Archive for the ‘Nelson Piquet’ Category

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Suspended Sentence for Renault, Lifetime Ban for Briatore

September 21, 2009

The World Motor Sport Council issued Renault with a two-year suspended sentence today, as it reached its verdict over “crashgate”.

Former team boss, Flavio Briatore, who left Renault last Wednesday, was given a lifetime ban from all FIA-sanctioned motorsport, and anyone who is managed by Briatore will not receive their Superlicence for 2010 if they are associated with him. Currently, Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber, Heikki Kovalainen and Romain Grosjean are all managed by Briatore.

Pat Symonds, the team’s former director of engineering, received a five year ban from FIA-sanctioned events. The FIA stated that Symonds had acknowledged his involvement in the conspiracy and expressed his regret, unlike Briatore, who continued to deny his involvement.

The FIA said that the team “had accepted, at the earliest practicable opportunity, that it committed the offences with which it was charged and cooperated fully with the FIA’s investigation. It had confirmed that Mr. Briatore and Mr. Symonds were involved in the conspiracy and ensured that they left the team.” The FIA also said that the team had apologised “unreservedly” and had offered to pay the costs incurred during the FIA’s investigation, as well as Renault, the parent company of Renault F1, “making a significant contribution to FIA safety-related projects.”

The FIA added: “The World Motor Sport Council considers that offences of this severity merit permanent disqualification from the FIA Formula One World Championship.  However, having regard to the points in mitigation mentioned above and in particular the steps taken by Renault F1 to identify and address the failings within its team and condemn the actions of the individuals involved, the WMSC has decided to suspend Renault F1’s disqualification until the end of the 2011 season. The World Motor Sport Council will only activate this disqualification if Renault F1 is found guilty of a comparable breach during that time.”

Renault’s team president, Bernard Rey said: “Today, we fully accept the decision of the Council. We apologise unreservedly to the F1 community in relation to this unacceptable behaviour. We sincerely hope that we can soon put this matter behind us and focus constructively on the future.”

Fernando Alonso, who attended the hearing, was found to have had no involvement. Nelson Piquet retained his immunity given to him by the FIA for disclosing information.

Piquet said he bitterly regretted his actions, and that he does not expect this to be “forgiven and forgotten.”

He said: “Mr Briatore was my manager as well as the team boss, he had my future in his hands but he cared nothing for it. By the time of the Singapore GP he had isolated me and driven me to the lowest point I had ever reached in my life. Now that I am out of that situation I cannot believe that I agreed to the plan, but when it was put to me I felt that I was in no position to refuse. Listening now to Mr Briatore’s reaction to my crash and hearing the comments he has made to the press over the last two weeks it is clear to me that I was simply being used by him then to be discarded and left to ridicule.”