Renault escape ban for crash

2009 F1 season

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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

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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

385 comments on “Renault escape ban for crash”

  1. So, spying on another team (with uncertain – if any – result) is worse than cheating on the track through a deliberate and dangerous accident? OK, glad FIA told us that. Just tamper with the result as long as you sack some people afterwards. Or is the truth that McLaren is a legal prey than can be slapped around at any time, while a classical manufacturer must be handled with care so that they don’t leave F1? Yet another sad day for F1.

    1. I feel completely sick. I can’t add much more to what you have said. I think the vast majority of people would agree. It really does make a joke of F1 and those who aren’t into the sport will now think it is like wrestling, i.e. not a true, fair competition. I predicted this, and unfortunately was right once again.

      1. I’m with you S Hughes.

        Renault haven’t been punished at all. They’ve just got to tread carefully for a couple of years and this will all go away in the FIA’s eyes.

        If they had been fined heavily along with the suspended ban then at least that gives the impression that they are paying for their crime, but without that they’ve completely got away with it.

        1. Although my gut feeling is to agree with you guys, and it does suprise me that Renault have escaped any real punishment, I would rather that the FIA do whats best for F1 in the long run. Renault are very lucky in respect of the current economic issues coupled with F1’s own issues have left the FIA in a somewhat weakened position.
          For me if Toyota quit at the end of this season and Renault stay around and continue their engine supply deals then although it’s not right, it may prove to be the best for F1.
          Renaults brand has taken a real kick in lately and those that are really responsible are banished. BUT the immunity given to Nelson Piquet is what sickens me the most. I just hope that we can now look forward to a lengthy period of stability now.

          1. I am in complete agreement. Shouldn’t Piquet be at least required to participate in road safety promotions for a set number of days, like Schumacher post-Jerez?

            Oh, wait: his reputation would make that a joke, and also, he was “forced” to do it! How about fining him the value of his wppo contract, minus termination fees? He wouldn’t have gotten his blood money without the crash after all. Give the money to a sportsmanship watchdog.

          2. why would you want toyota to leave? they are not the ones cheating

          3. While the heads of renault may not have known what was conspired and carried out, there had alsways been signs that they employeed a cheat.
            Flavio had no choice after symonds was given immunity to resign and symonds also had no other option, but renault hired them and had watched over the years exactly how they operated.
            I dont have any symapthy for renault as they are responsible for the actions of their employees. Fia didnt have to throw the book at them but they should have had to endure some sort of punishment. For this to all be over with the way it has ended is a sickning shame.
            Ron Dennis could not bring to bear the pressure that renault couold because it was just little mclaren not the big renault. So end the end Ron took it in the end. Renault transparency was forced upon them not eagerly given, because the fia is incompetent in its running of the investigation.
            This was not a fair punishment, and f1 is the worse for it.

          4. Mark Hitchcock
            22nd September 2009, 0:49

            I do kind of share your view Bigbadderboom, this *may* be better for F1 in the longterm with regards to engine supply. But it’ll be bad in terms of the perception the general public has of the sport.

            I don’t really see the sport’s reputation recovering from this for a while. It’s bad enough that the original offence was so terrible, this “punishment” just damages the it even further.

            And if Piquet ever gets back in then that’s it, I think I’ll give up watching until my blood stops boiling!

        2. McLaren were punished for consistantly lying to the FIA about what they did, Renault as an organisation were fully transparent with the FIA once it had been clear there had been wrongdoing. Also it was clear that this was just the actions of three individuals, not the team as a whole who were unaware of the conspiracy. Those responsible have been punished.

          1. Renault as an organisation were fully transparent with the FIA once it had been clear there had been wrongdoing.

            Coincidentally, at about the same time all those documents were leaked. Have you forgotten Flav and Renault threatening legal action against the Piquets for blackmail? This was a sign that they were backing up Flav all the way. I doubt anyone outside of Renault management or the FIA know how transparent Renault has been. The team was still responsible because they employed Briatore and Symonds to manage the team. Don’t cover up the fact that Renault were fundamentally at fault when they left crooks at the helm.

      2. I feel completely sick.

        First time this poster has accepted his/her exact frame of mind. Now we know under what fragile state of mind s/he continuously crashes him/herself on certain driver :D

        And Also now we know why you have sympathy for another dirver who has fragile state of mind as well :D

        1. Does anyone understand the utter nonsense in the above post ?

          1. would it really matter? This whole affair smells, and smells bad. F1 is truly turned into a sad fraternity of spoiled children, all fathered by max and bernie.

    2. Moreover, Renault were about to be suspended for knowingly sending Alonso on track on the Hungarian GP because it was dangerous. But for having a deliberate crash, they don’t?
      Also, it seems a huge gap between permanent exclusion form F1 and a suspended ban…
      What I do agree about the outcome is not to alter the race result, but I believe Renault should have been at least disqualified form the 2008 championship.

      1. I don’t think that would have been possible – and I’m saying this from the point of view of Bernie’s requirement to bring a certain number of cars to the grid.

    3. Mclaren cheat – €100m fine and kicked out of constrictors championship

      Renault cheat and endanger peoples lives – NOTHING!!!

      It’s stupid, Piquet should be banned from F1 for life. He could have seriously injured marshals and spectators!

      1. I wonder what penalty they would have received had Briatore not resigned? Or whether Mclaren would have been fined $100 million for spygate if Ron Dennis had of left the team? Because I get the immpression that these decisions are little more than the FIA and Max Mosley’s persecution of people they hate…

      2. Mclaren cheat – €100m fine and kicked out of constrictors championship
        Renault cheat and endanger peoples lives – NOTHING!!!

        I half expected you to then say “for everything else there’s mastercard”

        1. I think Renault paid a fine ”under the table” as it is mentioned that Renault will donate an unnamed sum to FIA program about driving safety. Briatore and Symonds got the severe part of the punishment and Renault’s case was helped big time by their unconditional surrender last week.

          And comparing with McLaren case isn’t really an issue – McLaren wasn’t cooperating with FIA and they got caught in the lie. They were also given a suspended penalty at their first hearing and 100 million fine after Alonso’s mails appeared…

        2. Ha, good one!

      3. Maybe Ron should have gotten the piquets involved and then mclaren would have gotten off as well..

  2. concludes that Mr. Alonso was not in any way involved in Renault F1’s breach of the regulations.

    Hahaha!! Very convenient assumption! huh?

    1. Assumption: a hypothesis that is taken for granted.
      Conclusion: a position or opinion or judgment reached after consideration.

      The WMSC concluded Alonso had no part in the breach of regulations on the basis of the evidence. No assumptions involved.

      1. There is one (to which anyone is entitled, I guess): One is not guilty till the contrary is proved.
        See, the Alonso got a not-guilty. His innocence can never be proved since one cannot prove a negative.

        1. Not revealing Alonso’s involvement serves a bigger purpose.If they would have come up with the truth, it would have sunk this sport all together. But if the FIA were calling themselves a honest organization, they would have certainly dug deeper into this & come out in the public and revealed everything. but they didn’t. So where is the question of conclusion when the FIA have failed to investigate his role in this.

          1. Always assume innocent until proven guilty.

            It’s once of the cornerstones of a civilised society.

            I don’t like Alonso that much either, but to assume with no evidence is just ignorant.

          2. So where is the question of conclusion when the FIA have failed to investigate his role in this.

            How would you know anything about what the FIA investigates? You they give you a call each time they go on a raid? Please let me know, I am very interested.

          3. So where is the question of conclusion when the FIA have failed to investigate his role in this.

            Had you actually read the part where they talk about a conclusion you’d have read:

            “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.”

            So they did involve him in the investigation and concluded he was not a part of any conspiracy.

            You’re simply assuming he’s guilty of a breach in WMSC regulation therefor now that he hasn’t been found guilty of anything you automatically assume the investigators didn’t do their job.

            I never saw a good reason to implicate Alonso in the conspiracy, it seemed very illogical to involve him. I don’t think he ever lived in the illusion the situation was an honest one though, but what’s he going to do, tell on his team?

    2. Hello my friend
      Remember what I said? Flav and Symonds are going to be ‘dead bodies’ (not physically, of course :-))
      Here we are… Flav has pretty much acquired a status of ‘leper’ (right word?, from leprosy) and thrown out of autosport for life. Well done! Remember Kovalainen couple of years ago? Flav branded him ‘worst ever’ after his first races with Renault, and he was bad indeed, but he was just learning. Then guy joins McLaren and turns out to be a pretty good driver. Simple ’emotional intelligence’, no rocket science here. Flav is an arrogant jerk and he got what he deserved.

      As for Alonso, indeed that was a ‘conclusion’, not an assumption, even if he knew, he was told to pit at lap 13(?) and that was it. He did what he was told, he might or might not know what is about to follow.
      It’s utmost crap and it is indeed black day for F1, from camaraderie of 60s and 70s to the current ‘state of affair’ (sorry, cannot use swearing, my comment would not be published ;-)).
      Despite all poll results, I think that FIA handled the matter carefully in the political way, what else can they do? Honda left, BMW left, Renault would be out, who’s next: Toyota… Who is left: Merc and Ferrari… so, hence the ‘careful smack’ :-)

  3. About right. Renault cooperated fully with the investigation and are therefore entitled to a degree of lenience, as laid out in the WMSC verdict.

    1. So did Ron Dennis, his team still got fined the $100m. Horrible job by the WMSC.

      1. McLaren did not cooperate with the FIA, they misled the WMSC sufficiently for them to reach an erroneous conclusion first time around. Only after further investigation was the truth uncovered.

        1. and what exactly did renault do for one year then?!? they had all the data and still didn’t do anything! it’s disgusting!

          1. But the team is in Flavios control, although i feel that McLaren were harshley treated these are 2 very different scenarios fundamentally. McLaren continued to mislead the FIA investigation, even though they were given chances to come clean.

        2. If you’ll recall once Alonso, that name sounds familiar, came to Dennis with proof of spygate in an attempt to blackmail him into making Alonso the #1 driver, Dennis took the evidence and handed it over to the WMSC and told Alonso to sod off. Where exactly is the non-cooperation of McLaren?

          1. And he wasn’t informed before of the existence of full Ferrari blueprints in McLaren’s hands?

            He was merely taking away a negotiating weapon from Alonso, do you honestly believe those few e-mails are all the evidence that ever existed?

            McLaren got a similar penalty to the one Renault got today after a first hearing…

      2. Not 100m. Why is everyone saying its 100m? It was 100m minus the money they would normaly get after the season for there place in the constructors title ;)
        Makes a lot of difference (millions).

        1. still are 100m… they were gonna get that money, so.. it counts like their own.
          It’s like when you make $5000 in chips in a casino, but you don’t cash it.. you play it and you loose all the money, it doesn’t count as you lost it?… you did have it for a moment even if there were no bills

    2. No financial penalty, No stripping of points, No stripping of Wins, NO ONE IS PUNISHED, mind you Flav & Pat left on their own accord. They were not fired by Renault. A suspended ban?!@#? What is a suspended ban? It is as good as no ban. Even mclaren are under suspended ban after the lie-gate, is it affecting them at all? Its all pure nonsense. i dunno how one would call this verdict a “Fair” one. Plz explain yourself Andy.

      1. Whether or not Flav and Pat jumped or were pushed has not been confirmed. I suspect the decision was not entirely theirs to make….

        The damage done to Renault’s image and the career of Nelson Piquet is punishment enough, especially as the key perpetrators have now left the team.

        1. I agree Andy, although many McLaren fans will not see it so. The guilty parties have been as severly punished as the FIA could within their juristiction. Renault has paid a huge price in brand damage already.

          1. BBB, this has nothing to do with McLaren fans. Do you honestly think Flav & Pat would dare to come back to the paddock after handing in their resignation? Secondly, tell me how have Flav & Pat suffered by this verdict? They have made “Hay when the sun shone brightly”. I definitely don’t want Renault to go through what mclaren went through, cuz it would definitely drive them to bankruptcy. BUT I would be glad to see Flavio & Pat poorer by a Million or two. Hope you got my point.

            BTW most mclaren fans like renault.

          2. I agree with mp4-19b here. Given the distribution of poll results, it’s clear at the moment that most people, not just McLaren fans, think the “punishment” (ha!) is too lenient.

      2. So you advocate penalizing the innocent people still at Renault? At McLaren, most of the guilty parties stayed with the team. In this case, all that banning them would have done is get another manufacturer to leave the sport and making 700 people lose their jobs.

        And what good would disqualifying them from the 2008 Constructors’ Championship do? Most of the money has been paid out, so the harshest thing that would do is make Renault paint different numbers on their cars.

      3. Totally agree with you suspended band is the stupidest punishment ive heard….

        1. Suspended ban= absolutely nowt. How often have suspended bans in F1 or any other sport been activated?

        2. @mp4-19b and others who think that this is too soft a punishment… this is IMHO is the right decision, McLaren were punished way too harsh and that was really so stupid of WMSC. But then, since one mistake was made, we can’t expect them to treat everyone else in the same way. I personally would appreciate, if WMSC can repay McLaren or apologize to them for the way it had treated McLaren on lie-gate (Of course they did misled WMSC, but that didn’t justify the punishment).

          We can (worst possible thing I can ever imagine) think that WMSC has really understood their problem and started giving right punishments for the crime. Or it is as inconsistent as it used to be, and we can expect some way to harsh and irrelevant punishments in the future too.

          1. Fair point, I reckon everyone’s anger here is perhaps not so much because of the penalty Renault were given, but of the Renault penalty in comparison to the absolutely disgraceful penalty Max Mosley, on behalf of the FIA, gave to Ron Dennis, on behalf of Mclaren.

            I really hope Ron Dennis admits responsibility for that NOTW prostitute scandal when Mosley retires! I’m sure it would more than make up for the $100 million fine and forced retirement from Mclaren just for the look on Mosley’s face!

          2. I think you’re confusing liegate with spygate. So many McLaren scandals. In spygate they were handed a very harsh punishment, and in liegate they were treated reasonably fairly.

      4. mp4-19b i to agree that a suspended ban means almost nothing, they should have at least been banned for 2 or 3 races.

