Mosley says Renault got the ‘harshest penalty’ but hardly anyone agrees

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The FIA let Renault off lightly yesterday

Max Mosley refused to acknowledge the craven manner in which the FIA backed down from punishing Renault yesterday.

He insisted the team received “the harshest [penalty] we can impose”, which was patently false given that they kept all the points and money earned by their ill-gotten victory, and have not been banned from any events.

Over 71% of readers on this site (at the time of writing) have called Renault’s penalty ‘too soft’ and this morning’s newspapers reflect that mood with a string of articles condemning the FIA:

Mosley denies Renault let off lightly (ITV-F1)

Max Mosley: “The penalty that we’ve imposed is the harshest one we can impose, which is disqualification, complete exclusion from the sport. However, because Renault have demonstrated that they had absolutely no moral responsibility for what took place – even the Renault F1 team didn’t have, still less does the company have any responsibility at all – it would be wrong in the circumstances to impose an immediate penalty.”

Slap on Renault’s wrist is not enough to condemn F1 chicanery to history (The Independent)

"F1 clearly believes it needs Renault, even while its name represents the absolute nadir of the sporting instinct, far more than the kudos that might come with the idea that after all the years of drift – of Schumacher's ruthless, unpunished cynicism, the refusal to penalise the McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso when they benefited from the McLaren team's proven spying – they had finally seen the public relations value of cleaning up their house."

Comment: Renault get off ‘Crashgate’ almost scot-free (The Times)

"Today in Paris we witnessed not the administration of a proper and fitting punishment of Renault for the shocking way in which it required Nelson Piquet Jr to crash on purpose at last year’s Singapore Grand Prix, but an exercise in commercial pragmatism."

Renault’s Formula One future in doubt despite lenient judgment (The Guardian)

Damon Hill: "You can't escape from the suspicion that it was all very expedient, given that Briatore was also one of the ringleaders of the pressure group FOTA. No one can excuse what happened to Piquet, it's totally abhorrent. That has been dealt with. [But] it's not the whole story. The whole story is that there has been a power struggle for a very long time and it's got to stop because it's ruining the sport. It's absolutely deplorable."

Formula One fury as Renault get easy ride over ‘Crashgate’ (The Times)

"For the Italian who dreamt of one day succeeding Ecclestone, this completes a spectacular fall from grace. He will no longer retain a role in the management of the GP2 Series, the Formula One feeder championship, and will not be able to continue managing racing drivers, among them four on the present Formula One grid — Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber, Heikki Kovalainen and Romain Grosjean."

Max Mosley is still the master of Formula One’s twists and turns (The Guardian)

"Mosley's design for the future, it seems, is a paddock in which his associates are embedded alongside Ecclestone's long-established cadre of former Brabham mechanics – such as Charlie Whiting, Formula One's permanent race director, who was allegedly told the details of Nelson Piquet Jr's staged crash soon after the race at Singapore by the driver's father but felt unable to take action."

Briatore not just banned, but crushed as well?? (Joe Saward)

“The FIA clearly wants the sport to be entirely rid of Briatore.”

ING Renault F1 Team Statement – 21 September 2009 (Renault)

Bernard Rey: “Today, we fully accept the decision of the Council. We apologize unreservedly to the F1 community in relation to this unacceptable behaviour. We sincerely hope that we can soon put this matter behind us and focus constructively on the future. We will issue further information in the next few days."

Renault Singapore crash controversy

84 comments on “Mosley says Renault got the ‘harshest penalty’ but hardly anyone agrees”

  1. For the first time, I agree with M Mosley:

    WMSC has issued the hardest penalty we’ve seen in many years, to the man responsible of all this. They have condemned Flavio to ostracism.

    They have condemned Pat Symonds to be out of F1 for 5 years, that means he will probably be out of this sport forever.

    The only thing I don´t like at all, is Nelson Piquet Jr who has been offered immunity. He cannot be seen as a victim, he took an important role in this mess and he has brought to this to light only when he has been fired, as a revenge.

    Some people is asking for more to Renault.

    Well, all I can say is Renault has behaved impeccably and I wouldn’t have liked to see Reanult paying 100 m$ for saving Flavio’s head.

    1. For the first time, I agree with M Mosley

      That is cuz your Spanish friend went free!

