Former FIA president Max Mosley says the "crashgate" affair is far from over, despite a French court overturning the lifetime ban imposed by the governing body on Flavio Briatore.
The court said it had found irregularities in the ban imposed on former Renault boss Briatore and former director of engineering Pat Symonds after they were found guilty of being part of a plot to fix the result of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. The FIA gave Briatore a lifetime ban from motorsports, while Symonds received a five-year one. Both were overturned on Tuesday. Despite that, Mosley says the issue is far from over and says the FIA could simply change its rules so that it can ban even non-license holders.
"As far as the FIA is concerned, I would really want to hear what the superior court said before I would be prepared to acknowledge that the advice we got from outside lawyers was incorrect," Mosley told Britain's The Telegraph newspaper. "But the suggestion that we can't penalize anyone who doesn't have a license is very serious because, for example, we wouldn't be able to ban those people who blacked up their faces and upset Lewis Hamilton [in Barcelona in 2008] from coming to a race.
"But, in any case, the FIA can easily change its rules so that it takes account of what the court said. They said we weren't allowed to ban non-license holders. Well, obviously you can bring in a rule which does allow you to, if you wish. One thing's for sure – it's very far from over."
Mosley also cast doubt on Briatore's suggestions that he was considering suing the Piquets. "It's just talk. A little bit of boasting to the Italian press," he said. "The fact is, if he went after the Piquets there would be a countersuit that would make his eyes water. In fact, I think he will be very fortunate not to get sued by the Piquets, because don't forget he accused them of blackmail and extortion, which is very defamatory. It may well be – I don't know – that the Piquets are preparing to sue him."
The former FIA head also believes the governing body should appeal the court's decision. "Remember, the court did not find that [Briatore] was not guilty," Mosley said. "They just didn't like the procedure we used. But it's a very preliminary judgment. I think the FIA should appeal the judgment because I think it is seriously flawed in a number of areas.
"Aspects of it are just extraordinary. Symonds actually admitted in writing that he was guilty and yet they found in his favor. But that's only because they are not looking at the substance, they are just looking at the procedure."