    3. No they didnt.

      “At the meeting of the World Motor Sport Council, Renault F1 made the following points in mitigation:

      – it 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”

      So Symonds admitted everything when he was interviewed at Spa did he?

      Renault knew the truth before those interviews and if they were cooperating fully they would have admitted everything straight away.

      This is a joke.
      F1 is a joke.

      1. If you go through one of Pat’s interviews, he came up with a story wherein he said that it was Piquet jr who came up with this idea of crashing, not him or dingy Flav. No isn’t that a lie?

        1. Exactly.
          Renault hid this until they could hide it no more yet the FIA are accepting that they did their best to help the investigation.

          1. Renault and Renault F1 are 2 different identities, Flavio and Pat had complete control over the F1 team and have commited the worst offence, but there is no point punishing the parent company when after they have stepped in they have been 100% compliant and dealt with it in-house. Sometimes you can cut your nose off despite your face, and a huge financial penalty for Renault would only damage F1 further.

          2. renault hid it until the documents that the fia had were leaked. They were leaked on purpose. The fact that the result was what the fia wanted is what happened is why the punishment was lenient.
            The fia did nothing to help this along, if it had been a real crime, the whole case would have been lost due to the evidence being handled so sloppily.

      2. If you go through one of Pat’s interviews, he came up with a story wherein he said that it was Piquet jr who came up with this idea of crashing, not him or dingy Flav. Now isn’t that a lie?

        And the saint also says he’s “RESERVING” his answers.

        Isn’t RESERVING as good as CONCEALING??

    4. About right!?

      Ron Dennis informed the FIA about spygate once he knew about it – he had no part to play in it, so he remained at his position.

      Flavio kept it a secret for as long as he could, until someone else informed the FIA. Flavio stepped down because he was at fault.

      McLaren were in possession of some Ferrari documents, no lives as risk. Spying is also widely known about in F1.

      Renault put a drivers and fans life in danger, as well as other drivers by setting-up a crash so they could benefit.

      A 2 year SUSPENDED

      1. If you believ that Ron Dennis told the FIA as soon as he knew about the dossiers then you are remarkably naive. Ron told the FIA after Alonso threatened to tell them himself. The information McLaren had was being used throughout their team. The two cases are very different in how they have been dealt with by the FIA because they are very different.

      2. IMHO Ron Dennis informed FIA as soon as Alonso approached him and blackmailed him with that same data Ron passed on to FIA…

    5. About right!?

      Ron Dennis informed the FIA about spygate once he knew about it – he had no part to play in it, so he remained at his position.

      Flavio kept it a secret for as long as he could, until someone else informed the FIA. Flavio stepped down because he was at fault.

      McLaren were in possession of some Ferrari documents, no lives as risk. Spying is also widely known about in F1.

      Renault put a drivers and fans life in danger, as well as other drivers by setting-up a crash so they could benefit.

      A 2 year SUSPENDED ban is ‘about right’? Nooooo!

      1. Sorry double post!

      2. I really hope Vatanen wins the FIA election and sorts this mess of a governing body out. Yet another embarassing decision, and it reiterates thow prominently ‘el Spanko’s’ personal vendettas are featured in FIA decision making.

    6. About right. Renault cooperated fully with the investigation and are therefore entitled to a degree of lenience, as laid out in the WMSC verdict.

      Degree of lenience = getting off scott-free?

    7. lenience is one thing, getting off without a slap is another.

  4. hmm think it’s a good conclusion… Renault wasn’t at fault.
    Flavio and Pat where the 2 that made the error and are paying for it now.
    Still find Piquet a bad loser!

    1. Also, neither was McLaren in 2007, yet the whole team got fined.

      1. The team were testing the data obtained from Ferrari. Coughlan admitted to Whitmarsh being in the know. Engineers had the data for months. McLaren lied and they were found out! Period. Here, Renault owned upto it. Even though, it was down to rogue staff, not majority of the organization or an entire organization itself. For that matter, they helped FIA with the investigation.

        Again, McLaren in lie gate weren’t penalized much. The driver ought to be b!|(hslapped for having the audacity to lie and misleadign stewards to unduly influence race results. They got off lightly. Think one can say that it was dumb on their part to lie. Like the first time. They were found out. McLaren concealed facts. Again, i stress on the fact that Renault established that it was rogue employees.

        1. Have you read the above posts?? Renault did lie. Briatore lied and Symonds lied, before they left the team. Therefore the team was lying to the FIA investigators. It’s not too difficult when you think about it.

      2. WMSC had accepted McLaren’s assurance in first round of hearing, that McLaren had done due diligence and taken due care to ensure that the Stolen Ferrari documents were not used by McLaren ranks and files.
        So WMSC accepted Ron Dennis’s word of “Honor” and let McLaren go.

        Only after WMSC realised that McLaren Team Management had lied, given wrong information to Council in first round, the entire organization had access to the Ferrari Data and they were actively testing the data acquired inappropriately.

        It was for this that McLaren was fined and was fined correctly. In fact they were let go lightly, the McLaren Drivers Should have been stripped off their points in 2007. But for sake commercial interests, WMSC compensated that by Financial Penalties.

        McLaren didn’t improve even after the 2007 saga and lied to stewards in Australia 2009, so that a competitor got wrongfully punished. Tells a lot about team and its culture doesn’t it ??

        McLaren Fans, kindly absorb the above facts in your systems and don’t bring the story of shame and dishonesty. you will have no sympathy whatsoever!!!

        1. In fact they were let go lightly, the McLaren Drivers Should have been stripped off their points in 2007.

          … in your opinion. Excuse me if I think you’re talking pants.

    2. Renault employed Flav and Pat so they have to take some blame for the incident!

      1. sure enough… I didn’t agree with the McLaren fine back them.
        But as I said before, the punisment then was in a better climate, giving a fine atm would be killing a team, wich is needed..
        Sure it’s still a bad thing, but you can’t punish a company for the action of your employees… same at the spygate imo, but then there was a lot of crap going on :)

        1. Sure it’s still a bad thing, but you can’t punish a company for the action of your employees…

          Yes you can. It is used in corporate law all the time. If you knew anything about the subject you wouldn’t be spouting such drivel.

          1. correct, the company that I work or is 100% responsible for my actions during the time I perform duties for said company. Therefore renault is responsible for the entire scandal.

        1. this was a response to SamS :)

    3. I dont condone what piquet did but look at it from the vveiwpoint of 3 criminals just finishing a bank job, you’ve done your part and kept quite about it and bow the ring leader of the group wants to oust you because he is no longer able to use you. To retailiate you turn all of you in and you get off for cooperating and they get the slam for the crime.
      Moral is dont screw over your co-conspirators.
      If Flavio was smart Nelson would have drove for renault until there was no renault F1.
      Not a bad loser as much as you dont play with the piquets

  5. If only those listed were involved the punishment is about as fair as you can get. As none of them are in F1 any more.

    The only other thing they could do is strip them of the race win and points. But it is hardly a Renault wide issue.

    However you can’t help but think certain teams would have got away with it – other teams massively fined. Its about time F1 had some guide disciples to rule breaches. Not just on but off the track we seem to constantly see instances handled in completely different ways.

    1. Unfortunately none of these scandalous incidents are exactly the same, and therefore cannot be punished the same. As mentioned above, Renault might be forking out a huge fee to the FIA described as “a significant contribution to FIA safety-related projects.” You can’t blame Renault for doing this instead of having a huge number banded around the media (eg. $100m) for all eternity. However the precise penalty is just like all other FIA matters, completely hidden from the public and the fans who make the sport what it is.

  6. Pathetic ruling, why do they want to keep Renault in so much, they should have got a fine and a race ban at the very least.

    Again, Flav got away with it, thank god he had the good grace to leave with his tale between his legs!

    1. The FIA couldn’t do anything else to Flav. It’s a non-profit association in France, and as such doesn’t have any more authority than you or me to impose a fine on anyone unless they accept it (the deal is “pay the fine or you’re banned from any form of FIA-aproved racing”).

      Well, they could sue him for fixing a sporting result, but that’s about it.

  7. This is about right i feel as anything more than this may have seen Renault pull out of F1 all together and thus Red Bull would lose an engine supplier. It would have too great an impact on the sport. With Renaults sales way down this year, they may not have been in a position to pay a fine and docking points for last years races would be pointless as that season is over. Maybe they should have lost all constructor points for this year, but the driver points should be left as they are.

    Given the climate we are in and F1 already losing 2 teams, i think this was the best solution.

    1. I wouldnt be sad for Renault to go, get some new blood in. Red Bull could use the new cosworth engine!

    2. Please wake up, F1 is a sport not Social Security. The Renault team cheated and should have been punished as such. Just because times are hard does not mean the FIA should be all softly-softly with a car manufacturer. This season has seen the return of competitive independent teams with the manufacturers struggling, and the sport has not suffered one bit. Why we should all walk on egg shells just because a manufacturer is a bit skint, I’ve no idea.

  8. I think this is about right, but I would have added a monetary fine on Renault as well. Not at the level McLaren got in 2007, but at least seven figures.

    I am also puzzled as to why Symonds’ ban is only five years, while Briatore’s is for the rest of his life. Surely, they should both receive lifetime bans.

    But, I think that this was a good compromise in coming down hard on the people responsible, but keeping the team in the sport.

    However, I would have preferred it if Piquet didn’t have his immunity and they could punish him as well for going along with such a reckless plan.

    1. I am also puzzled as to why Symonds’ ban is only five years, while Briatore’s is for the rest of his life.

      You shouldn’t be surprised really. Although Briatore the scum-bag is as guilty as they come, this has been a witchhunt to get Flav ousted from F1 for as long as possible. I hate Flav but I can see the disparity between his and Symonds’ punishments. It is the same when you look at Renault’s suspended ban and other punishments given out over the last few years.

    2. Symonds is done in the sport. No one will hire him in the racing fraternity again. He now has too much bad baggage to bring and it would shed uneeded light on any team he is associated with.

  9. Disgrace, Symond’s should be banned for life and the Piquets sod immunity. Should lose the win. Maybe constructors points. A fine would have been mad but that isn’t the only way to punishy a team just a good way to raise revenue.

    1. I bet you can actually see Bernie Ecclestone’s fingerprints on the FIA documents. Remember, F1 is 1% sport, 99% business. BE and the FIA can’t afford to scare away any more teams (and certainly not engine suppliers), so they couldn’t give Renault the fine or suspension they deserved. But what I want is justice, whether or not that means F1 won’t have enough engine suppliers, Fernando Alonso isn’t on the grid or whatever.

      Whatever miniscule amount of respect
      I had left for the FIA is seeping away. I just wish FOTA had of gone ahead with their breakaway…

      1. I just wish FOTA had of gone ahead with their breakaway…

        A world where Flavio Briatore is even more powerful? Yikes.

        1. Oh no, I don’t much like Flavio Briatore at all. But I’d be happy for him to be involved if it meant F1 could be free from the worlds most incompetent governing body, the FIA

      2. As long as Flav isnt involved

  10. I think FIA this time have made not too bad job.

    They have punished actors appropriately and the team have received a suspended ban that sounds to me ok due to Renault, as a Team, were not conscious of what happened.

    I only miss a punishment for Piquet Jr, but in any case he will probably be out of F1 for life. I cannot imagine any team hiring him; if he would have another accident (something more than probable, given his previous experience) there would be a mess with everybody thinking if that was made on purpose or just a non intended accident.

    Flavio (el Trebula) have been banned for life. Justice has become from FIA at least for this occasion.

    1. Hey! IDR. your pet boy & idol wouldn’t have managed to win 2 WDC without Flavio. How could you possibly be soo harsh on him?

      1. Settle down, buddy…

    2. I agree, and also all those who made slanderous comments about Fernando Alonso’s involvement in the plot should apologise, its clear Alonso had nothing to do with it.

      I think people are ignoring that the penalties meated out to Flav and Pat, the people actually responsible are as heavy as should be expected. I’m surprised Renault didn’t get a heavier punishment as a whole, but i think the overall decision is fair.

    3. Flavio (el Trebula) have been banned for life. Justice has become from FIA at least for this occasion.

      I kind of wish Flav’s punishment was harsher, if possible. I have never liked him. But I console myself with the picture of Flav turning up to a race with a pretty girl on his arm, and being turned away by big burly fellas with “FIA Justice Brigade” emblazoned across their flak jackets.

      1. I’ve always felt sympathy for Flavio Briatore. A funny guy. The Billionaire Club, Blue Force moored in Montecarlo, great scandals with Top Models…, some kind of the best representation of F1 Glamour.

        But at the end, the cheater has come to light, and despite I feel sorry for him, the punishment he has received fits the crime he did.

        Asking a poor driver with no personality to crash his car just for a bunch of points, is the lowest thing we’ve seen in F1 from many years (and the press has showed us the evidence).

  11. I can see the basis for which some would think it is fair, as in renault as the team don’t really deserve punishment and I agree but for the one’s involved it’s a joke.

    1. The problem is that the FIA has no real power to do anything to Briatore and Symonds now that they are no longer employed by an F1 team. They have no legal authority to do anything. All they could do is stop them from working within the FIA umbrella again.

  12. I have an idea. Why don’t we call this FIA decision against Renault ‘whitewash gate’…

    1. Fascicle and ridicules decision from the FIA! I’m amazed the FIA have not even taken away Renaults points for this year as a minimum. F1 has lost the plot completely.

      And I’m really confused about all those defending Renault saying they are not essentially to blame for what Flavio and Pat did?! So by that reasoning we should deduce that Renault or any other car company or manufacturer or business of any description etc should never be blamed for anything an employer of their’s has done. Hmmm, that make sense, NOT…

  13. We are all being taken for a ride!! I don’t necessary support hefty financial penalties, but considering the seriousness of the crime, the verdict is not just.

    People get satisfied too easily. PLZ note: Flav & Pat both resigned & knew at the time of resigning that they were never going to come back! A life ban for Flav & pat means nothing. Its just an eye wash.

    1. I guess I don’t know what else they could have done. Since it seems that only three people were involved in this, and they have all left the team, it would be unfair to penalize the innocent people remaining at Renault. The suspended ban seems appropriate to me.

