Briatore admits no 'guilt' as crashgate ends, can return UPDATE (GMM) Despite the FIA agreeing to end its push to have a lifetime ban re-imposed, Flavio Briatore insists he is not guilty of race-fixing.
F1's governing body on Monday announced that, after talks with the sacked Renault boss as well as 'crashgate' co-conspirator Pat Symonds, a settlement has been reached to end the scandal.
The FIA said the duo "expressed their regrets and presented their apologies", in return for all legal action being dropped and the bans being effective only until 2013.
But Briatore, who turned 60 on Monday, later clarified that his regret and apology was not an admission of "personal guilt".
|Flavio Briatore admits no guilt|
The Italian's statement, issued by his lawyers, also insisted that the settlement was not a recognition that the FIA's verdict about Nelson Piquet Jr's deliberate Singapore crash being true was "well-founded".
"No further comment will be made by Flavio Briatore, who wishes to put behind him this matter and focus on his plans for the future," added the statement. 04/12/10 Former Renault F1 team chiefs Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds have apologized to motorsport governing body the FIA for their roles in the Singapore 2008 race-fixing scandal, the Paris-based federation has revealed, as it also confirms that peace has now been established amongst the parties in the name of the sport.
With 'Crashgate' having been associated to the first F1 night race but made public on the run-up to last year's event in Marina Bay, the scandal rocked the motorsport world and will forever be remembered as one of the worst examples of cheating in sporting history. zzzz
The situation involved a pre-determined plot which would result in Renault driver Nelson Piquet Jr. crashing his car on purpose in order to rush the deployment of the Safety Car and therefore aid team-mate Fernando Alonso's run to victory.
A Monday statement from the FIA, now headed by Jean Todt as opposed to Max Mosley, reveals that the governing body will review how such incidents are dealt with at the next General Assembly meeting, which is scheduled for the end of this year, in order to 'prevent other misunderstandings'.
It has also been revealed that both Briatore and Symonds - ex Managing Director and Executive Director of Engineering at Renault F1, respectively - have submitted 'a settlement offer to the FIA President with a view to putting an immediate end to the legal proceedings'.
More significantly, however, the FIA has confirmed that Briatore - who was originally dealt a lifetime ban from F1 - and Symonds - a 5-year ban - may now re-enter the sport as of the 2013 season onwards.
'They have undertaken to abstain from having any operational role in Formula One until 31 December 2012, as well as in all the other competitions registered on the FIA calendars until the end of the 2011 sporting season,' the statement confirms.
'…it is in the best interests of the FIA not to allow the perpetuation of these legal disputes, which have received a great deal of media coverage and which, regardless of the outcome, are very prejudicial to the image of the FIA and of motor sport, and thus to accept this settlement solution, thereby putting an end to this affair.' GPUpdate.net