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Former Renault boss Briatore free to return to Formula One in 2013

Flavio Briatore could return to Formula One in 2013.
Flavio Briatore could return to Formula One in 2013.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Flavio Briatore free to return to Formula One in 2013 after settling legal case with FIA
  • Briatore overturned a lifetime ban from the sport's governing body in January
  • Italian was former owner of Formula One team Renault
  • His ban was imposed after the 'crashgate' scandal at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix
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(CNN) -- Flavio Briatore is free to return to Formula One in 2013 after reaching an out of court settlement with the sport's governing body, FIA.

Briatore, former team principal at Renault, was originally banned for life by the FIA after allegations he was involved in a conspiracy in which Nelson Piquet Jnr deliberately crashed at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix in order to help team-mate Fernando Alonso win.

In January, Briatore succeeded in getting his ban overturned in a French court, saying the ruling had restored his "dignity and freedom." The court also overturned the lifetime ban imposed on former Renault engineering director Pat Symonds for the same incident.

But the FIA launched an appeal against the decision, before an announcement that they had settled their case with Briatore out of court.

Briatore agreed to recognize "his share of responsibility for the deliberate crash," according to FIA but insisted he accepted no personal guilt for the incident.

An FIA statement read: "After discussions between their lawyers and those of the FIA, Mr Flavio Briatore and Mr Pat Symonds have each made a settlement offer to the FIA President with a view to putting an immediate end to the legal proceedings.

"Each of them recognizing his share of responsibility for the deliberate crash involving the driver Nelson Piquet Junior at the 2008 Grand Prix of Singapore, as "Team Principal" of Renault F1 where Mr Flavio Briatore is concerned, they have expressed their regrets and presented their apologies to the FIA.

"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.

"They have also abandoned all publicity and financial measures resulting from the judgment of 5 January 2010, as well as any further action against the FIA on the subject of this affair.

"The FIA President has considered that 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."

The Singapore incident came to light after Piquet Jr. was sacked and then went public with his admission of involvement.

Briatore issued his own statement to the official Formula One Web site stating that he recognized his share of responsibility "without any admission of a personal guilt in these events and without any recognition of the fact that the decision of the World Council rendered against him would have been well-founded."