FIA’s new ‘Briatore-proof’ system seeks approval

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You’ll recall the Singapore 2008 grand prix fixing incident that saw Renault team boss Flavio Briatore, technical boss Pat Symonds and driver Nelson Piquet Jr out of a job and ushered out of the sport. You may also recall that Briatore countered in the legal system with a positive verdict as the court felt then FIA president Max Mosley had overstepped his bounds in the punishment process.

Intriguingly Briatore did not carry the legal process further to exonerate himself from actual guilt in the incident that had become known as Crash-gate. Nevertheless, Mosley announced that at the time of his defeat in court at the hands of Briatore, the FIA would look to institute a licensing feature to the F1 to give a wider range of disciplinary action to those involved in F1. Specifically, Briatore was not subject to FIA punishment as he was a team boss and not an FIA licensed driver. There was little recourse the FIA could do but ban him from FIA sanctioned events. Today, the FIA look to change that.

In a press release offered by the FIA, it was announced that a new licensing program would be offered to the General assembly for the ratification:

The World Motor Sport Council will submit a proposal to the General Assembly that a specific licence is created for a restricted list of members of staff of the competitors entered in the FIA World Championships. The aim is to introduce a system that ensures they are subject to the criteria set out in a new FIA Code of Good Standing. This would apply to a minimum of six people per competitor, including the Team Principal, Sporting Director, Team Manager, Technical Director and two race engineers (or equivalent).

A new mechanism will be introduced to control access to areas under the jurisdiction of the FIA and no pass of any kind will be issued to any person or body who is not in good standing for the purposes of the FIA International Sporting Code. Entrants will also become responsible for their staff, meaning any person connected directly or indirectly with the entrant in connection with their participation in an event.

This new program would make it mandatory that people working for the teams in F1 have a license that holds them accountable to the FIA regulations and disciplinary actions. These licenses can be revoked through a process and would therefore be used to control situations like the Crash-gate saga. They are using the FIA’s Code of Good Standing and seemingly Briatore would have run afoul of this in 2009. Thus his license would be revoked and he would not be able to participate in the series.

In essence, the FIA is truing up its disciplinary procedure and tightening the process. As if the F1 world wasn’t already as parochial as it gets.

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