FIA president Jean Todt and medical chief Gerard Saillant have confirmed they will pursue legal action against former Formula 1 racer Philippe Streiff.
Streiff, who has been confined to a wheelchair since a F1 testing accident in Brazil in 1989, has been quoted in the French media as suggesting that the investigative panel set up in the wake of Jules Bianchi’s Suzuka accident was formed to clear the FIA of any blame.
The FIA issued a staunch statement on Thursday criticising Streiff’s comments, while confirming its intent to file a complaint for defamation
“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.
“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 following his accident at last year’s Japanese Grand Prix.
This article first appeared on Richland F1 – Image courtesy of Marussia F1 Team