      Well, all I can say is Renault has behaved impeccably and I wouldn’t have liked to see Reanult paying 100 m$ for saving Flavio’s head.

      But I would love to see Flavio paying 10m$ for his own head.

      1. MP4, The FIA have acted in the best interests of the sport, and Renault have cooperated completely, what else would you want to do. The biggest traversty is the Piquet familys immunity, which I would agree is ludicrous, Nelson jr should be banned from motorsport for life.

        1. What about Flavio? Shouldn’t he go bankrupt? I’m not asking for Renault blood, but wouldn’t mind Flav’s. As for Piquet’s, they are truly shameless father son duo. Their immunity was a farce. I wouldn’t want to see Piquet Jr Jr Jr Jr…… involved in the sport. That name must be banned from competing in motor sports. This talentless guy brought the entire sport into dispute. I dunno why people keep forgetting PK. At the end of the day it was his right foot that did the damage.

          1. What about Flavio? Shouldn’t he go bankrupt? I’m not asking for Renault blood, but wouldn’t mind Flav’s.

            I think you might be taking this to something of an extreme by calling for Briatore’s blood.

            Flavio has been banned from any future involvement in FIA sanctioned motorsport for the rest of his life. His role in this affair has cost him his job at Renault, but may well also cost him his lucrative driver management business and prevents his involvement in other forms of motorsport – including GP2, in which he has a business interest. The WMSC’s findings look like they’ll also spark an FA hearing into whether Briatore is suitable to be a director of QPR football club, so that’s on the line too.

            I’m sure Flavio won’t starve, but the WMSC ruling will have a significant impact on his wealth and future career. From a body that isn’t a civil court, let alone a criminal one, that’s about as harsh a penalty as it gets.

          2. What about Flavio? Shouldn’t he go bankrupt?

            FFS, man, what would you have? Shall we cut off Briatore’s hand at the wrist? Cut out his tongue so he cannot lie again?

            He may indeed go bankrupt. No racing series which wishes to be associated with FiA can have anything to do with him. This includes the GP2 series. No driver who wants to hold a superlicense can have him as a manager.

            Also, he may be required by the football league to give up his interest in the QPR. How much do you think someone will pay for his shares in QPR, seeing it would be a buyer’s market if the league kicks him out? I’d bet even his good buddy Bernie wouldn’t give him more than a penny on the dollar.

            And yet you keep screaming for a financial penalty against him. Is this not financial penalty enough?

          3. But DSOB, people in the USA are doomed :( :( Who knows?? What if he decides to join NASCAR or INDYCAR?? they don’t come under FIA jurisdiction surely.

          4. he will simply retire, Briatore has plenty of money. He will buy himself into deals and businesses and there is a high chance that he will retain lot of the businesses that he already has. Briatore will lose the popularity which is more important then money.

            Having said that, im “sure” that if he feels that his life was ruined unfairly. He, like many people, could do anything to anyone to absolute extreme level with money. So in my eyes the Piquets or even Mosley are not safe yet. Italians are well known, not to sit around if you have done something to them that they do not deserve.

            Who knows, even though it extremely unlikely, there “still” exists a possibility that this was all Piquets idea indeed.

          5. Piqeut jr is done in the sport. Briatore will never come to the US to try his games. If he did and was even suspected he would find that the racing fraternity in the US wouldnt have special investigations(especially in nascar) one of the team mechanics would just come over and beat him half way to hell and tell him to leave and never come back or they would finish the job proper. If you notice we dont do things prim and proper all the time. Sometimes we just lynch a cheat.
            The boys in nascar would never accept him and he wouldnt want to be there as it isnt glamorous enough and the Indycar group..well they need all the hel[ they can get, but he isnt what they want either.

          6. There aren’t many people here that have forgotten about Piquet.

          7. As for Piquet’s, they are truly shameless father son duo. Their immunity was a farce. I wouldn’t want to see Piquet Jr Jr Jr Jr…… involved in the sport. That name must be banned from competing in motor sports. This talentless guy brought the entire sport into dispute. I dunno why people keep forgetting PK. At the end of the day it was his right foot that did the damage.