      I do think that the bans on Briatore and Symonds are completely justified, but I would have rather that the latter’s be a lifetime ban as well.

  14. Interesting interview with Johnny Herbert about Briatore. He sounds like a monster.$1328498.htm

    I still feel sorry for Piquet. His life has been destroyed.

    1. I feel for Piquet too – the situation he must have been in at Renault to feel he needed to do it in the first place must have been horrible. I hope someone gives him another chance in F1 – maybe we will see a new Piquet when he isnt being held back by his employers!

      Piquet is one of several who dont seem to have had a good time under Briatore – he just went a bit more extreme than his predecessors to get good favour with the boss.

    2. Pfft, poor Piquet. Don’t make me laugh.

      He lost his job because he couldn’t drive properly and then prolonged his suffering by crashing into a wall on purpose.

      He could and should have left Renault after his dismal 2008 performance.

      1. I reckon he could have done better if he was in a team with a manager that actually gave him an equal chance with equal equipment, who didn’t bully and threaten him at every turn. He was very talented in GP2.

        1. He was very talented in GP2

          And so was Kovy..and I believe I remember what we had written about him couple of weeks back :P

          1. I actually think Kovy is okay – he’s steady and a team player. No-one will be as fast as Lewis so they are expecting the impossible. I think they should renew his contract. I actually spoke to Heikki briefly on Saturday at Westfield Shopping Centre. I said, “I hope you drive with Lewis next year”. He stopped, paused and said, “I hope so too”, but he didn’t look very hopeful. He looked quite sweet and he and Lewis obviously get on really well. Lewis was amazing as usual.

        2. Piquet is as guilty as anybody in this, he should have kept some perspective in his life. Poor playboy millionaire, driving F1 cars, being flown everywhere on a private jet, and even though he managed to cock up his career, he has the audasity to say “Uncle Max…..Flav made me do it” His immunity is what makes me sick.

          1. i agree, Piquet now says sorry, but everyone forgets that it was HIM who made the crash and HIM who agreed to proceed with this illegal act. If Piquet did the right thing he should have come forward with the information immediately, and complain about the unfair treatment.

            But no, he played the dirty game and made dirty deals on his own choice because he WANTED to. And he is equally as guilty, in fact he is the most guilty of all.

        3. I’m sure running in a slower car doesn’t mean he has had to crash it, what, 17 times? Doesn’t strike me as a good driver at all, and certainly not a racer. He drives without desire or competitiveness in F1, whatever his resume says.

          And with his questionable sense of professionalism and ethics, I don’t think he should be given another chance.

        4. Oh knock it off. Piquet HAD equal equipment. There were 4 races this season where he had an update a race later. That’s 4 races out of 28. That’s hardly and explanation why he performed so badly.

          Why was he bullied to perform? Because he sucked even after he stated that he would beat Alonso.

          He did fine in GP2 although he got beaten by a rookie, but F1 was just one step too high. He simply couldn’t deal with the complexity and he didn’t have the commitment and dedication neccesary either.

          1. Basic lack of speed and talent is what I always thought, however I can now add integrity to the other things he lacks……oh yes and balls, piquet definatley lacks balls.

    3. How can anyone feel sorry for Piquet? He wasn’t forced to collaborate, he chose too.

      1. Absolutely. By granting him immunity, the FIA have made him their chosen “victim.” I’m not at all sorry that Flav has been dishonourably discharged, but it does look like something of a witch hunt.

      2. I wouldn’t even exclude the possibility that it was indeed Piquet who suggested this.

    4. S Hughes- Piquets’s life has not been destroyed… he has destroyed his own life!

      1. Good point- there’s no excuse for crashing on purpose.

  15. Too big to fail. Renault is like one of those wall street banks… it is not a punishment, is a bailout from FIA

    1. Good analogy. If Renault decided to leave F1 off the back off a major fine/ suspension, the only remaining manufacturers would be Ferrari, Mercedes and Toyota (who may yet leave themselves). That would be a bit like DTM…

  16. It’s absolutely bizarre that they didn’t at least lose the spoils of that illegal win. Either through monetary punishment or a ban for the next Singapore race.

    I’d say this verdict is an utter farce.

    How can you fine McLaren $100 million for asking what gas Ferrari uses in their tyres, yet completely messing up a race and putting peoples lives at risk gets you no punishment at all. Well a stern talking to and a “Don’t do it again! tsk tsk tsk!”

    What parallel universe do these WMSC people live in? Bizarro world?

    Suppose that some bank robbers use my car for a heist. They get cought and they flee from my car, leaving the stolen cash behind. Now do I get to keep the money that they just stole? According to the WMSC I would be allowed to keep it I guess.

    1. @Patrickl
      “How can you fine McLaren $100 million for asking what gas Ferrari uses in their tyres…”

      Apparently McLaren had the entire design documents of the Ferrari car for that year and not just the information on “gas” used in tyre, as you would like to believe. Then they lied about not having used that information. They were even testing based on the data obtained.

      1. You have missed the point my dear. Patrickl was highlighting the ridiculous disparity between the punishments, not the similarity of the crimes.

        1. there is no way to measure the disparity if the similarity is not the same. basic law 101 tbh

    2. Suppose that some bank robbers use my car for a heist. They get cought and they flee from my car, leaving the stolen cash behind. Now do I get to keep the money that they just stole? According to the WMSC I would be allowed to keep it I guess.

      Yes, you may keep it, on condition that you spend several million dollars(an amount at least equal to the total money from the robbery) on projects to improve roadway safety.

      As I read the WMSC statement, this is what Renault Corporation will be doing, to atone for the trespasses of it’s Team F1.

      Read, folks, read! Read the FiA statement, please. I understand this is an emotional topic for many, but let us not allow emotions to rule intellect.

      Furthermore, the statement published Monday is but a preliminary statement of findings. Complete details and transcripts well be available soon. I believe I’ll reserve judgment of how good or bad the WMSC decision is, until after I read the complete findings.

      (And Patrickl, only the portion of this comment regarding the bank robbery was meant for you. The rest is to commenters in general.)

  17. For massa Title
    21st September 2009, 14:48

    think about the massa should have at singapore 2008 maybe 10 point and hamiltaon maybe 8 / 6 then halmiton the world title only by 1 point

    it effect other driver and team Ferari lost Driver Title in 2008

    – sorry my inglish no so good

    1. “team Ferari lost Driver Title in 2008”

      Indeed Ferrari lost Massa his title due to their bad pitstop.

      Although Massa crashed during the first two races. If he had not done that he might have been WDC too. But then Hamilton might have …

      if if if

      1. Hear, hear ! Well said.

    2. I have a lot of respect for Brazilians & their passion for Formula One. I suspect you are from brazil, Plz don’t plea for the title. Even Massa wouldn’t want the title to be won in this manner. Its gotta be done on track.


      1. Yes we want to see the drivers going at it, wheel to wheel in the dying laps of the race at a great venue like Spa…oh wait hang on…

        1. … and lets have FIA appointed stewards step up and do “justice” and “adjust the race result” to “correct” a “clear unfair advantage” McLaren obtained by cutting corners in the name of fairness and consistency

  18. business over justice

    1. justice?

      who ever had the illusion that F1 has anything to do with justice or similar concepts like fairness, sportsmanship, ideals etc.

      @Keith: I would be very interested in a poll asking how many F1 fans will stop watching F1 from now on based on current events.

      I suspect a negligible fraction. So I expect no pressure whatsoever from the fan/viewer base for FIA/FOM to change a thing with their ways.

      As mentioned several times be4: The current publicity is most likely drawing more viewers into F1. The more fuzz, scandals and front page controversies, the better.

      19 races on the 2010 calendar with 13 ( or 14?) teams is not exactly evidence for F1 going to die soon after years of intense scandals and controversies.

      FOM should thank and reward Nelsinho, Flav & Pat for providing the great spectacle that F1-proper can’t deliver on track any more (with cars being regulated into equalised performance).

  19. Where would you think Alonso will transfer next year? Ferrari? ;)

  20. Fed up with all of this.

    My reaction was to fire up youtube and found this: .

    Looking forward to watching F1 here!

    1. Great link, thanks.

      Would love to see F1 run there.

      That track has changes in elevation….while cornering! :)
      Looks to be as much fun as Spa.

  21. This is the stupidest punishment i have heard .Suspended ban is nothing but letting them go free.Not even a once race ban.The mclaren spying incident was much lighter offence than this one and these words are coming from a hard core ferrari fan.

    1. But flavios punishment is alrite no regrets in that…

      1. And it was Flavio and Pat Synmonds who committed the offences, why punish the parent company?? And i wish people would stop comparing the McLaren incident and this, they are two very different things in very different circumstances.

  22. I think justice has been done. Especially if you look at the punishment for Briatore.

    1. Oh how I love the line that explains how any driver managed by Briatore will not be reissued a superlicence. No more 20%s Flav!

  23. This was expected, very sad day for F1. Not to be taken seriously and most important of all, do not waste your money on it. I might watch if I have nothing better to do, but will no longer attend any races or spend one single penny on this so call sport. Disgraceful.

    1. Agree. Stupid sport, with vile, corrupt people in charge with absolutely no morals.

      1. Thank heavens for Saint Lewis..

  24. It is a very soft punishment. But I can’t seem to blame FIA for this one. They somehow stopped a team from leaving the sport, which is important considering the larger picture.

    A mixed bag really.

    1. I do blame FIA for this: Why was there no serious investigation right after the race in 2008? All the ‘hard’ evidence (the technical data and voice recordings) were available then as they were now. Suspicions were raised even during the race by various reporters and other teams.

      Who is punishing FIA for not doing its job of governance?

    2. They somehow stopped a team from leaving the sport, which is important considering the larger picture.

      Oh yeah! Let’s have a grid full of cheating teams! We could see how many cheats they can commit during a single race. Back in the Benetton days they could manage two or three, perhaps an extra one if it was a title-decider! Who needs integrity and honesty when we can have back-stabbing, dirty dealing and race fixing! All adds to the intrigue and excitement innit!!

  25. To those saying “A big fine or bans would scare Renault off”: So? Yes, it may be ‘bad for the sport’, but rules are rules. This develops (or rather extends, in the FIAs case) the “one rule for some, another for the others” mentality, which is worse for the sport. They should be punished based upon the ‘crime’, not on the consequences of the punishment.

    As for the rest, yes, Flav and Symonds quit, but that was not (at least officially) the action of the team. Personally I find it difficult to beleive that noone else knew anything, but I have no evidence. In the end, I consider this a little too lenient, and probably motivated more by politics than anything else. A fair punishment would have been at least a fine in the millions, a race ban AND this suspended permanent ban.

    Only my oppinion of course, but I’m entitled to that :P

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      21st September 2009, 15:38

      I think I agree, Dr Mouse.
      But I never really epxected any dramatic penalty and certainly no revelations today. Once Pat ‘n’ Flav had gone and Team Renault admitted responsibility, there was no prospect of a real investigation and exposé.
      Rather it was a damage limitation exercise for Renault and a political fudge from the FIA so as not to upset Renault itself.
      Pathetic really.

    2. It would also be bad for the hundreds of highly specialised staff who work for Renault F1, being made redundant during a global financial crisis that has hit the motor industry particularly hard.

      It sickens me how many of you are baying for the blood of Renault F1 when there are real people who were not complicit who would be the only ones to suffer.

  26. I’m not going to vote on the poll because I’m not certain whether the punishment is too soft or too hard, but it certainly is too inconsistent. Thanks for that FIA.

    1. maybe the best post till now

    2. What’s inconsitent ?

      When McLaren claimed the Ferrari information had not been seen by any other than the chief designer, not been used, and that said designer had been suspended, they got away with no punishment at all, not even a suspended one.
      When they were caught lying to the stewards, they got a suspended 3 races ban.

      Looks like as long as you’re fully open in front of the WMSC, and show you’re taking actions to prevent the event from happening again, you have a chance to get away without much damage. So far only McLaren has been caught lying to the WMSC, so we have yet to see if another team would be punished the same way.

    3. Bezackly ! If you come down on one team like a tonne of bricks, then you must do it to all the others. FIA is playing favourite child, again.

  27. Considering the FIA said the offence was of “unparalleled severity” I think the punishment given to Renault is too soft, they are saying it is the worst crime committed in F1 but all they get is a suspended sentence and pay legal costs of the FIA.

    For spying McLaren got a $100m fine and excluded from the championship and for having an underweight car because of their dodgy fuel tank BAR got a two race ban, and for lying earlier this year McLaren and Hamilton were disqualified from the race in question and given suspended race ban.

    I think by looking at the punishments handed out we can see that the main target was Briatore and having given him a lifetime ban from having anything to do with motorsport they couldn’t let Symonds off.

  28. Renault are the Luckiest @#$%&* F1 TEAM IN THE PADDOCK

    ———> Let off in J-damper gate
    ———> let off in Tyre-gate
    ———> let off in crash-gate

    If you go back to their Benetton days(same bunch ‘o’ people)

    illegal traction control
    illegal fuel rig
    illegal wing etc etc


    1. + fuel cooling (the FIA couldn’t do anything because they didn’t measure ambiant temp which the rules required)

    2. It always helps to be a close personal friend of Bernie.

      1. If you actually read the FiA statement fully, you will see that friendship with Bernie apparently did Briatore little good in this instance.

    3. Renault couldn’t be “punished” for the tuned mass damper, you fool. It was a technical gadget that was outlawed mid-season. It stretched the rules a bit too far, but that is what the technical innovation in F1 is all about.

      It would have been daft to punish Renault for the loose wheel at Hungary. No team would release their car in the knowledge that a wheel would fall off a few corners later.

      However a funny thing about the Hungary incident is that you can buy a 1/18th scale model of Fernando’s Renault F1 car that raced at Hungary, and manufactured by Hot Wheels! Simply brilliant. It’s not the 2009 model though, because it has four wheels. Click here.

  29. The FIA & WMSC may as well have a slogan on their headed paper “Down with McLaren, Tolerate the rest”. What a load of rubbish. And suddenly Alonso, one of the most cunning drivers who always knows how to exploit events in a race, is very naive and had no idea that all this was going on.????

