The FIA used strong words to describe how Renault conspired to cause a deliberate crash to win the Singapore Grand Prix. It said:
The World Motor Sport Council considers Renault F1’s breaches relating to the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix to be of unparalleled severity. Renault F1’s breaches not only compromised the integrity of the sport but also endangered the lives of spectators, officials, other competitors and Nelson Piquet Jr. himself. The World Motor Sport Council considers that offences of this severity merit permanent disqualification from the FIA Formula One World Championship.
But it has not banned Renault from a single race nor stripped them of its position in the 2008 championship, nor fined them. Instead the team has received a “suspended punishment” which will last until the end of 2011.
Renault’s punishment is:
- Far too soft (39%)
- Too soft (33%)
- About right (25%)
- Too harsh (2%)
- Far too harsh (2%)
Total Voters: 2,993
Presumably this lenient punishment was designed in the hope that Renault will remain in F1 until 2011, instead of leaving in disgrace as many feared it would.
The FIA claimed it reduced the punishment because Renault had conducted its own internal investigation into the crash and taken reasonable steps.
The individual culprits, Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds, have in effect been barred from competing in FIA-sanctioned events – Briatore for an unlimited period, Symonds for five years. As the FIA cannot punish them directly, as the pair are no longer represented by licence holders, the regulatory body has achieved this by vowing not to sanction events in which the two compete for the respective periods.
The FIA specifically stated that no-one beyond Briatore, Symonds and Nelson Piquet Jnr were involved:
As regards Fernando Alonso, the World Motor Sport Council thanks him for cooperating with the FIA’s enquiries and for attending the meeting, and concludes that Mr. Alonso was not in any way involved in Renault F1’s breach of the regulations.
The full verdict is here and the FIA will shortly publish further details. What do you make of Renault’s punishment, or lack of it?
Renault Singapore crash controversy
- Renault face Singapore hearing today
- Singapore Grand Prix organiser says: ‘There’s no such thing as bad publicity’
- No punishment for Briatore or Symonds?
- Did more foul play by Renault scupper Schumacher in the 2006 title decider?
- Fernando Alonso should renounce his Singapore Grand Prix ‘win’
- Briatore and Symonds step down as Renault accepts Singapore crash charge
- Piquet-Renault scandal: more new evidence and complaints about leaks
- Statement by Nelson Piquet Jnr on his Singapore crash leaked online
- Did Piquet crash on purpose? (Poll)
- Renault face Singapore crash hearing
- Nelson Piquet Jnr and Fernando Alonso in renault Singapore claim
- Piquet’s scathing attack on Briatore
- Nelson Piquet Jnr dropped by Renault
- Alonso and the Piquet-Renault fall-out
- 2008 Singapore Grand Prix analysis
- Fernando Alonso’s bad luck turns good for win (2008 Singapore Grand Prix)