            I think you’re being to harsh on Piquet. I do believe what the Piquet’s said. A young pilot like Nelsinho, who has been in Renault where he has been treated like total crap by an abusing manager could easily have a fragile state of mind, fragile enough to do what he did. In fact, I’m pretty sure most people (or a considerable amount of people) would do what Nelsinho did. And his father only came to try and defend his son.

            For the record, I’m not a Renault or Piquet fan, I root for Ferrari.

          8. FANTASTIC comment Martin….and you’re right on with it! Indeed Falv woulden’t be bothered with NASCAR, and if he ever showed up in the paddock we’d see Rick Hendrick, Joe Gibbs, and Richard Childress kick him and those dorky little glasses of his out of there at the first opportunity!!!

      2. But I would love to see Flavio paying 10m$ for his own head.

        Well, Renault could still sue him. And should.

      3. WELL DONE MOSLEY YOU MADE THE RIGHT MOVE!!MP4-19B is bitter about the $100,000,000 stil I guess….

      4. It’s starting to become a habit to see a comment from you below mines, asking for silly things regarding your views about F Alonso.

        I’m not Fernando Alonso, I’m not a Alonso’s family member, nor his friend, so I would appreciate if you stop asking me, or giving me explanations about what or why I think about my own comments.

        Feel free to place your rants against whatever you want… but me. You know nothing about me, so please stop with this.

    2. The only thing I don´t like at all, is Nelson Piquet Jr who has been offered immunity. He cannot be seen as a victim, he took an important role in this mess and he has brought to this to light only when he has been fired, as a revenge.

      Wasn´t given to Junior the same immunity that was given to Alonso when he tried to blackmail Ron Dennis — “as a revenge” — with the Ferrari data that he was discussing with De La Rosa? Or there´s something that we missing here?

  2. Prisoner Monkeys
    22nd September 2009, 8:32

    I still maintain that both Briatore and Renault got what they each deserved, in accordance with their guilt.

    1. As do I. I think that this was a fair punishment for those who actually perpetrated this act (apart from Piquet and his stupid immunity), and enough of a punishment for the remaining innocent people to let everyone know that this kind of thing will not be tolerated.

      I think that if you calculated how much damage this has done to the Renault brand, the cost would be greater than just about any penalty the WMSC could have given.

      1. I think that if you calculated how much damage this has done to the Renault brand, the cost would be greater than just about any penalty the WMSC could have given.

        What about Flavio & Pat? Do you really think their punishment is just? They both are multi-millionaire’s. All that they have cared for all these years is to amass wealth. Even after this punishment, their wealth remains intact. The duo wouldn’t care less to enter the f1 paddock now. The FIA have failed to hurt them in the sweet spot. A hefty monetary penalty would just be about fine imo. I’m sincerely hoping for Renault * Piquet duo to file a case against Flavio. I wan’t to see him bankrupt. All his wealth must be distributed to the poor & needy. The fatso has lost all respect for money, he plays with it & i also hope that his various mistresses desert him forever. Such a disgraceful man.

        1. don’t wish misery and suffering on someone else, it is not very becoming of you

        2. I’m sincerely hoping for Renault * Piquet duo to file a case against Flavio.

          I doubt Renault wants anything to do with the Piquets now, don’t you?

        3. Oh, I would love to see Briatore and Symonds fined or some other added penalty. The problem is that the WMSC has no jurisdiction over them anymore. They are no longer employed by an organization that works under FIA rules. All the WMSC could do is stop them from being a part of an organization like that.

          A ban is a fair punishment, but also the only one available.

    2. Aside from no fine to the amount of money they gained from winning the race, I totally agree with you.

      As for Piquet, he’s most likely finished anyway without a formal ban, so I personally have no qualms about his immunity. It’s morally reprehensible but at least it enabled us to get the other two guilty parties as well, and as I’ve said, probably won’t shield him from any actual damage to his career.