    F1 is like pop music, constantly curtailing it’s natural and creative direction to cater for the imagined public taste! Eugh! Reminds me of ‘The Jam’ – “the public wants what the public gets”.

    Anyway, rant over. I’m gonna watch F1 next year and if it continues in this vein, I’m giving it up!

    1. It has always been & will always be:

      McLaren VS FIA,WMSC,FOM & rest of the thugs.

    2. Well said! If you’re McLaren, you don’t stand a chance. If you’re not, anything goes, cheat away. Teflon man rides again.

      1. You two are hilarious!

        That said the penalty was too soft – they desrve some sort of monetary fine, but not in the league of Macca’s.

        1. I am not a mclaren disciple but they are not far from the truth. The fia and all the other groups are definetely anti mclaren.

  30. Well thank god that Briatore is gone. That cheating little fecker. Disgrace he was even still in the sport.

  31. Keith, I’d love you to stick your neck above the parapet and tell us what you really think, whether you think it’s fair or not.

    1. I think the tone of the article and the fact I called it ‘lenient’ make it pretty clear.

  32. A great opportunity for Keith to hold a competition in the closed season. Competitors must work out the most sophisticated means by which a team can cheat despite being forbidden to crash “in a similar manner” for two seasons. e.g. Burning down the pits is too symplistic and laxative in the drinks bottles too uncouth.
    So we were able to get Ron with a hard fine because he was a team owner, then Flav with banishment now who is left? Luca? Who else do we suspect for setting up the News of The World in bumgate?

  33. I think it is a soft punishment – but perhaps thats ok. (Flabio got fully banned though which is quite solid)

    I would have liked to have seen an (at least) symbolic removal of Alonso’s win though. Perhaps just removing Renault from the 08 championship results in the history books.

  34. In FIA’s own words:

    “The World Motor Sport Council considers that offences of this severity merit permanent disqualification from the FIA Formula One World Championship”

    Yet they walk away with with a “don’t do it again”, not even proper spanking.
    If they deserve “permanent disqualification”, the possibility that too severe a fine would make them leave the championship should be a tolerable risk, one would think.

    What a farce!

    1. The FIA doesn’t get involved in spanking any more. At least not without Women A, B and C signing a confidentiality agreement.

  35. Also, plz stop saying Massa would have been champion…
    if if if..

    If this didn’t happen he might have made a stupid crash.. or this or that..
    As Lewis said, he drove his races with the results that where there!

    1. Massa Would have been champion



    2. Of course he did. He could have won it by a 30 points margin but instead preferred to win it by 1 point overtaking the car he needed to in the last curve of the last lap of the last race (what an entertainer!!!).
      I suppose if he says pigs can fly you would endorse that too….

      1. I suppose if he says pigs can fly you would endorse that too….

        Swine flu?

  36. What this is about is probably saving Mosley’s skin and, as with the dubious ‘not guilty’ over the McLaren disks to Renault affair, trying to create divisions between the teams.

    Charlie Whiting was informed last year. When did he inform Mosely? If it wasn’t within a week or two he should be sacked. If it was, as I suspect, before this season, why did Mosely not act? For whatever reason, the delay in action is not only inexcusable, but has influenced the penalty.

    A penalty of any severity would drive Renault out if F1, certainly next year and probably with immediate effect if it involved race bans. Renault would thus no longer be a member of FOTA, and FOTA could go to town on Mosley’s failure to take earlier action.

    Instead, while Renault remain in F1 and FOTA, complaints against Renault from the other teams would cause divisions, so I don’t expect there to be much of an outcry from them. I thought yesterday the smart money was on losing last year’s money and everything quickly swept under the carpet… but this is beyond even what I expected. Perhaps if Ron had stepped down immediately McLaren could have saved themselves $100 million…

    1. Get real. It doesn’t matter who goes telling tales to Uncle Max, if they don’t have proof, then an investigation cannot begin. Little Piquet decided to keep schtum for nearly a year, finally blabbing when he got the boot. NPJ is to blame for the delay, no-one else.

      Stuff Renault. The team’s management decided the best way of competing in a Grand Prix was to stage a potentially dangerous accident to bag themselves an undeserved win. They deserved a good slap today but managed to get off.

  37. I think it is about right – although maybe a fine possibly should have been issued as it doesnt really match previous penalties for others.

    Thing is with this one though, I dont think Renault as a team is to blame so much, it is more the actions of a couple of individuals, and those individuals have all been punished one way or another. The incident was a one off, not a longer running thing like the spy stuff, or BAR’s fuel tank – and although the points will have affected the titles in the long run, it was essentially an isolated incident.

    I’m not sure a race ban would have been…relevant is the wrong word..but what i mean is the incident happened last year – therefore i dont think it should directly affect this year – its a completely seperate campaign. Nor should it change last years result (not that it can be changed, so it is academic) but Alonso wasnt the only one who benefitted from the safety car, and without rerunning the whole race again, you will never get a true result from that race as so much got affected.

    I still feel for Piquet in this – you wouldnt carry out a request like that if you werent under some serious pressure. And he is going to struggle to shake off that reputation and continue in his career now. briatore wasnt just his boss, but his manager too – extra pressure. I wish him luck in the future – i would like to seem him get another shot at F1 with a team who actually want him to be there.

    1. Clare.
      Young men from NATO of Piquet’s age are serving honourably in Afghanistan and taking a harsh responsibility every day, risking their lives sometimes for their comrades.
      Piquet could have had one of his normal crashes down an escape road to solve his dilemma or just say no once he had his evidence. His Daddy could have talked to Max just the same.

    2. I still feel for Piquet in this – you wouldnt carry out a request like that if you werent under some serious pressure.

      Pressure to get your contract renewed? Greed at wanting to play at racing cars for another year before everyone realises you’re a useless driver? If Piquet had revealed this charade before he was sacked then I would have a lot more respect for him. And as CJD says, he wasn’t really under “pressure.” He wouldn’t know the meaning of the word.

  38. Now the interesting question would be as to whether Flavio will contest his ban? He’s not the type to quietly ride into the sunset. He’ll seek his revenge. He’s an Italian, that too a fat one :) He’ll not give up, I’m sure of it.

    1. What’s being Italian and fat got to do with it?

    2. Apparently he was talking to Bernie and was saying he didnt want to get old and still be playing with racing cars. Maybe he will just call it a day, sell all the interests that he is no longer allowed to own and retire in disgrace.
      More to the point, has Prost been confirmed as new Renault team principle yet?

  39. Apart from the farcical “stern speaking too” as a punishment for Renault, what about:
    – All the leaks?
    – FIA letting this sit for months?

    No explanation or apology from the WMSC for that?

    1. Why wasn’t Charlie Whiting present? Wasn’t he the one to whom Piquet Sr confided last year at Interlagos?

      1. Charlie’s credibility was destroyed by Max in Belgium last year. Pension cannot be far away

    2. NPJ letting this sit for months?

      Fixed that for you.

      1. Well that was sort of explained with the immunity and all.

        Besides Mosley was keen to blackmail the McLaren drivers to hand over evidence against McLaren. Why didn’t he do that to Piquet?

        Still, I was wondering more why FIA didn’t explain or apologize for their negligent handling of this case.

  40. I at least expected a fine close to what MacLaren faced.

    What a complete joke. Renault get awya with it, as does Alonso.

    If the cars had been silver, I wonder what the punishment would have been..

    1. probably the same…the silver team has gotten away with a lot….

      all three of the teams that have won the past 11 championships (Ferrari, McLaren, Renault) have gotten away with a ton of BS…

      It’s nice to know that none of these three teams are going to win this year, just for a change of pace really.

      1. Yeah luckily now the team that found a loophole in the regs and got away with it is going to win. Much better.

        1. Remeber that Ross Brawn himself told the OWG9who he was a memeber of) that the was a flaw in the regulations and that it would be exploited by several teams. He was right and his as well as Williams and Toyota all exploited the rule.
          You cannot blame the teams for exploiting the rule especially when it was brought to their attention way ahead of tome.

  41. Sorry to lower the tone, but saw this while searching on YouTube re. crashgate – my, NPJ is mighty fit. He seems to have spent most of his career wandering around the paddock shirtless.

    1. Judging by those photos, either young Nelson has lost his T- shirt, or he suffers from vanity at an industrial scale…

      1. Ha ha – it’s quite funny actually. Don’t think I’ve seen a driver wandering around shirtless before.

  42. I feel this punishment is far too lenient. I mean what the FIA are saying is – we Fined Mclaren $100M because they knew they could get away with punishing Mclaren so hard and knew that Mclaren would rebuild after and still be racing the following year. 12 months down the line the FIA are now going softly softly so not to upset teams.

    Just a thought are the FIA scared of manufactures as strongly pure racing teams?

    1. (Cont)……they should at least retrospectively punish the team for 2008 – Take their constructors points and money away from them – at least take their race constructors points off them for christ sake! Do Renault still get to keep all their constructors prize money? I am sure other teams could think – Its almost worth doing again – just as long as we are not caught out until the following year.

      What if this had been for the championship? This leniency from the FIA almost breads the possibility of this happening again.

      I don’t want to see a racing team leave the sport but Renault should have been put to the sword as strongly as Mclaren and this just smacks of one set of punishment for one team and another set of principles for another.

      Because Renualt made noises they might leave it looks like they have got of lightly.

      Stripping it all down – If Mclaren had moved Ron Dennis out of the way before their hearing then they would have got off equally as likely.

      The common thread here seems to be that the FIA will provide leniency as long as your teams strong leader is disposed off. Basically Max’s personal agenda.

  43. So in the end, no-one got punished for anything.

    Renault get off with a suspended ban… which is as good as giving them nothing. No ban, no fine, no deductions.

    Flav and Symonds don’t get to work in motorsport, big whoop, I’m sure they have many strings to their bows.

    The guy who crashed in the first place is hardly even mentioned.

    McLaren should demand their $100 million back…

    Renault should have had last years poins taken away, and been banned from Formula One. Leaving a nice new team to swoop in and pick up the pieces.

    1. totally agree with you
      Mclaren should demand their 100 million back!

    2. Flav and Symonds don’t get to work in motorsport, big whoop, I’m sure they have many strings to their bows.

      I doubt they could get a job anyway. Imagine you’re recruiting for a big racing team, and one of their CVs lands on your desk. Umm…

    3. … oh and look out for an autobiography or two. I say we give it three months. Any advance on three months?

  44. Despicable. I’m not especially a McLaren fan but it makes my blood boil to see such disparity in punishments. Renault’s crime was far far worse than McLaren’s for Spygate, and yet their punishment was far far lighter. This makes it even more clear (if it were necessary) that the punishment of McLaren was purely politically motivated. I know that some people will say that McLaren kept denying their “crime”, but the fact is that as soon as Ron Dennis found out that Alonso had knowledge of the spying, far from covering it up, he went straight to the FIA.

    Disgusting. The only upside of today is that at least Flavio is gone for good.

  45. “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.”

    So the team is accused of what would generate a list of cirminal counts as long as your arm in any jurisdiction, as well as “compromising” the sport, and they get off scot free.

    There is no point in comparing this favorably to spygate, because the FIA itself in this ruling, has announced that Renault’s behavior was of “unparalled severity.”

    And these arguments that leniency was due becuase FB already got the sack are without any merit. when you hire someone to work as your agent, and they do wrong in the course of their work, you pay the price as well. That is a bedrock and universally recognized principle of fairness in business dealings and public duties that even a child can understand.

    As for Alonso, relying on the little comments that he is innocent, from a ruling establishing that his Singapore win was borne on a farce of “unparalled severity”, is faint praise at best. And, anyway, as we know from spygate, there should be no great haste to exonerate this man from shady affairs. Much more is to come here.

    1. Couldn’t agree more, although I wouldn’t describe Freddie as shady. He is no doubt a tenacious competitor but until I see evidence of his involvement in crashgate, he must be considered innocent despite being the beneficiary.

    2. McLaren got more punishment for “liegate”.

  46. I’m sorry, but this is clearly far too lenient, especially given the severity of this case. Regardless of how quickly the team took the right steps to let go of those employees directly responsible for this scandal, anything but a clear signal that this kind of intended manipulation of the sport will have serious consequences probably won’t achieve anything to prevent anything similar from happening in the future.

  47. Bob Thomas - US
    21st September 2009, 15:29

    All three known to be guilty are gone, Briatore forever, Symonds for five years and Piquet because no team will ever hire him,

    Why punish Alonso without proof. He “could” have known for sure but there is no positive proof. He was not at the meetings for sure. All “evidence” against Alonso is speculation or circumstantial.

    Why punish the team? Past punishments handed out to McLaren were unfair to begin with and have nothing to do with this case. Yes, what happened in Singapore last year was terrible but those who were guilty are gone.

    Now lets get on with racing and hope Renault can survive this scandal. And lets hope the draconian punishments handed down during Mosley’s leadership are now a thing of the past.

    1. “Why punish the team?” – Because Renault benefited from this dishonesty, even though they may not have been a party from it. They won a race because of breaking the rules.

  48. Mussolini's Pet Cat
    21st September 2009, 15:31

    Rather that kick Renault out, I reckon the FIA have made a deal stipulating that Renault MUST stay in F1 for at least a couple more years!!!!

  49. Just seen that the FIA are equalising manufacturers engine performance for 2010.

    So that’s another piece of good news for Renault today. They won’t have to work hard to improve their slow and unreliable engines – everyone else has to bring their down to their standards!

    Tongue in check here, but – do you think this could have been part of the deal between the FIA and Renault to ship Flavio and Symmonds?

    1. Thought initially it would be a win for Renault, except what the FIA really want is for all the other manufacturers to be detuned to match Cosworth’s engines…

      how much will the old homologated Cosworth design be detuned to last 3 race distances…I remember when Williams last used them they were blowing up all the time cause they were trying to run them at 19 or 20 thousand rpm!

  50. Renault have “Concealed” the biggest LIE in the history of motor sport for over an year!! Isn’t that reason enough to punish them more severely??

