Jan.7 (GMM) The Italian press saw Flavio Briatore’s victory in the French courts this week as a shot at the heart of the FIA.
“The governing mechanisms of the FIA have been de-facto suspended, and Mosley’s revenge strategy recognised,” wrote the authoritative sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Tuttosport, another sports newspaper, said the verdict to overturn Briatore’s lifetime ban for the so-called crashgate scandal “proves” that “Mosley wanted revenge”.
“He (Briatore) has regained his dignity,” it added. “Briatore is no longer a man impacted by a devastating verdict as a result of perverse accusations.”
Corriere dello Sport, a Rome based sports newspaper, conceded that 59-year-old Briatore was “responsible for the events of Singapore”, but called his lifetime ban “unacceptable”.
“Everyone deserves a second chance,” it added.
La Repubblica, a national broadsheet, said the finding of Paris’ Tribunal de Grande Instance showed that Briatore “deserved a fair trial”, and that the FIA had “no right” to bring down the ban.
There were different views elsewhere in the world’s press.
Germany’s Bild newspaper said the French decision was a “Crash for justice”, with “Bandit Briatore”‘s ban overturned on nothing but a “technicality”.
“Hopefully no-one brings him back into formula one,” read the article.
Britain’s Independent posed the questions: “If he is innocent, who is guilty?”, and “If a veil can be drawn down over something as sickening as the travesty of sport which occurred at the Singapore grand prix, where can a line be drawn?”
The Daily Telegraph also finds the outcome of Briatore’s Paris action uncomfortable.
“The upshot is that … no one has been punished for an act widely considered one of the worst examples of cheating in the history of sport,” wrote Tom Cary.
The Guardian, meanwhile, ran a poll on its website asking fans whether Briatore escaping crashgate with no penalty is fair. More than 69 per cent answered ‘no’.