FIA takes legal action against Streiff over Bianchi crash comments

FIA president Jean Todt and medical chief Gerard Saillant are planning legal action against former Formula 1 driver Philippe Streiff over comments relating to the Jules Bianchi crash investigation

FIA takes legal action against Streiff over Bianchi crash comments

Streiff, who is confined to a wheelchair as the result of an F1 testing accident in Brazil in 1989, has been widely quoted in French media as suggesting the panel that looked into Bianchi's Japanese Grand Prix accident was put together simply to exonerate the FIA of any blame for what happened.

Bianchi accident panel reports its findings

His comments, which were made in a radio interview, have infuriated Todt, who is close to Bianchi and his family.

On Thursday, the FIA issued a strongly worded statement criticising Streiff's stance and making clear its anger at what was being suggested.

"The FIA, its president Jean Todt, as well as Gerard Saillant, president of the FIA Medical Commission, are dismayed to learn of the remarks made about them by Philippe Streiff in his recent comments on the state of Jules Bianchi's health," said the statement.

"These remarks having been published by certain media.

"The FIA, Jean Todt and Gerard Saillant categorically state that Philippe Streiff's insulting and defamatory comments are utterly unfounded and demonstrate malicious intent."

The statement added that lawyers had been consulted on the matter and that the FIA would be taking action against Streiff to ensure his comments are not repeated.

"In view of the seriousness of this deliberate attack on their reputations, they have had to ask their lawyers to lodge a complaint for public defamation and insult so that the circulation of Philippe Streiff's statements is stopped immediately and sanctioned in an appropriate manner.

"They find it regrettable that this incident only serves to add to the suffering of Jules Bianchi's family, for whom they would like to reiterate their support."

Bianchi remains in hospital in France as the result of injuries he suffered in his collision with a rescue vehicle.

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