FIA seek legal action against Streiff for Bianchi comments

Former F1 driver, Philippe Streiff, may be in some hot water over comments he’s made to the French press about the recent FIA accident panel that investigated the Japanese Grand Prix crash of Jules Bianchi. Streiff suggested the panel’s members were hand-picked to simply exonerate the FIA of any wrongdoing and some media outlets covered the story.

It seems the FIA isn’t to keen about these comments prompting a strongly worded statement from their office:

“The FIA, its President Jean Todt, as well as Gérard Saillant, President of the FIA Medical Commission, are dismayed to learn of the remarks made about them by Philippe Streiff in his recent comments on the state of Jules Bianchi’s health.

These remarks having been published by certain media, the FIA, Jean Todt and Gérard Saillant categorically state that Philippe Streiff’s insulting and defamatory comments are utterly unfounded and demonstrate malicious intent.”

I don’t work for the FIA but I’ve been around them and covered enough of their actions to know that they take safety very seriously and that no one was setting out to exonerate the FIA so much as review the accident, learn from the metrics and institute changes intended to prevent future occurrences. We can disagree with some of the regulations or political agenda of the FIA but its intent is genuine and this has come across a defamation to the organization prompting further actions:

“In view of the seriousness of this deliberate attack on their reputations, they have had to ask their lawyers to lodge a complaint for public defamation and insult so that the circulation of Philippe Streiff’s statements is stopped immediately and sanctioned in an appropriate manner.

They find it regrettable that this incident only serves to add to the suffering of Jules Bianchi’s family, for whom they would like to reiterate their support.”

Suffice it to say, the FIA are a upset at the accident as fans and F1 paddock pundits are. Streiff was also waxing poetic about Michael Schumacher’s recovery sharing information that one would assume only a personal friend who had visited the champion would know. The Schumacher camp has denied Streiff’s comments on the German’s condition categorically.

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