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Gracia says Briatore ban excessive

Flavio BriatoreSpanish motorsport federation chief Carlos Gracia says the ban imposed on Flavio Briatore is excessive, and insists it was a mistake to give immunity to Nelson Piquet.

On Monday, former Renault boss Briatore was banned from Formula 1 indefinitely following the race-fixing scandal that saw the French squad being handed a suspended two-year ban.

Briatore will also no longer be able to manage Formula 1 drivers.

Gracia reckons the penalty was disproportionate, especially considering the Italian did not have a chance to defend himself.

"Briatore's (sanction) seems excessive to me, as there were no clear evidence to incriminate him and he didn't have the chance to defend himself," Gracia was quoted as saying by AS newspaper.

"Moreover, I'm not ruling out that he decides to resort to regular justice, because he has been left without his means to earn a living."

Gracia insisted it was wrong that Piquet was given immunity despite being part of the scandal.

"Personally, I insist that Briatore's penalty seems disproportionate, while I think that a big mistake has been made with Piquet, creating a dangerous precedent," he added.

"Mosley has labelled the scandal as a criminal act, so I don't understand how the executor can be reprieved.

"He is as responsible for the scandal as the rest, and if he's not ready to handle situations with pressure, then maybe he chose the wrong job."

Italian media reported on Tuesday that Briatore was considering legal action against the FIA to try and prove his innocence and win a compensation for the damage caused to his image.

"I'm devastated," Gazzetta dello Sport quoted Briatore as saying.

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