Former Renault Formula One leads Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds

It looks like 2010 is starting off as a better year for Flavio Briatore. According to Planet F1, a French court has overturned the lifetime ban on the former Renault Formula One head honcho, along with alleged co-conspirator Pat Symonds. As you no doubt recall if you're still reading this, back in September, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile found the pair guilty in the so-called "Crashgate" conspiracy involving driver Nelson Piquet, Jr. of Renault F1. Nelsinho was allegedly told to crash on purpose to protect a win for teammate Fernando Alonso in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

The FIA had found the pair guilty, doling out a lifetime ban for Briatore and a five-year ban for Pat Symonds, then director of engineering. Although Briatore had threatened legal action against Piquet and his manager-father in the wake of the ruling, the only legal action he ended up taking was to file an appeal with the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris. The TGI has sided with Flavio claiming the FIA's sanction "was illegal." Besides overturning their bans, the court also awarded the pair damages, although the amount was small compared to what the pair was seeking. It remains unclear as to if, when, or where the duo will make their returns to racing series, but knowing Briatore, we'll all know as soon as he decides. Thanks for the tips, everyone!

[Source: Planet F1 | Image: Paul Gilham/Getty]