    The fact is that a FIA official( that too Charlie whiting) was aware of this since last November. There is a lot of difference between a normal lie(like the hamilton one) & a rotten lie. They don’t call it rotten lie for nothing folks. This is the perfect example of a rotten lie. This lie was concealed in some of the most rotten brains of f1 for over a year.

    But in case of the 2007 spying,the matter came to notic only somewhere in mid july & the sentence was pronounced in September.

    The mclaren incident was a clear cut case of witch hunt & I don’t wanna debate further on that.

    This verdict is a joke, its a farce, its blatant bias . Its a public eye wash!!

  51. Hey!……McLaren’s fine was way too high. It started the ball rolling for Ron Dennis to leave McLaren F1. Mosley got what he wanted. End of story.
    Renault’s fine is just about right.
    What do you guys want? Expulsion for Renault from F1 for the next 2 years? (Like they would ever come back if that happened.) 100MM dollar fine? (Like they would continue if that happened.)
    Maybe if they just got out of F1 that team slot could be taken up by another nice small independent team. Like….Piquet Sport! Generic chassis, Cosworth power. In fact, the other Renault powered teams, and the teams wanting to go with Renault next year could go with Cosworth as well. Then we could further narrow the front running teams that actually have a shot at winning every other week. Wouldn’t that be nice?
    Let it go!!
    Maybe when Mosley leaves and if Vantenen gets elected FIA president we can just worry about the RACING in this World Wrestling Federation sport we call F1.

  52. I’m curious about the Symonds ban. If I remember rightly, he was offered immunity on the basis that he was to provide more information. Clearly he didn’t take that immunity, so presumably he didn’t provide more information.

    However the FIA stated that:

    “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.”

    It seems to me that Symonds owned up, admitted everything, but refused to accept the immunity that the FIA offered him. In which case, although I strongly condemn his actions, I have to take my hat off to the fact that he realised that what he did was wrong and, instead of accepting immunity, chose to take his punishment for it. For me, that goes a long way to explaining the difference between his and Flav’s punishments.

    Anyway, overall I think this is a fair punishment. The FIA were far too harsh on McLaren back in 2007 and that has set such a big precedent that all recent punishments are considered far too soft. But, looking at it in context, the key players (Briatore and Symonds) have been punished correctly with their respective bans. The team were quite clearly unaware of the plan (I remember reading that even the engineers were questioning Piquet Jr. at the time) and therefore a suspended ban for the team is fair in my opinion – not so much a punishment, but more a warning to those who weren’t involved this time of what to expect if it happens again. Maybe removing Renault from the results of the 2008 Singapore GP and annulling the win would have been good too, but on the whole I think this punishment is about right.

  53. It’s about right. On the evidence available, the only three people involved have now been forced out, with a big black mark against their names. Two of them will never be back in F1; Symonds possibly could return, but not until at least 2015. To miss five years’ technical development, and at his age (he’s 56 now)… I’d be surprised to see him come back either.

    Everyone’s going on about McLaren (I’m a McLaren fan, by the way). They were let off with a suspended sentence after the first hearing, having claimed to have done a full investigation and found no evidence that Ferrari’s data had been used. Then Alonso’s emails and lots more information came out – McLaren had been testing with Ferrari data, and had lied in court, in a big way. The fine was huge, but so was McLaren’s budget. It hurt them but didn’t drive them out of business, and the hugely exciting 2007 drivers’ championship was still allowed to go right to the wire.

    If Renault had been fined or barred from competing again, it would amount to the FIA telling the world that a major car manufacturer is a cheat. There’s no evidence to show that anybody other than Flav, Pat and NPJ was involved in the plot, and I don’t believe anyone else was. The last thing motorsport needs is to disenfranchise one of its biggest global contributors without evidence of corporate wrong-doing.

    Renault, of course, were found guilty of spying in a similar way to McLaren, late in 2007, but were let off – I think that was a terrible decision, but was it taken to avoid dragging F1 through the mud again, at the end of a season which was mired in politics and recriminations rather than sport (just like 08 and 09, as it turns out).

    The better parallel is with the treatment of McLaren after Australia this year. Yes, the offences were of a different magnitude, but there are similarities. The stewards were deliberately misled; lies were told and maintained; those responsible lost their jobs; a suspended sentence was passed. If Renault had their points taken away for Singapore last year (without otherwise altering the race result), alongside their ban (suspended for two years), I feel that would be the most appropriate penalty.

  54. I have to agree with El Gordo’s comment above. The WMSC and FIA need to give serious thought to the punishments they hand out (although I’m pretty sure they don’t hand them out willy-nilly) and must bear in mind the punishments they handed out in the past. They must try to be more consistent or else the whole thing becomes a farce. If you spy on another team, you get a fine of 8 or 9 USD figures. If you meddle with your fuel tank, you get a 2 race ban. If you delibrately try to fix the result of a race and put other drivers and spectators at risk, you get told not to do it again.

    I don’t necessarily agree with the WMSC’s decision, but I can see their logic. Flav, Symonds and NPJ were the main role players, and so flav and Symonds got hefty punishments, but it all seems a bit soft to me.

  55. I don’t get it. Mclaren has done some pretty nasty stuff the last couple of years. But I don’t understand how risking the life of your driver (and others) to fix a race is considered to be better than Mclaren’s lying and stealing.

    If this isn’t the FIA begging Renault to stay in F1, I don’t know what it is.

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      21st September 2009, 17:16


  56. FIA (Mosley) wanted Flav out, Flav steps down so Mosley wins and Renualt get off very lightly indeed.
    FIA (Mosley) wanted Dennis out, Dennis doesn’t step down and Mosley loses so McLaren get hammered.

    1. The real winner here is going to be Willy Weber and all the other F1 agents. The likes of Mark Webber, Heikki and Vitali Petrov will all be looking for new agents asap to negotiate their contracts for 2010…

  57. But what does the Suspended sentence really mean.
    Will Renault be keeping this years points?
    Will Renault be able to collect points in 2010 and 2011? And what about drivers associated with the team, or are those considered separate points.
    If they were given a heavy fine like McLaren, then Renault would just leave F1. Maybe they’d stay as an engine supplier.

  58. About the “no fine for Renault” argument, the FIA press release states:

    “Renault F1 made the following points in mitigation:


    – it committed to paying the costs incurred by the FIA in its investigation; and
    – Renault (the parent company, as opposed to Renault F1) committed to making a significant contribution to FIA safety-related projects.

    Seems to me these days were spent negotiating between FIA and Renault the amount of the “significant contribution”, and I think, from the figures rumored, that it can probably be in the same range as McLaren’s fine.

    I think they just didn’t want to put emphasis on this aspect maybe to avoid Renault’s shareholders (and the banks that will lend them money in the near future) to be upset.

    This has the side effect to avoid a “Your fine is bigger than mine” war between F1 supporters.. :)

    1. Didn’t think about that. It will probably come out later on (f1business or some other business source will shed light on it)

  59. Unbelievable…Totally unbelievable. Nelson Piquet Jr has the driving skills to deliberately crash his F1 car on cue and without hurting anybody…unbelievable. And all you people thought he was useless. ;-)

    1. Best comment of the bunch!

    2. Bob Thomas - US
      21st September 2009, 16:26

      I’ve watched the shunt on YouTube and he did a good job. Maybe Nelsino will find work in Hollywood as a stunt driver? :-)

      1. Hollywood as a stunt driver? :-)

        Hahahahahaha!! nice one!

    3. Maybe all those other spins were deliberate practices…

  60. I think they should have at least stripped Renault and Alonso of the win.

    1. My fingers are paining :( I’ve typed that statement at least a dozen times :(

  61. What really sadness me is that the real perpetrators of the crime have gotten away with this!!
    Dunno what they are upto now. But I suspect one is upto planning something very sinister, cuz the fatso will not rest in peace until he seeks his revenge & the other I hear is shamelessly holidaying in Spain. I suspect he’s sunbathing on one of those nude beaches in Costa Natura or Playa de la Mar Bella or wherever. Absolutely pathetic :(

  62. Aside from the fact that there was no fine based on the amount of money received for winning the Singapore GP, and that they’d basically have to do it again to get banned, I feel this was the right punishment.

    Flav is gone for good. Symonds will find it hard to find a job after five years in the wilderness. Piquet’s F1 career is over.

    Yes, it pales in comparison to the McLaren case, both in crime and punishment. That doesn’t mean Renault, the team, who had nothing to do with it, should be slammed. The ridiculous witch-hunt of McLaren and Ron Dennis doesn’t justify doing the same to Renault.

    Some of the reaction to this is almost as if Piquet, Flav, and Pat had claimed innocence, were found guilty, and then only got this sentence. The WMSC no longer has jurisdiction over the three, apart from Piquet, though he was given immunity. One thing though: if the case could never have been proven without Piquet’s testimony given under immunity, would any of you be happy with that?

    1. The ridiculous witch-hunt of McLaren and Ron Dennis doesn’t justify doing the same to Renault.

      Agreed. I still think Renault got of lightly, but their penalty is more appropriate to their crime than McLaren’s was for theirs.

      1. Renault got no penalty at all. How is that a more appropriate penalty for any wrongdoing?

  63. If the guy in the car that “crashed” did the correct thing & raced his best that day, this would be a non event. He may have lost his ride, but he could be satisfied with himself as an honest person.

  64. I am surprised fernando alonso’s slate was wiped clean..he claims that he dint have any knowledge what-so-ever about the crash!!! I mean r u f**king kidding me.??..that man(flavio briator) is alonso’s manager for god’s sake ..I am sure they both would have happily had a drink together that night laughing their ass out on the’s a shame that FIA has reduced the sentence falling for some cheap “substantial contribution” from’s a disgrace!!!!

    1. Evidence both witnessed and circumstantial make Alonso innocent. After the race he was clearly seen waving his arms saying “Safety car, Safety car” to Flavio as if a miracle had occured, Flavio looked shifty as well!!
      I’m a Lewis Hamilton fan, and I’m no supporter of Alonso, but sometimes you have to accept that events are as the appear to be, and sometimes somebody can be innocent. If you were Flav and Pat would you tell a driver that has previous for grassing up his employers about a sinister plan! Probably not.

  65. Nelson Piquet is doomed. From now on, NO ONE will hire him – a Judas, a jerk.

    1. For me he is the biggest villan in the whole episode, I really dislike the kid after what he has done.

    2. From now on, NO ONE will hire him

      I hear that McDonald’s might be interested.

    3. No one will hire him because he has no talent not because he is a Judas.
      Alonso on the other hand is a talented Judas so he get’s a Ferrari contract.

      1. Makes you wonder if Flavio already got the 20% signing on fee! could be worth 10million.

  66. One thing that I dont like is the fact that people are comparing it to the 2007 spying scandal. For me this should be looked at in its individual case, people’s lives were put in danger. F1 has been made a bit of laughing stock especially now that it seems that the FIA knew about this last year and have come out and said they couldn’t do anything as Piquet Jnr didnt make an offical complaint……. Dur, they knew that a team had cheated and still would not act!!

    1. They had no evidence until Piquet Jr confessed.

  67. Jelle van der Meer
    21st September 2009, 16:34

    I really love F1 although today is day I question why.
    Luckily I quickly remember that F1 is about much more than just the recent scandals.

    For me there is 1 commen factor is a lot of scandals or the way they are handled => Max Mosley. Thank god he is gone at the end of this year – hopefully not replaced by Jean Todt.

    Reading through the verdict it is surprissing that those worsed punished or most impacted by the punishment are completely innocent and have no involvement in the incident. These are the drivers that are represented by Flavio Briatore, because they must find a new manager or lose their license.

    Get me right – I am extremely happy Briatore is banned for life – but in the process to indirectly punish innocent people is so like the FIA.

    Yes Renault was fully cooperating whereas Mclaren was not but why did Renault or the FIA for that matter investigate it when Massa raised questions last year. The telemetry was available, conversations, etc, etc. Makes you wonder how many things are not discovered by the FIA until a driver/employee decides to have revenge on his former team/boss.

    Also it now seems that you can do whatever you want as a team as long as at the moment you are investigated you fully cooperate and fire 1 or 2 key positions.

    Last a call out to all the F1 teams – please never ever offer Piquet a contract. He will crash your car when he drives for you and he with trash your reputation when you fire him.

    1. For me there is 1 commen factor is a lot of scandals or the way they are handled => Max Mosley. Thank god he is gone at the end of this year – hopefully not replaced by Jean Todt.

      But Ari Vatanen wanted Renault to get off without a ban as well.

      1. Jelle van der Meer
        22nd September 2009, 7:49

        That comment was referring to the unpredictability of FIA decisions with no seemingly no logic.

        Don’t know if with Ari it will be better – just think it can not be worse.

        FIA’s number 1 priority is to regain credibility by becoming more transparent and better organized.

  68. I used to watch wrestling, good entertainment but fixed to the eyeballs. The ‘Pinnacle of motor sport’ is the same. Who can trust any results now?


    1. No one really thinks that.

      One exceptionally dodgy GP win in bizarre circumstances turned out to be a fix… therefore all GP wins are a fix. Right.

      Don’t be silly. The truth is, Alonso’s win looked suspiciously “lucky” all along. We merely refused to believe that Briatore or Piquet would stoop that low.

      1. “One exceptionally dodgy GP win in bizarre circumstances turned out to be a fix… therefore all GP wins are a fix. Right.”

        If you look at GP history you find a lot of technical problems developing for the Nr2 driver when Nr1 is behind him and needing points. Or Nr2 drivers not passing NR1 even when they are clearly faster. Shumi/Barrichello in Austria is perhaps the most glaring example of this sudden loss of speed to get the “correct” result.
        Im somewhere between OP and jonathan. F1 is nor wrestling but not entirely clean either.

  69. To me is a fair punishment, ahould had anyway some fine. Alonso has been cleared because he is NOT guilty, as he wasn’t on the Spygate. Now, that’s what I think, and I know some people will hate alonso whatever he does as I said in a previous post he “is” a meber of Al qaida.

  70. Not only is it only a suspended ban but according to the FIA:
    “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.”

    they have to do something equally as bad for the ban to kick in. So does this mean they can cheat as long as they don’t crash? On another note, Briatore might have been a cheat but I’ll still miss trying to figure out what the hell he’s talking about in F1.

