The FIA says it is likely to appeal against yesterday's French court ruling which overturned Flavio Briatore's and Pat Symonds' bans from international motorsport.
The former Renault team bosses had been given indefinite and five-year bans from involvement in the sport by the FIA's World Motor Sport Council over their involvement in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix scandal, in which Nelson Piquet Jr. was determined to have deliberately crashed to prompt a safety car that would be advantageous for teammate Fernando Alonso's race-winning strategy. But the Tribunal de Grande Instance ruled that the FIA's decision was "irregular" and that the governing body did not have the authority to ban the two men, as they were not FIA license holders. The court also said there was potential for a conflict of interest as FIA president Max Mosley "was well known to be in conflict with Briatore" at the time.
The FIA has responded by pointing out that the court's decision was based on the FIA's procedures rather than the facts of the case itself, and that it therefore intended to appeal.
"The Court has rejected the claims for damages made by Mr. Briatore and Mr. Symonds and their claim for an annulment of the FIA's decision," said an FIA statement. "In particular, the Court did not examine the facts and has not reversed the FIA's finding that both Briatore and Symonds conspired to cause an intentional crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.
"However, the Court did question the FIA's authority to impose bans upon Mr. Briatore and Mr. Symonds for procedural reasons and because they are not FIA license holders and, according to the Court, are therefore not subject to any FIA rules. The FIA's ability to exclude those who intentionally put others' lives at risk has never before been put into doubt and the FIA is carefully considering its appeal options on this point."
The statement added that the FIA regarded the bans as still in place pending the likely appeal and that further measures were possible.
"The Court's decision is not enforceable until the FIA's appeal options have been exhausted. Until then, the World Motor Sport Council's decision continues to apply. In addition, the FIA intends to consider appropriate actions to ensure that no persons who would engage, or who have engaged, in such dangerous activities or acts of intentional cheating will be allowed to participate in Formula 1 in the future."