Oct.7 (GMM) Bernie Ecclestone has hinted that his friend and business partner Flavio Briatore has a chance of one day returning to the formula one paddock.
Briatore, 59, was banned for life by the FIA over the crash-gate scandal, but F1 chief executive Ecclestone said he thought the penalty is harsh and should be appealed.Ecclestone, who co-owns the London football club Queens Park Rangers with Italian Briatore, has now told his official website F1.com: "If Flavio has new evidence - and he said that he has - then he should come forward right away."Briatore recently raised the prospect of a lawsuit against the FIA's verdict, vowing that when he is victorious, he will invite all his supporters to a great party.Ecclestone said he heard about the Singapore race-fixing allegations from Nelson Piquet Snr in May, and immediately discussed it with his friend Briatore."He denied it and said, 'That's absurd!' I believed him," he revealed.Asked whether he will ever see Briatore back in the paddock, 78-year-old Ecclestone answered: "Who knows?"And when asked what he would say if Briatore asked for a race pass, the F1 supremo added: "I would say no. Until he's proved that he is innocent."