  3. Its a strange sort of punishment for Renault – all they have to do is work with the FIA on safety (and I wonder who pays for that?). Briatore can no longer associate with FIA sanctioned sports, so does this mean he has to give up his stake in GP2 as well? And what about the strange statement about any drivers associated with him? Do they have to find new managers? Basically he can walk away and keep his money…..
    Piquet Jr gets immunity for playing the innocent and Alonso ‘it wasn’t me guv’ gets a pat on the back. Pat Symonds seems to be the only one who has actually lost his job in all this. Is he the skapegoat?
    As for the long term, have the FIA (aka Mad Max), deliberately not imposed an immediate ban knowing that Renault are going to leave F1 (as a team at least) at the end of the season? Since they haven’t had any large fines or denial of competing in FIA competitions, I imagine they are hoping to continue with GP2, World Series, Formula Renault and Clio events around the world, but we will have to wait for a statement on that I suppose.
    All in all, it does show that vested interests rule the day, and us fans cannot expect to see any justice given fairly when the rule makers themselves seem to be tied in with the outcome of the judgements. Thats my opinion anyway.
    Oh, and Keith has mentioned other possible wrongdoings by teams in the past. So can we believe anything that happens on the track this year and in the future? How can anybody be expected to police everything that happens in a race? Will there have to be FIA ‘investigations’ into anything that brings out the Safety Car from now on?
    I’m normally happy to put what happens during a race down to fate, luck, skill and experience, but now, is the whole thing just a big fix as the critics have been saying all along?

    1. So can we believe anything that happens on the track this year and in the future? … is the whole thing just a big fix as the critics have been saying all along?

      I am staggered that some people keep saying this.

      One Grand Prix was fixed. And look how hard it was. It looked incredibly “lucky” at the time, and the culprits got found out in the end.

      If there was an easier way to fix a GP, without timing a crash to coincide with a teammate’s early pitstop, don’t you think Briatore would have tried that?

      And if there isn’t an easier way to fix a GP, how on earth could every GP be fixed? Does every GP involve a crash coinciding with a teammate’s early pitstop?

      1. blockquote>So can we believe anything that happens on the track this year and in the future? … is the whole thing just a big fix as the critics have been saying all along?

        I am staggered that some people keep saying this.

        Yes, as am I. Good post. Couldn’t agree more.

  4. So what happens to Webber, Grosjean and Kovalainen then who are all managed by Flabio?

    1. I would assume in each case their contracts with Briatore included an opt-out clause, where if one party was not capable of fulfilling the terms then the contract was null and void. Being banned by the FIA would classify as one of those terms, methinks. So now they will scramble for new agents.

  5. Max is technically correct. The team did receive the harshest possible penalty, which was then suspended. The structure of the verdict goes like this:

    – The crime is severe enough to demand the penalty of disqualification.


    – Because Renault admitted the offence, cooperated fully and took action to sack those responsible in advance of the hearing, the punishment has been suspended.

    The logic is perfectly clear. 700 jobs were on the line here. In the circumstances, applying the punishment would have been unforgivably harsh.

    As ever, the papers and public opinion would like a crueller penalty. But handing over Renault to the lynch mob is not in the interests of the sport.

    1. Very well said.

      One does not cane the entire class for one boy peeing in the lemonade at the school picnic.

      Some foks don’t seem to understand this concept.

      1. But the problem here is that the boy who peed on the lemonade went uncanned! The boy’s papa accompanies him on every school picnic. The boy tells the headmaster that it was his teacher who instructed him to pee on that lemonade, the teacher is later fired, but the boy remains with the school! is that justice?

        1. I’m definitely not asking for the boy’s genitals, but surely some sort of punishment is needed.

          1. You’re misunderstanding the concept, and the case in general. Here Nelsinho was just a tool, he wasn’t the criminal. The criminals were Briatore and Symonds.

        2. I know you are a Piquet hater, but if the headmaster is your manager AND your team boss AND you’re trying to preserve your seat for next year AND you’re in a high stakes sport where cheating is common place, albeit this case is rare as far as we know, I can empathize with his position. It sure is easy for us to criticize from the insulated world of the blathersphere .

      2. One does not cane the entire class for one boy peeing in the lemonade at the school picnic.
        Some foks don’t seem to understand this concept.

        I understand the concept that if the entire class paid one kid to pee in the lemonade, they should all get suspended. Renault was the employer. They are liable for whatever dastardly acts their employees get up to. Some folks don’t seem to understand this concept you see…

        1. Leaving aside the lemonade for a moment, the Renault team was technically responsible for the actions of Briatore, Symonds and Piquet Jr, but not morally responsible.

          See the difference? The fact that no one currently at the team was actually to blame is reflected in the clemency shown by the FIA.

      3. One does not cane the entire class for one boy peeing in the lemonade at the school picnic.
        Some foks don’t seem to understand this concept.