  71. Carl27 – I think Id hate Alonso more if he was in a terrorism organisation….. This for me is not about Alonso. It should be about a fair and just system for everyone to know the rules and work to them.

    For me this just gives the next team that cheats a get out…. what they’ll say is sorry we cheated and can you give us the same punishment as renault please!

    1. And you think after this, anybody is going to get caught doing something similar. Too many people have lost respect, their jobs, their ambitions and their dreams. I will bet that we will not see any such scandal anytime soon in F1. And there will be rules such as FIA management licenses put into place to ensure this cannot happen again.

    2. Fair point, just got a bit fed up with people preferences judging the subject.

  72. Renault’s punishment is too soft, as in addition to the given punishment, the points awarded to them in Singapore last year should have been taken away and also should have given some cash fine like 1 million dollars…etc. But still happy that the matter is over now and people can focus on racing especially the interesting championship.

    1. There is no point taking away Renault’s points from the race, away from them.

  73. Can there be a second poll? How about one that says “For all those who chose one of the bottom two options, are you a bitter McLaren fan that will use any excuse to bring up the 2007 fine?”

    1. Obviously your hatred of McLaren blinds you to the fact that this is a ridiculous decision when you compare the two cases.

      1. I don’t hate McLaren. I am indifferent towards them. I actually support Brawn and Toyota.

        But, I think that if F1 history began in 2008, after the fine, the vote would be somewhat different. If viewed in isolation, I believe this penalty would seem appropriate to most people.

  74. I think its the right decision. If the whole Renault team knew about Piquet’s crash prior to the race, then it would have been to soft in my opinion.

  75. I think it is ridiculous that McLaren were fined such a huge amount for something that was in no way dangerous to anyone, yet Renault have got off scot free on this one.

    Bottom line is, Mosley hates Ron Dennis, and he knew Mclaren would not leave F1, whereas Renault have probably threatened to leave if they were fined heavily.
    I wonder what the rest of the teams think of this ? The corrupt FIA damage this sport more than anyone else.

  76. All those responsible have left the team, therefore the FIA is right to show clemency.

    This is totally different to the McLaren case, in which those responsible were still at the team, and in which the team had lied to the FIA through its teeth.

    1. So by that token if it was not Renault but just their employees at fault, you should agree that it was not McLaren, merely a handful of employees that were at fault, so the only difference is that in the 2007 case, nobody was put at risk of injury or death.

      1. This is totally different to the McLaren case, in which those responsible were still at the team, and in which the team had lied to the FIA through its teeth.

        1. Whatever. It still does`nt justify the huge inconsistency.

  77. I’m so glad this is all over, sod worrying about the penalty, me moaning ain’t gonna make anyone learn or change their minds.

    Lets just pray for a clean fantastic rest of a season, and a lot less political year next year.

  78. I read all the comments and agree with those who said that the punishment is too light. I do think that banning Renault would be too harsh specially since they aren’t proven guilty, and the obvious harm it would cause the sport etc…But I expected them to disqualify the results from the 2008 Singapore GP, or ban them for this coming one at least! I also did expect a monetary fine, as it is only fair compared to the spygate..

    Now some of you are saying that a 100 million didn’t harm McLaren much, but would damage Renault.. It might be true, but rules can’t be bent that way.. The FiA should set fixed fines based on the severity, this way ppl won’t be confused.. Whether you’re a McLaren fan or not, one cannot help but say that this is unfair to McLaren..

    Flavio and Symonds have been rightfully punished, some argued that Pat Symonds should be also banned for indefinitely, but we don’t know what went on between him and he FiA, he’s probably less guilty than Flavio so I think it makes sense that he gets a lighter punishment, after all maybe he was following orders, like Piquet..

    As for Nelson Piquet, out of the three I think Flavio is the most guilty, then Pat, then himself because he was following their orders. It’s true that he was the one who agreed to carry their sick plan out, but he made a selfish decision in fear of his career, little did he know that by doing that he would tarnish his career in F1 for life! Plus something had to be given in exchange for the information, his immunity. I think he should be lightly punished, but I can’t think of anything worse than tarnishing his F1 career – which he has done himself! Poor Piquet.. His apology on his website seems sincere, and I hope this will teach him a lesson and if he really deserves to be in F1 again, that he gets an offer and a second chance to prove himself.. Otherwise tant pis!

    1. I do think that banning Renault would be too harsh specially since they aren’t proven guilty

      They are definitely proven guilty.

      1. @Keith I meant Renault as a whole organization, not the F1 team.. The FiA seem to have an “innocent until proven guilty” approach and there’s no evidence that anyone else has anything to do with the crash, even though I find it hard to believe. Alonso must have known or at least known later about it, and the rest of the engineers must have suspected it when looking at the telemetry data.. What a sneaky world it is..

  79. MP4 I feel sorry for your fingers but you are summing up the inbjusice I feel perfectly.
    Mclaren’s punishment made a mcokery of the case because at the time Renault went scot free. Mclaren could say wait ‘this is a vendetta against us’ it totally and completely took away from the crime just as today has said the crime is acceptable.
    Briatore, Piquet and Symond’s have dmanaged the sport, risked people’s lives and influenced the WDC (whetehr you are Hamilton fan or Massa none of us can truly know what would have happened it leads us to say if if if if a hundred times and takes away from what a tremendous year it was).
    Renault was guilty by that it is a team and therefore is accountable. A large fine? No not at all, not for the actions of a few bringing a full team and everyone who works there to disgrace and bringing pain. Take away constructors points? At least the blooming win? The three should be banned for life.
    It is the day-to-day workers and Fernando I truly feel sorry for out of Renault being caught up in this and forever linked with such a sad case.
    I hope the FIA take note of this anhd realise we want change. Ari for president, to save our beloved sport.

    1. Agree with your statement above except I still believe that alonso is not as innocent as everyone is being led to believe.Alonso is very shrewd and he has somehow been involved in 2 of the last 3 scandals in f1 sport. 1st time an accident maybe, but we know he was in this up to his eyes and trying to use the info as a lever on Ron Dennis. 2nd time now and everybody is claiming innocence, I dont buy it. He may have covered his tracks so well that he is clear but I wont ever believe he didnt know what was happening.

  80. If Renault had been banned Toyota may have walked too. I’m glad there ahsn’t been a ban (not for that though that would have posed problems) but because the majority of the team weren’t involved although they do have some responsibility to bear.
    As I have said before this whole trial was a show. To say ‘don’t do it again but you know we can’t afford to lose you’.
    This was Mosley’s farewell kiss to the sport delivered by his poisoned lips.

  81. What happens to all that homosexual allegations that Flav leveled against Piquet Jr? Surely he can claim damages amounting in millions! its a serious allegation after all. Its character assassination if you’d ask me.

    1. His father Piquet Jr said the same about the greatest of all, A. Senna, as well he laughed at Mansell’s wife.

      1. Yes he did and that didnt work out to good for him as I remeber.

  82. So what exactly constitutes as an unlimited period with regards to Briatore? Is that forever? Surely not. Indefinitely? At what point will he be allowed back and who decides?

    It seems like quite a strange way to enforce a ban. Couldn’t they suspend the license of anyone who employs them? Maybe it is the only legally enforceable way they can make it work, still….

    I’d say a heavy fine with the suspended punishment and the bans would be adequate but I’d add that Piquet should be given some kind of suspended punishment also.

    Also what about drivers under contract with Briatore such as Alonso, Webber and Kovalainen? What if they can’t break their contract?

  83. MP4 it was horrid, it made this into a playground joke, there was no call for those comments by Flav

    1. This is what Fatso Flav said just after Piquet had walled it:

      Engineer: “F***ing hell that was a big shunt.”

      Flavio Briatore: “F***ing hell… my every f***ing disgrace, f***ing, he’s not a driver.”

      Engineer: “So Fernando just to be clear mixture three and you follow it unless you get a green light.”

      I dunno why he said he was not a driver. He must in fact be praising him for doing such a perfect job. He was after all the one who had instructed Piquet to do this! Its Flavio who’s a disgrace. I dunno how was Flav was able to sleep at nights for the past year or so.

      1. Well he wasn’t supposed to totally wreck the car. Just park it into the wall Schumacher style.

        I’d say Briatore’s comments are exactly on the mark

        1. Hmm… parking it into the wall ‘Schumacher style didn’t do old Schumi much good at Monaco though did it? But if Schumi had of mashed up the wall at Rascasse ‘Piquet style’, would he have been penalised for his cheating? I doubt it.

  84. K I think there must be a way for them to break contract because it couldn’t possibly continue now, not with the FIA’s ruling.

    1. I’m sure there’s a way but it’s not necessarily viable or maybe the contracts will be void now!

  85. A sad day indeed. The FIA really have lost the plot if they think people won’t see the political manoeuvres here, rather than a fair and honest judgement for an unprecedented act to fix the outcome of a race.

    The implications of banning Renault as a car manufacturer from F1 could have global ramifications, yes, but there must have been a punishment considered for Team Renault F1, and the F1 arm alone, involving the stripping of points, 2010 ban and/or other financial penalties. Piquet should have had his superlicense revoked, regardless of whatever position he was in with his contract last year. The guy took the decision to plant the car into the wall, under racing conditions. It was his right foot.

    The FIA wanted Briatore’s head on a stick and they have rubbed his nose in it with a lifetime ban. I’m not condoning his actions at all, but to ban someone so publicly from any FIA motorsport, someone who has been in the business for more than 20 years, who has brought a bit of good marketing to F1 (in years gone by) – is tough. I bet Bernie lobbied hard for that to be toned down. I don’t think FB will go quietly back to the fashion business…there will be more to come.

    And yet Symonds get’s a five year ban for admitting eternal shame?

    Although the circumstances and actions were different, it’s plain to see that Ron Dennis negotiated his retirement timing after Spygate, to avoid a similar public flogging.

    It’s a sad day because the punishment did not fit the crime and the analogy of Renault being like a government bailed out bank is a good one. It’s a sad day because the politics which has always gone on in F1, is truly exposed as farcical for all to see. It’s a sad day beacuse if your face fits and you apologise you appear to get away with almost anything.

    Revenge is a dish best served cold and I think MM must be quite pleased to have eradicated Messrs. Briatore and Dennis from F1 before his own departure. I’d love to see some characters like Paul Stoddart, Tom Walkinshaw, Eddie Jordan, Niki Lauda and the like to appear on the pit wall and liven things up a bit as a team boss in the years to come.

  86. Will Alons be able to race this weekend in Singapor?
    As I read the FIA ruling anybody with contractual connections with Briatori cannot take part in any FIA controlled event. Where does this leave Alonso who is managed by him? I think Webber is also managed by Briatori and Kovalinen has some connection as well. Does this mean they will not be racing this weekend?

    1. The FIA ruling says that the superlicences of drivers associated with Briatore will not be renewed. So they will be valid for the rest of this season, but a new superlicence will not be issued next year if they are still managed by Flav.

  87. Thie punishment is as fair as it can be. No point in moaning about the Mclaren fine as that happened before the economic meltdown, Renault want to leave and only the 2 who have resigned knew about it in the Renault camp. Mclaren was different the had info they should not have had, big difference and used it. The FIA and FOTA want and need Renault in the sport and Flavio out for ever and Pat Symonds out for 5 years is fair.Next year will be a grid of no hopers with all the new teams.
    Let all the true F1 fans say they don’t want to see true and classic battles between the real F1 teams. The FIA obviously see renault as one of them.

    1. An average noobhead F1 fan will draw the

      Cheat during an economic recession, cuz you can get away with it!!!

  88. A leneient punishment. At the very least, the FIA could additionally have banned them from this weekend’s race, which would have been especially fitting given that it’s at Singapore. Personally I think a 3-6 race ban plus the bans for Symonds and Briatore would have been appropriate.

    And yes, compared to $100 million Renault’s punishment seems a joke. But most of you making this point would surely agree that $100m fine was outrageous in the first place. Do two wrongs make a right? That is, would it have been better for the FIA to have been unfairly harsh on Renault, just to be consistent with how they treated McLaren?

    1. And yes, compared to $100 million Renault’s punishment seems a joke. But most of you making this point would surely agree that $100m fine was outrageous in the first place. Do two wrongs make a right? That is, would it have been better for the FIA to have been unfairly harsh on Renault, just to be consistent with how they treated McLaren?

      Are you seriously suggesting McLaren fans start using consistent logic?

      You don’t understand their mindset. Remember: stealing Ferrari’s technical data was just a bit of fun, but Kimi Raikkonen deserves a $100m fine for going round the outside at La Source, thereby bringing the sport into disrepute.

  89. Do two wrongs make a right? That is, would it have been better for the FIA to have been unfairly harsh on Renault, just to be consistent with how they treated McLaren?

    totally agree. delete all the other comments (alright you can leave a few cos there are some others that are spot on too) and this one stands on its own, and its the reason I couldn’t vote without this as a qualification

  90. I think the ideal punishment for Renault would be to make the “ING” logo on the car to “cheatING”

  91. mp4 it was all show, Flav covering his back.
    I don’t care about Mclaren’s punishment in this instance, just that they were inconsistent with how the punished Renault in 2007 also. This is seperate case, and in seperate more severe. I want harsher punishment because it was a serious crime. They should be banned from motorsport if not investiagted by the Singapore authorities for such deliberatly wreckless behaviour.

    1. Even if it was to the detriment of the whole sport? The punishment can’t damage the sport more than the accused otherwise theres no point.

  92. The biggest ego in F1 brought crashing down. Big time!

    Renault should have been fined aswell though!

    And Alonso gets to keep his win. Even though it was obtained by cheating??!!

    Something is wrong here you guys….. :-|

    1. The biggest ego in F1 brought crashing down. Big time!

      Sadly you & I are mistaken. Cuz Flavio is a shameless fat man who doesn’t give a damn bout ego & stuff. All that he cares about is his bank balance & his various mistresses. Both are intact. now that he’s outta business, it’ll be interesting to see if he has the same appeal with women or not.

