December 18, 2014

Renault gets suspended ban

The Piquet accident at Singapore - which wasn't an accident at all

The Piquet accident at Singapore - which wasn't an accident at all

Renault has received a 2 year suspended ban from F1 over race fixing in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. Briatore banned from F1 and Symonds for 5 years.

It looks like they got off lightly.

The FIA, meeting in Paris today, has handed out a suspended ban from F1 for Renault over the race-fixing debacle and the Piquet crash at last year’s Singapore Grand Prix.

The FIA declared that the offence was worthy of exclusion from F1, but decided to suspend the ban until the end of the 2011 season. If Renault commits a similar breach in that time the ban will be imposed – permanently.

The meat of the punishment is reserved for Briatore and Symonds. The FIA “will not sanction any event, championship, cup, trophy, challenge or series involving Briatore in any capacity – or grant any licence to a team or entity that is engaged with Briatore”. Further, “It also hereby instructs all officials present at FIA-sanctioned events not to permit Mr Briatore access to any areas under the FIA’s jurisdiction.”

The FIA has also barred Briatore from representing any F1 drivers – he currently represents Mark Webber, Heikki Kovalainen, Fernando Alonso and Romain Grosjean – and the FIA will not renew the superlicences of any drivers associated with Briatore.

As far as Symonds is concerned, the ban is similar, but for five years. The FIA said:

“In determining that such instructions should be effective for a period of five years the World Motor Sport Council has had regard: (i) to Mr. Symonds’ acceptance that he took part in the conspiracy; and (ii) to his communication to the meeting of the World Motor Sport Council that it was to his “eternal regret and shame” that he participated in the conspiracy.”

All a big mess. Piquet Jnr was given immunity in the case for spilling the beans, so no grief is heading his way. The FIA also accepted that Alonso had no knowledge of the fix.

It looks like Renault will now draft in Prost – a man of unquestioned integrity – to head up the Renault F1 circus. What will become of Briatore now – and his relationship with Ecclestone – is something we’ll have to wait on.

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