        I perfectly understand the concept that if the entire class paid one kid to pee in the lemonade, the whole lot should be suspended. Renault was the employer. They are liable for whatever dastardly acts their employees get up to. Some folks don’t understand this concept you see.

  6. Whether or not you think it’s fair, it definitely makes McLaren’s $100m fine look horribly unfair. What they did wasn’t dangerous, and it was limited to a few people, yet the whole team still got a massive fine.

    1. Max is Donald Duck!

    2. Let’s go through the logic of the verdict again.

      Renault received a harsher penalty that McLaren, but their penalty was suspended because they cooperated fully, told the truth and sacked those responsible.

      McLaren lied, lied and lied, which is why their penalty was immediate rather than suspended.

      Some coincidence that the people bemoaning the terrible “injustice” suffered by McLaren have names like “Kovy” and “MP4-19b”…

      1. @ Jonathan

        You didn’t seem to read my post thoroughly.
        This has nothing to do with me or kovy or 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.

        1. Briatore and Symonds are out of motorsport… that’s the harshest punishment they could have received from the FIA.

          The FIA isn’t a civil or criminal court, so it can’t take their money or throw them in jail.

          But remember that the pair may yet face civil and/or criminal proceedings.

    3. But, as the old saying goes, two wrongs don’t make a right. If McLaren’s penalty for “Spygate” was too extreme (and it was breathtakingly severe) it wouldn’t be fair to hit Renault with the same penalty simply to be consistent.

  7. Of course he agrees. To him, the harshest penalty is a light spanking, which is exactly what Renault got.

  8. I must say I think you’re over-egging the pudding here. It’s just F1; in the grand scheme of things it does not matter. The true perpetrators have been, deservedly, heavily punished (yeah, except Piquet; though his reputation is shot which is punishment enough really). Renault are to some extent victims here and have been given a fair and reasonable “punishment”. One thing that does matter – the livelihood of ~500 innocent staff at Renault F1 – can continue, as it should. But frankly ranting on about principles of this and that is going OTT – it’s just F1! Lets just put this behind us and enjoy the racing…

    Have a read of this too :

  9. Typical politician completely ignoring the facts and just saying what suits his agenda. No matter what your view is on whether the punishment is fair, I personally think it is too soft, surely no one can seriously claim it is the harshest penalty for the simple fact that we have seen harsher penalties in recent years.

    Yes Briatore, the main target for Mosley, was banned from having anything to do with motorsport ever again, which was the harshest penalty the FIA could give him, but the Renault penalty was not the harshest penalty available.

    In recent years we have seen BAR receive a two race ban for having an underweight car, McLaren given a record $100m fine and excluded from the championship for spying, McLaren disqualified from a race for lying and Renault were initially going to be banned for a race for an unsafe release of Alonso at a pitstop.

  10. We will miss the colorful personality of Flavio. Flavio and Ron are gone now, and the sport is much less authentic without them.
    Piquet Jnr. and Sr, wont be missed however.
    Piquet Sr. looks like a witch doctor. Hes gotta take his voodoo show someplace else.

    1. I suspect Piquet Sr will take it to the court and finish off Flavio all together. Would be fun to see both go at each other & finally go bankrupt. neither of them have any respect for money.

      1. Piquet Snr hass immunity within FIA inquests not in a court of law, I would bet otherwise, it’s irrelevant what Flavio has done, the fact remains the Nelson Piquet evidentally did try to Blackmail Flavio, so I hope they destroy each other in court.

    2. Sr. probably will. And he’ll probably want there to be a Piquet in every racing series. Wouldn’t we just love that? A Piquet (preferably Jr.) in NASCAR would be exceptionally funny.

      1. He wouldnt survive, that is a different way of racing altogether. His best hope is indycar or sport prototypes. Other that indycar his openwhell racing is finished.

        1. That’s the point! Fail once, fail again.

    3. I won’t miss Flavio, I was never a fan of him.

      I miss Ron though.

  11. Flav got the harshest penalty, no-one else did, not even close

    1. Of course. Because we all know the FIA and Mosley (especially) want his head. They wanted Flav to be out of racing, no if’s, and’s, or but’s. And that’s exactly what they did.

