Ecclestone slams FIA's 'too harsh' ban verdict on Briatore

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Singapore, Sep 25(ANI): Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has said that the World Motor Sport Council's verdict on former Renault team chief Flavio Briatore, who has been banned for fixing last year's Singapore Grand Prix, was too harsh.

Briatore was banned indefinitely from all FIA-sanctioned events for his role in the fixing-scandal when driver Nelson Piquet Jnr was told to crash into a wall to bring out the safety car.

"I would have banned Flavio for one year. That would have been enough. But, I was on the Council, so, I am probably just as guilty as anyone else," The Sun quoted Ecclestone, as saying.

"On reflection it was not necessary. It was too much - definitely too much. If I were him, I'd appeal the ban. I'd go to the FIA court of appeal, and get it overturned," he added.

Ecclestone also said that Briatore's exit from Formula One would affect the championship.

"The sport needs colourful characters. Flav was one of those. Now we've lost Ron Dennis and Flav. It's a great shame," Ecclestone said.

He further said that Briatore failed to handle the whole situation, and also admitted that he has now fallen out with Briatore.

"I don't know how Flavio is taking this as he's not talking to me. He thinks I should have defended him, which I couldn't," Ecclestone said.

"It would have been just as easy to go and say 'I was caught with my hand in the till, it seemed a good idea at the time, and I am sorry'. I am a friend of Flavio's. He just handled the whole thing badly. He could have handled it completely differently and they would have said, 'you were a naughty boy' and that would have been the end of it," he added. (ANI)

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