  93. Ill just repost what I said in a post a few days back from the thread about Flavio steppiing down:

    “Frankly i dont see what the fuss is. A driver intentionally crashes into a wall basically risking very little due to car and track safety.
    We have had some of the greatest names in the sport (Schumi, Senna) INTENTIONALLY crashing into other cars ( which is a hell of a lot more dangerous) and they got punished by being crowned world champions.
    So i fully excpect the punishement to be light now that Flavio is gone.”

    Seems I got it about right.

    1. Didn’t I already reply to this in the other thread?

      When Schumacher was found to have intentionally rammed Villeneuve, he was disqualified from the WDC.

      In the other cases you have in mind, the drivers weren’t found guilty of anything, so they couldn’t be punished.

      1. Yep you did. But im not convinced you are right for a number of reasons.
        But those debates has been raging for 20 years so im not gonna start them up here again.

  94. I would feel sorry for Alonso losing his win when all he did was race but at the same time Renault should not recieve the win more and so they should have lost it. Or at least have taken the points off the team even if not Fernando.

  95. The Penalty on Renault was Far too soft. Suspended Ban… They just walk away freely. Briatore got a harder than required penalty. But then for him what goes around comes around simple enough.

    I now feel that Mclaren was handed a harsh punishment for the Spy Saga. If Ron had left the team then. Mclaren would have walked away free. In fact Ron was the guy who informed FIA when Alonso threatened him that he will leak this out.

    There is one more factor to this. FIA knows very well that Renault can live without F1 whereas McLaren cannot. So a Punishment for Mclaren would always mean they will still stick with F1 this might not be necessarily the case with Renault

    Last but not least. In Spy Saga Ferrari was the offended team so FIA ensured that the guilty is punished. Whereas here Ferrari might get offended if Alonso is in trouble. So things were settled out smooth.

    So many possibilities , conspiracy theories and double standards. F1 has become real complicated nowadays. I Really Feel that FIA has no control over things. They just puppet what Bernie and Max wants.

    Now that Alonso is not in trouble and Renault is staying back and engines are re-equalized lets see how the engines and the drivers sit in the next years cars.

    When will we ever have a controversy free F1 racing year.

  96. TMAX what happened thoguh could have offended Ferrari by that it certainly contributed to their driver losing the title?
    I think Mclaren punishment was just…well a bit too expensive but was made a mockery of by that Renault done the same and got away with it.

  97. This is all a Max Mosley vandetta against Flavio. Why is Flavio the only one punished here? Why did the FIA wait a whole year for this? When FOTA threatened their split from F1 Max said Flavio was trying to take over Bernies place and refered to Flavio as “loonie.” Flavio replied “Max is going personal but I’m too much of a gentleman to go personal,” Briatore said. “If he wants to go personal, I have a lot to say about Max. He needs to stop insulting people.” Now with NPJ willing to talk Max has what he needs. The whole thing is political. Did any of you think after loosing Honda and BMW that Max would push out Renault.
    NPJ is a rat and willing to cheat. He has no integrity what so ever. Would you want NPJ driving if you owned any racing team nevermind an F1 team? How could a man that withheld evidence for a year and apparently cheat and lie to drive in F1 be unpunished. He is no better than Flavio.
    This F1 politics at its best.

    1. always was, its just worse now. They used to hide it better than they do now.

  98. On a side point, does anyone know why Renault didn’t just destroy all the evidence? Are the telemetry and radio coms kept by the FIA after the race? If not why didn’t they trash it? If it goes missing, it may look suspicious but it proves nothing. After Mike Coughlan’s idiotic attempts at espionage I thought the teams would have learned better to cover their tracks

  99. A quick question, it says FIA will not grant any license to drivers with links to Briatore. What about those drivers currently managed by him? There’s a few right (from reading the previous comments?)

  100. I don’t understand it. Please help me to understand. Does this punishment means that Renault will race in 2010 or they will race in 2012?

    1. @Rahzam

      They will race 2010-2012 as long as they don’t commit a comparable offense. If they do they go before the FIA again & (probably) get banned.

      I’m surprised at the use of the word comparable. I thought any future offense should get them dragged over hot coals.

  101. “It also accepts the offer of a significant contribution to the FIA’s safety work.”

    Anybody know how much this is?
    Along with the costs this could add up to a ‘fine’ by another means.

  102. “comparable”, it’s daft like they are going to do anything like it again. It’s a farce.
    Dave F FIA always involved in road safety, Schuey had to do a bit I think after he went before the FIA. Renault contribute to that probably to incfrease awareness, give money and pay for costs of investigation. It’s like compensation paid by Renault for trouble they’ve caused and ‘to teach them a lesson’ rather than to deliver a fine.

  103. It’s hard to believe Piquet has not been sanctioned.
    It’s hard to believe Renault has not been sanctioned.
    It’s hard to believe the Singapur win has not been taken from Alonso.

    This just shows that the people in charge of the sport are made of the same things that the two persons punished for this scandal.

  104. That mean they are not racing in next race(singapore Gp)this year or they will race in remaining race for this year ?

  105. I don’t think the McLaren ‘spygate’ verdict is much use as a point of comparison. I think the more relevant comparison is with Schumacher crashing into Villeneuve in 1997.

    On that occasion the FIA said Schumacher’s punishment was mitigated by the fact that the crash was not, in their opinion, pre-meditated. Yet they still stripped him of second place in the drivers’ championship.

    On this occasion it is clear Renault’s crime was pre-meditated. And yet their punishment is weaker than Schumacher’s.

    1. But don’t rules stipulate that the season result can’t be changed after November 30th (I’m sure I read that somewhere). In ’97 & ’07 action was taken within the required time frame was it not?

    2. The difference is that the offender (shuey) was to continue racing, and is under FIA juristiction.

  106. i just heard the news. this is beyond shocking. i might as well walk my granny into the wmsc and give her a seat certain even she can make a better judgement on this case than the so called officials. it’s obviously done to keep renault in f1 and possibly to give williams a new boost of courage as they are moving away from Toyota to Renault engines. but a disgraceful result nonetheless. i feel sorry for F1 and it’s original creators. surely they will be rolling over their grave by now

  107. Mike "the bike" Schumacher
    21st September 2009, 22:21

    The punishment for Flavio was fair, as was Symonds, but piquet should never have been given immunity, although I don’t think he’ll be making a f1 return any time soon. Renaults punishment should have been more severe, but if they were banned they would have just left instead.

    1. The punishment for Flavio was fair

      You people get satisfied too easily!! Just close you eye & think deeply for a minute or so. Think bout whats he done. Think bout how this fatso’s actions have permanently scarred the sport. just think. His pocket is fat as as it was before, he’s still got all those palatial houses, he still has his bikini model wife, his bank balance is still a ten digit number. tell me now as top how you’d call Flavio’s punishment fair.

      1. MP4, anybody cane see from our various posts that we are not going to agree on this one.
        But please explain what else could the FIA do to Flavio? He has had all his motorsport related business activities effectivley shut down and been banished from all motorsport forever!
        The facts are although what he done was extremely dangerous and without doubt the worst case of cheating I can remember, nobody WAS killed or hurt, and without Piquets willingness to participate in the plan none of this would have happened.
        I must wonder though where Piquet Snr came into this, at what point was he aware of the plan?
        The piquets immunity in all this is what sickens me, personally I can’t see why they were offered immunity, stick Piquet in court under oath and he’d crack anyway, for gods sake he crashed a formula 1 car apparently because he was “Bullied” he is obviousley a coward.

  108. The FIA have sent a letter to all teams,

    Dear F1 teams

    Its ok to cheat in a gp, but if you get found out later, just fire someone and you will get a get out of jail free card

    Except if your McLaren

    And Ferrari will be past under the Radar for every controversy

    Have a good dat
    Sincerely Max and the FIA

    This hole crash gate saga is a f*****g joke, with this outcome its a suprise the trail took place at all, what a waste of time

    1. Yes. F1 is turning into a bad joke. We need to get rid of all these old hags. I sincerely hope Ari Vatanen gets elected, otherwise we are in deep trouble :(

      1. But Ari has agreed with Max and the WMSC on this, they all think the punishment is fair.

    2. Its ok to cheat in a gp, but if you get found out later, just fire someone and you will get a get out of jail free card

      Except if your McLaren

      But that’s exactly what McLaren did earlier this year.

      1. agreed completely

  109. This proves the FIA are a bunch of puppets. I hope Piquet never gets behind the wheel of another car. Personally the team at the very least should have been fined 100million dollars. Reporters can say Mclaren were not honest etc etc. But the reality is face fixing no matter where in the world is a crime, and Renault and these three potato’s conspired to commit that crime with Piquet, being the worst offender of all. You cannot commit murder and expect to get away with it, and Piquet has done that.
    If I was Mclaren I would be very very dirty towards the FIA at the moment. Goes to show, how much influence Max Mosley has.

    1. Personally the team at the very least should have been fined 100million dollars

      But…but.. sputter… but tha.. tha ..**cough** …would…SNEEZE… SCARED ‘EM AWAY!!!!

      What a farce.

      1. So you would rather damage F1? Or do you want to see Formula Cosworth next season, when we go back to Mercedes V Ferrari. Renault are a key engine supplier, and although it shouldn’t have any impact upon the WMSC decision, it has to. F1’s current evolution coupled with tricky economic conditions and our own desire to see more cars on the grid next year mean that the whole incident is far more complexed, perhaps it shouldn’t be, but it is.

  110. The light punishment of Renault is simply because the FIA and Bernie felt they couldn’t afford to drive another team out.
    BMW have seemingly been saved, although nobody expects Toyota to be here much longer.
    Also the “new” teams will be a waste of space, I look forward to seeing them “Race” though – should be a laugh.

    1. The light punishment of Renault is simply because the FIA and Bernie felt they couldn’t afford to drive another team out.

      When was the last time that a team quit because of a financial penalty for cheating?? I don’t recollect any. But bending the rules just cuz they threatened to pull out is absolutely a crazy explanation. The FIA have set a wrong precedent. Now all that one has to do get away with cheating is sack the team boss, the technical director & plead guilty!! Funny thing is that the FIA is ready to grant immunity to the criminal :) :) What an effing organization!!

      1. I agree that the immunity given to the Piquets is nothing short of scanadalous, and it is the greatest miscarriage of justice in the whole episode.
        But Renault should not be held entirely responsible for the actions of a couple of individuals, the FIA/WMSC have made recommendations that in future team principles and directors should also have to gain licenses to operate in F1, so should they breach condition they can no longer walk away. But MP4 spare a thought for the 400 innocent Renault F1 employees who dedicate all their energy to their team. If Renault have agreed to continue in F1 in accordance with concorde and continue supplying others with their engines then I am happy with the outcome.

  111. It’s an absolute travesty. It’s like sending a petty thief down for a year and giving a rapist a slap on the wrists. Renault should do the decent thing and withdraw from F1 with their dirty, scheming rotten team. And Alonso, what a two faced c&*t, thru and thru.

    You know what to do folks. Absolutely boycott Renault & Santander products in every way possible, it’s the only way to make ’em pay.

    Disgusting fat cat big business politics. Nothing to do with competitive instinct.

    Alonso can drive but I cannot ever support his actions ever again. It was bad enough with his toys all over the pit lane and the pram on its side…

    1. Apologies, I meant ING NOT Santander!

    2. But If you start saying things against Alonso, his worshipers retort back saying where is the proof & stuff. But people must know that a “SMOOTH CRIMINAL” never leaves behind any proof & stuff. No driver in the history of the sport(with the exception of scumacher) has been embroiled in so many controversies, yet comes out “CLEAN” everytime!! Alonso make scummy look like a sane man. The problem with Alonso is that he’s rotten down inside. He’s an untrustworthy character.

    3. Yes, by all means, boycott Renault & ING. Never buy another of their products, and drive them and all their resultant laid-off employees into bankruptgy. Punish the employees of those companies & the family’s of all the employees ….right. Not.

      Try to focus here, folks. Briatore, Symonds & Piquet Jr were the conspirators.

    4. Let’s not mix things up, there are a lot of thing to be said about the 2007 season.

  112. How does this affect the contracts some drivers have with Briatore?

    1. Doesn’t affect the contracts themselves at all, per se.

      However … should a driver continue to retain Briatore as his manager, said driver’s superlicense will not be renewed by FiA.

      I should think Briatore’s client list will dwindle rather quickly.

  113. Prisoner Monkeys
    21st September 2009, 23:38

    Renault have “Concealed” the biggest LIE in the history of motor sport for over an year!! Isn’t that reason enough to punish them more severely??

    Renault may not has known.

    As far as we know, three people were aware of the plot: Briatore, Symonds and Piquet. How can the rest of Renault cover something up that they knew nothing about? Nothing was mentioned in the transcript between Piquet and the pit wall. Piquet’s testimony never mentioned anyone else.

    Renault might have “gotten away” with it, but Flavio Briatore sure as hell didn’t.

    1. Renault might have “gotten away” with it, but Flavio Briatore sure as hell didn’t.

      What makes you think Flavio’s punishment is just? He has made a fortune for himself over all these years. We still dunno how many of his “Victories” are suspect, we may never know .But the point is, this Flav punishment is too little too late. He wouldn’t care less bout F1 now. He has plenty of money to feed his next 50 generations!! The man is shameless, he has always been that way. So he will not care about thinks like honor, shame,dignity, pride etc All he cares & thinks about is money. The FIA should have punished him where it hurts him the most. I would have been glad to see Flavio poorer by 10 million or so. A financial penalty was the only way to have punished this fella. He doesn’t give a damn to other things.

      1. Briatore cannot ever again participate in any capacity in any racing series that desires sanction from FiA.
        And it’s blatantly apparent that Briatore’s driver management company will soon be nonexistant.

        Do you believe these things will have no detrimental effect on Briatore’s finances?

        And why did you think FiA/WMSC on Monday would have levied fines on Briatore? According to FiA Statutes, once Briatore left/was forced out at Renault, FiA held no purvue over him and were powerless to “punish” him–though I’d think the actions they DID take amount to a punishment anyway.

  114. Didn’t I read somewhere that Piquet sr told someone (Charlie Whiting?) about this 11/12 months ago?

    1. Yes. Piquet Sr confided to Whiting last November at Interlagos.

      1. And that being the case, should he not also be brought before WMSC to answer for his silence in the knowledge of a potential conspiracy?