      1. I have been thinking about the results of this verdict and it has repercussions in a different direction. Not only has max and bernie destroyed ron and flavio in the last year, but now they have cut the feet out from under fota, especially by banning flavio. One of fota tennants was they could use the fia’s officials to hlp run their series. Well not now be cause they have stated that they will no longer have any dealing with flavio in any way shape or form.So they have removed flavio from being involved essentially in fota.
        So now flavio cannot represent drivers who want a superliscence, he cannot be involved with anyteam or liscenceholder that wants to remain in the f1 fraternity and by this last move he cant be involved in fota or the promotions of the series if it was to break away if they want fia assistance. This would mean that fota would have to come up with that infrastructure.
        As much as dislike what max and bernie have done to my beloved f1, this was a brilliant move. They have had a full year to plan and execute this and they used flavio emotions to put the scene in motion. Bernie new flavio was a hothead and coorced him into firing npj because he new what would happen next as they had known about it since last year at Brazil.
        The hamilton expulsion and getting ron out of the way was sheer luck earlier this year.

        This is brilliant, pure brilliance..nobody saw this coming until it was too late. I tip my hat to them, they played all of us.

  12. I think that people are wrong in comparing McLaren fine to this one. McLaren had their chance to come clean in their matter and in their first hearing they admitted they had full Ferrari blueprints but haven’t used them. WMSC accepted that explanation and gave them NO FINE at all.

    To this situation it would be comparable if Renault tried to cover up this situation, lie to WMSC (instead of admitting guilt right away) and then after the evidence came through claimed innocence and honesty after being caught in the lie. It was after this kind of behavior that they were fined.

    Also, Renault paid some kind of fine but they did it ”under the table” and FIA calls it ”Renault accepts the offer of a significant contribution to the FIA’s safety work.” I wonder what amount goes as ”significant contribution” and was the amount also suggested to Renault.

  13. I definitely agree with the decision of Mosley, a 2 year suspension I think is fair enough. I could not imagine how Flavio would do this kind of cheating again( as I believed that he’d done this before at the Brazilian grandprix where Alonzo and Schumacher is fighting for the title). I feel sorry for Romain who had been doing an excellent job since filling up the seat of Nelson. I hope this kind of dirty tactics would never happen again in F1.

  14. I totally agree with Mr Mosley, for the first time in my life. I’d even say the penalty has been too harsh, especially for Flavio Briatore.

    As Eddie Irvine said recently, people tend to forget that this sort of behaviour is far from new in F1. Anyone remember Senna vs Prost? Schumacher vs Hill? Schumacher vs Villeneuve? Or Belgium ’98, when Coulthard knocked Schumacher out? That was far more dangerous than what Piquet did. And how was McLaren punished for the Melbourne scandal? Much softer, even though they were cheating and behaving in similarly arrogant way.

    F1 is fame and money. In this competition the end justifies the means, and we must get used to it. If they are not smart enough to cover the means, punish them, but what’s the big deal? And punish the ones that actually did the ‘crime’ – it wasn’t Briatore that crashed into the wall, it was Piquet; it wasn’t Ron Dennis who lied, it was Hamilton.

    1. Or Belgium ‘98, when Coulthard knocked Schumacher out?

      Dude really, that was an accident.

      And how was McLaren punished for the Melbourne scandal? Much softer, even though they were cheating and behaving in similarly arrogant way.

      McLaren and Hamilton were punished quite severely for that. Even if that is compltetly and utterly uncomparable to crashing your car on purpose in an effort to win the race.

      How on earth is trying to cover up for a mistake the same as cheating like Renault did?

  15. I wonder what exactly is the “FIA’s safety work”. What I would have liked to see as part of the condition for the suspension of the ban would have been something along the lines of a Renault-funded, world-wide education campaign aimed at young drivers in racing schools to promote responsibility, fair-play, and driving safety.

  16. I agree with Mosely. Neither Renault, nor Fernando knew anything about the race fixing. The men responsible have left. Briatore banned from every FIA related sport. Soon to lose QPR, Piquet has made himself unemployable. Symmonds banned for 5 years. Renault & their drivers shouldn’t be banned straight away. That is out of order.

  17. Flavio and Pat got their punishments why take it out on team Renault and Alonso when they didnt know? case close in my opinion lets enjoy a “crashgateless” singapore race.

