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Todt launches legal action against former F1 driver

NEWS STORY
22/01/2015

Jean Todt and Gerard Saillant, President of the FIA Medical Commission, have begun legal action against former F1 driver Philippe Streiff.

The move was announced in a short statement on the FIA's website and relates to comments made by Streiff in regards the FIA Panel which investigated the circumstances surrounding Jules Bianchi's accident at Suzuka.

To put it bluntly, he effectively suggested the enquiry was an FIA ‘whitewash’ aimed at exonerating the sport’s governing body of any blame.

The Frenchman is also responsible for a number of dubious comments made to the media about Michael Schumacher's condition (and prospects).

In December, on the anniversary of Schumacher's skiing accident, Streiff, who was left quadriplegic following a crash during pre-season testing at Jacarepagua in 1989, and described by Le Parisien as a "friend" of the German, made a number of comments to the media which were immediately denied by the seven-time world champion's manager Sabine Kehm.

"I do not know where Mr Streiff has his information from because he has no contact with us and he never has," she told Reuters.

Today's statement from the FIA, regarding Todt and Saillant's action against Streiff, reads:

"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.

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.

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."

Chris Balfe

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READERS COMMENTS

 

1. Posted by Darvi, 23/01/2015 10:49

"Who would have thought, it turns out that Todt is still alive.... but is this really the most important issue for F1 at the moment? I think many people viewed the FIA's report as a cynical backside covering exercise, so would agree with Phillippe. It is a shame that Todt would rather attack an ex-driver than to get engaged in sorting out the mire that F1 is drowning in at the moment."

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2. Posted by Joop deBruin, 23/01/2015 1:29

"Just one more reason to hate FIA and believe the end of coming soon for F1"

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3. Posted by petes, 23/01/2015 1:28

"In the matter of the Bianchi occurrence, Streiff got it pretty much bang on, which is something that all those gifted F1 hangers on, masquerading as F1 journalists, are running from."

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4. Posted by Burton, 22/01/2015 22:22

"Where was Todt last year when everything was turning to scheisse?"

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5. Posted by nealio, 22/01/2015 17:43

"The Todt must be terribly proud to have found someone to threaten. Of course he must defend his glorious reputation from the onslaught of a crippled old driver, he's such a strong decisive fellow! "

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