        Why is no one screaming for Whiting’s blood?

  115. I think this was always going to be the case, but im surprised a fine wasn’t handed out. However they are “contributing” to saftey funds.

    I really didn’t expect to see much of a ban. While on the surface it may seem lienient but is it fair to punish a manfuacturer (renault) for something that its race team employees did. They fired them and the FIA banned them. Although im a tad surprised they didn’t knock em from the singapore race (im pretty sure renault wouldn’t have even cared too much – as im sure they dont really want to be racing this weekend).

    In fact their presence is probably more harm than help.

    1. Just wondering what would happen if Renault manage to pull of a win this weekend at singapore. Would be too strange, wouldn’t it?

  116. @ashok

    They are allowed to race for the rest of this year also.
    it’s clearly stated in the vast number of news reports.

  117. @ Keith Collantine
    i think that was dangerous, but fairly slow speed.
    I believe there was a faster/worse one between Senna & Prost in ’80.
    My memory is vague if someone can clarify that.

  118. @ Dane
    They have to find new managers before they renew their super license with the FIA, but in reality I suspect most have already drafted letters to absolve their contracts.

  119. I think Renault should have been fined. But as for the Global problem FIA had decided not to instead they want Renault to stay in F1 for another 2 years. Money TALKS

    1. Its a sham

  120. To be quite frank, this is the verdict I expected. The comparisons with the McLaren fine were always going to be made, but at the moment in Formula One, the political landscape is on trying to keep teams in the series.
    A huge McLarenesque scale fine would have almost certainly killed off the Renault Formula One team amidst all the bad press, and all the bad car sales and losses the French marque has endured. The FIA, in many ways, have made the best possible move in order to keep Renault in the sport, as an engine supplier and as a team.
    This, however, does not make the matter go away nor does it do anything to repair the damage between Renault and the fans, and other teams in the paddock.
    The death of Henry Surtees in the summer proved, yet again, how dangerous loose tyres and debris can be on a racing circuit. This is a problem that has always been with us, but is even worse on the tight confines of a street circuit.
    For a team, and a so called professional driver, to plan and execute a delibrate crash in order to gain a victory is not only irresponsible, but downright criminal.
    For those who scoff, may I suggest what the reaction to this scandal would have been if someone had have been killed? Forget Imola 1994, forget any tragedy this sport has seen before, it would have tore this sport to pieces and any dignity it had left would have been gone.
    For the likes of Briatore, Symonds and Piquet Jnr, the result would have been possible prison sentences instead of pink slips. It was totally disgusting, deplorable, and against everything F1 and sport stands for.
    Lets not for one minute forget McLaren, and the crime they were found guilty for. To compound matters, they lied and lied and lied in a hopeless attempt at keeping their deceit secret. But in doing so, did not endanger race stewards nor the thousands of fans packed into the stands at Singapore.
    They showed supreme arrogance toward authority, and total disregard to their peers and to sportsmanship, but not towards human life.
    When a team crosses that line, for me, it is not welcome in any sport, regardless of how famous or important it is. $100 million for handling stolen goods compared to nothing for risking the lives of goodness knows how many!
    And when someone does get hurt, I will be here to remind those who ‘claim’ this verdict was in the sports best interest.

    1. Well said! The best post on the entire forum.
      I think they have gotten away way too lightly. Not only were Renault guilty of cheating, but also flaunted safety rules carelessly. People say that comparing this with the 2007 spygate is unfair & irrelevant. But what else would you compare this with?? Nothing like this has ever been done in the history of motorsport.
      The FIA, if they really cared for the sport should have dealt with Renault more severely, Even if it meant banning them with immediate effect. That would have set the right precedent. A life time ban or at least a long term ban would have ensured that no one would have even dared to think about cheating. But see what’s happened now!! Teams can get away with outrageous cheating as long as a “FEW” top brass heads roll.

      FIA have set a wrong precedent imo.

  121. Wow… 300+ rerponses… sorry I don’t have the time to read them all… lol… my 2 bits worth… yes it seems like a light sentence but really should Renault be punished for the wrong doings of 3 people? Flav and Pat are done for awhile… yes I think the Flav will be back one day… and Nelson who’s ultimate decision it was to put himself and everyone else in harm get’s off scott free.. that one is mind boggling… Jr will never be a great racer like his Dad and I think his performance has shown that so I can’t see him getting a ride soon unless Dadddy buys a team for him.. So really this was not a shock to me at all…

    Let’s put this mees behind us and carry on with the season… and look forward to a 19 race schedule next year!!!

    Cheers all…. :)

    1. should Renault be punished for the wrong doings of 3 people

      Of course not, but certainly for employing them ;)

      1. I agree if they kept them employed knowing what they did… but if they had no knowledge… that’s a tough one… :)

  122. If I were to be the Prime Minister of Singapore, I would have extricated these three idiots & put them in jail!!

  123. Not really a suprise- the FIA saw that the main guilty parties were evicted and that was pretty much it. I still think any driver who crashes on purpose deserves to have their Super License pulled, but they let Nelson off easy on that one.

  124. The FIA and WMSC can find a much cheaper way to have a gathering just to have a cup of tea.

  125. I haven’t read all of the comments posted here, but I have to agree with the sentiment of the majority. My thoughts follow.

    I think Briatore and Symmonds got what they deserve.

    I think Renault’s suspended sentence is fair – taking them out of the competition altogether would not be good to the sport – but for them also not to be fined and/or have constructors points deducted is a joke! Also I think the wording of the decision, with another offence having to be ‘comparable’, means any future decision would be too subjective.

    Piquet’s immunity might seem unfair to some, but he will get punished in other ways – don’t ever expect him to ever be given a high level role in a top team. He has shown he can be too easily bent and nobody likes a snitch.

    Alonso could not be proven to be involved, so I don’t think he deserves any punishment. You could maybe take the points off him he earned in Singapore in 2008, so instead of finishing 5th last year he’d finish 7th – not really much of a punishment anyway, and you can’t start shuffling other driver’s points around, because that just get’s too complicated and points positions affecting driver motivation for the races between Singapore and Brazil.

  126. ….So let me get this right………

    If renault don’t cheat anymore (as they shouldn’t) or break anymore major rules (as they shouldn’t), then the net result of this punishment is:………….No effective punishment! Nothing! Nada!

    Max Mosley you have shown you are more interested in getting into bed with the teams than upholding the rules you claim to stand up for.

    You are truly a ridiculous head of this sport.

    1. Ok, make no mistake, Renault have been made to suffer in this whole affair more than anybody else. It had 2 rogue employees, who acted without consideration for the sport, safety or integrity for the company for which they were employeed. The brand damage to Renault is enormous, the whole of Renaults ethics has been called into question globally because of a couple of individuals. They are and will suffer enormousley, more so than any sanction that can be applied by the WMSC. If people feel anger at this decision then it should be directed at the Piquet family, they have manipulated the entire situation to obtain revenge in a personal vendetta. If they cared for the sport, or the company that gave Nelson his chance, or the fans who dig deep time after time to support the sport, or even the sponsors that meet the exhorborant wage demands and supply the lavish lifestyles, he would have come forward long ago, and without trying to hide behind immunity. It is their behaviour that has cost the image of the sport so badley, and yet I read a post on nelson jr web-site yesterday and he asks for forgiveness, FFS OMG, he actually thinks people will think its ok because Flavio was giving him a hard time. And as for his father, triple world champ, not in my eyes anymore, I will always look at him as a bitter individual who cared less for the sport than his own petty personal mission. If you feel angry about any of this, then direct it at the Piquets, or Flavio and Pat, but to blame Renault or the FIA/WMSC is pointless.

      1. I could not agree more. Good insight, good post.

      2. It had 2 rogue employees

        No, there were three of them!

        1. 2 + 1 Gutless excuse of a driver. LOL I stand corrected

      3. That is complete tripe – How many people do you need to say that it was Renault who committed the crime.

        These individuals were appointed by Renault to serve Renault as stewards of the racing team and therefore they were Renault.

        Renault were happy enough collecting the points and money and publicity when they were winning

        In the real world if a CEO and and his deputy concocted an illegal activity which they got the company to perform then that company would be held responsible (it is likely that the the CEO and deputy would also face sanctions). It is only right that Renault face the pain because they created the machine which made the plan happen.

        If the FIA/WMSC want to be taken seriously as unbiased and fair then they need to act more consistently i.e. treat their favourite teams (Renault, Ferrari) the same as their disliked teams (McLaren).

        Despite cheating and endangering the life of other drivers, stewards, and fans they received a suspended sentence. They even retained the points they achieved by fixing the race – ?????? how can that be fair punishment.

        Lets be clear the FIA/WMSC did everything they could to retain Renault in F1 while being seen to slap them on the wrist – the two yr suspended sentence is a joke i.e. As long as they don’t cheat by crashing a car at Singapore in the next 2 years then they should be alright.
        No financial penalty – McLaren lost all the points awarded to them 2007 (and therefore a share of the F1 pot) and were fined in millions. They were fined $100m because Mike Coughlan (a rogue employee-that rings a bell) had a Ferrari manual.

        Whilst fining was necessary in that case the excessive amount was designed to drive McLaren out and destabilise their hunt for the 2007 crown in favour of Ferrari.

        So please understand that until F1 puts into place proper, fair, unbiased and consistent courts and judgments then these cases will continue to damage the sport. It is the sports chief’s who damage the sport.

        Blaming Piquet doesn’t wash – fool he may be and using these events for his own purposes doesn’t absolve the bigger players and the system.

    2. It’s well-known that I have no great love for Max Mosley, but ridiculous isn’t a term I’d apply to him. However, since none of the terms I would apply can be printed in this blog, I won’t mention them.

      But by no means should you think Mosley has “gotten into bed” with any team. Especially not a manufacturer. Mosley has always hated the manufacturers, and has always worked to undermine them and get rid of them.

      The following quote comes from a post a bit further down, posted by steph90, and my reply here can be a reply to him as well.

      With the FIA though, it’s personal. I bet they even knew why they were summonded apart from to get rid of Flavio. Their thorough and detailed investigation was simply to get Flav. The FIA knew since last year, yet nothing was done.

      If that were true, if this whole thing had been only an effort driven by Mosley to get rid of Briatore, believe me, it would have surfaced far earlier this year. Mosley could have used this in May to destroy not only Briatore but FOTA as well.

      So, while FiA may have had some suspicions, I believe they honestly felt there was insufficient evidence to begin an investigation. After all, Piquet Sr talking to Whiting was third-party information, and at that time Piquet Jr was still walking the company line and would say nothing about it.

      When FiA did have sufficient and probable cause to launch an investigation, they did so.

      I can’t see that any of this was Mosley getting into bed with the teams, nor can I see it motivated only as a witch-hunt against Briatore.

      1. that post ….up there ^^^ … WAS to have been in reply to billwah’s post, above Big’s

        don’t know how it got where it did

      2. Agreed, the question for me is the immunity for the Piquets, there must have been ways in which to force a testamony without so quickly offering him the immunity. It grates me that the pair have walked away from this.

  127. The few people who caused it are not the only ones who have damaged the sport, it is the FIA also.
    A man deliberatly crashed, risking lives of others surely that is criminal?
    With the FIA though, it’s personal. I bet they even knew why they were summonded apart from to get rid of Flavio. Their thorough and detailed investigation was simply to get Flav. The FIA knew since last year, yet nothing was done.
    The scandal was that a foolish boy crashed a car to please his bosses, the tragedy is that nothing will be learned and there is no justice at all.

    1. I think that honestly Steph the percepition isn’t neccesaraly the truth here, although it may look like a Flavio witch hunt the fact it has taken so long to come in front of the WMSC indicates otherwise. The truth is Flavio is 100% responsible as team principle, and Renault are in part also victim to Flavios actions, the Piquets are compliant and in effect guilty as well, so the FIA mistake is in offering them immunity. The question is wether there was enough evidence to nail Flavio with no chance of appeal without the statement from Nelson, or could the statement be extracted in any other way without offering immunity. For me this is the only miscarriage of justice.

      The scandal was that a foolish boy crashed a car to please his bosses, the tragedy is that nothing will be learned and there is no justice at all.

      The foolish boy is a multimillionaire adult with the world at his feet and a father who has seen it all before and should have advised his son correctly. As for nothing being learned, I will differ with that in that perhaps the lesson to be learnt is for manufacturers to be more observant in their teams activities. If Renault are guilty of anything then it’s neglegence in letting Flavio have complete control of one of their prime assets, but hindsight is a wonderful thing, so lessons should be learned.

  128. I don’t know why pat symonds would destroy his reputation by getting involved ,i always thought he was good at his job.
    Now he’s will be remembered for this .
    Briatore has always been a chancer , his arrogance is assuming no one would catch him .
    Any man who wears a thong …

    1. …his arrogance is assuming no one would catch him .

      It’s worse than that.
      His arrogance is assuming everybody would believe him when it did come out.

      How Briatore/Symonds could think it would stay hidden is beyond me.

  129. Bigbadderboom you have made me change my mind somewhat, though I still think Piquet should have been punished and severely but at least Flavio got what he deserved. I don’t think Renault as a team should have been punished, though they have been a bit thick to not no any of this and / or let one man run a dictatorship.

    1. Agreed, and that was the power of the man, and part of what has enivitably lead to this mess. perhaps rather than simply continue to apply pressure to Flavio and the Renault F1 team to get results, Renault should have been more proactive in the teams running. It was a mistake to give complete autonomy to Flavio, but that is the lesson to be learnt.

  130. I believe FIA think the punishment is literally based upon the size of the people committing the crime. If McLaren had been in danger of leaving F1 forever, their punishment would’ve been tiny.

    1. Rubbish – in 2007 the judgement was designed to drive McLaren out $100m is not peanuts.

      Ron Dennis publicly capitulated to Max and thats what saved McLaren nothing else.

      Max would have been over the moon if they left.

  131. Money is the root of all evil .. renault willing to pay for the cost of investigation and sponsor the safety programme set by the FIA.

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