So the the French Court of Grand Instance has ruled and found that the punishments handed out to Flav and Pat were outside of the FIA’s authority to act and the punishments – a lifetime and a 5 year ban respectively on any involvement with F1 – must therefore be rescinded.
Pat is keeping his head down – wisely – Flav is overjoyed and claims that the whole action was personal, well we all knew that!
However the FIA say the original guilty findings are indisputable and the French court does not disagree so the FIA is considering a further appeal claiming it does and did have the right to mete out such punishments as it sees fit. This will run and run no doubt and all the lawyers will get fatter on it.
Love ’em or hate ’em, the facts are Flav and Pat both conspired to cause a crash to change the result of race, neither claims this not to be true. So we shall probably see both back in F1 in the fullness of time, Pat I welcome back, I think he was probably led astray by Flav.
Flav himself I am not so sure, doubtless he probably regrets what was a hurried and morally wrong decision.
Was the judgement correct and did the punishment fit the crime? Will he be employable again? Will he be trusted? Is he perhaps part of an anachronistic old timer playboy version of F1 inconsistant with the corporate big business it has become?
Flav may have won a victory today but will it get him a job, I’m not so sure….