or entity involved with Briatore.
As well as trying to overthrow his punishment, Briatore is also demanding compensation for the damage caused to his reputation -- with a report in the Journal du Dimanche suggesting he is seeking as much as one million euros.
If the judges in Paris rule that there is a valid case, then the matter could go to trial in around a month's time, with a decision possible before the end of the year.