  18. I think, that the reason that the FIA gave a suspended sentence, is so that if it was a instant two year ban, which would ban Renault immediately, then Renault probably would have just left F1 altogether, which is the last thing that the FIA wants to see!!! Therefore, this suspended ban may just keep them in F1.

  19. I think it is useless to discuss if the penalty is reasonable or not… it is just F1 politics and Max vendetta.
    By the way: it seems that Renault (internal inquiry) didn’t find any direct involvement of Flavio in the plan to crash. It makes sense, because Flavio is not engineer…
    I’m happy for Renault, the workers and so on. But I don’t think there is any “justice” or even reasoning behind the FIA decision.

  20. What I also find strange is why Renault either sacked Flavio and Pat or allowed them to resign before the FIA hearing. On one level its fine, they have lost their jobs and been punished anyway, but wouldn’t any other company force those responsible to attend the hearing?
    Don’t the FIA have powers to ask whoever they want to attend?
    It all seems too little, too late, as is usual with the FIA. None of the penalties imposed would stop anybody in any position in a team trying something similar again.

    1. I believe the fia went to renault the company and layed out the information or evidence and told them we are having a hearing on this date and you need to have your house in order before or it will go bad for you as a company. I would not be surprised that they were told to not have their house in order would cost them in the order of McLarens fine plus extra bans.
      I dont believe when renault performed their own internal investigation that they found no fault of flavio because he and symonds left to quuickly once this started gaining momentum. He and symonds were a team 1 idea man the other action man, it was a relationship that was profitable to both.
      I dont feel sorry for piquet anymore, he has wrote off his career in f1. Briatore started this whole mess when he treated a young boy like crap, and then rideculed him publicly. Then plans a debacle like this and fires the lad, who then turns on him. It is stupidity on a colassal scale, for the way he has handled piquet alone, flavio deserves to be outted.

  21. Renault may only have got a two-year suspended ban, but the men behind it, Briatore and Symonds, have been given lifetime and 5-year bans from motorsport.

    The only reason Renault as a team was punished was because these men were representing that team when they committed the offence. When Renault F1 found that cheating had happened within the team, they sacked the men responsible and co-operated fully with the FIA investigation. I think it would have been unfair on the employees of the team a punishment to hand out a punishment that would have driven them out of the sport.

  22. Back in the ‘Good Old Days’ when drivers earned very little, the organisers earned very little and there was virtually no safety concern whatsoever, drivers had little chance of survival and were generally honourable and heroic in their dealings with each other.
    After big money came into the sport via sponsorship and television, those who cared more about money than racing rapidly manoeuvred themselves into the governance of the sport. As with any gravy train, a certain amount was shared among those who do the work, but most was fought over by those who do not.
    The lengths that those who rule, and thus the major beneficiaries of the sport, will go in protecting their golden goose from either damage or theft has been amply shown in numerous FIA battles, decisions, tribunals, councils etc over the last couple of decades.
    This is not surprising as human behaviour is always the same when large amounts of money are sloshing around.
    The astonishing difference between the FIA and (for example) Enron is that the FIA has no outside organisation to fear. They make their own rules and feather their own nest.
    Briatore wanted a bigger slice of pie and tried to stage a palace coup. As with any coup, one or other adversary is executed. Briatore made the mistake of thinking he had staged a successful coup when Max announced his retirement. Perhaps he should have been watching his back because the execution of Max had not actually yet taken place and in fact became his own.

  23. The Renault ‘penalty’ is ridiculous. A complete farce! The FIA gave Lewis Hamilton and McLaren a far greater penalty for the trivial and nigh ubiquitous offence of lying to the stewards. Recall that, as a consequence of the Australia affair, McLaren sacked a key member of their team; they severed all links with Ron Dennis; they lost all the points that they won in Australia; and Lewis had to make several embarrassing public apologies. In the Renault case, the team severed ties with two key employees; and Renault will escape ANY form of punishment, provided that they don’t do something similar (!) in the next few years. It’s clear that the FIA is only after certain individuals: here, Ron and Flavio. The rest of the world will look upon this case as just another example (although perhaps the worst example) of the moral and political shambles that is F1.

    It seems that, in terms of FIA justice, it doesn’t matter what a team or driver does, no matter how serious it is, provided that the team deny all responsibility and sack a few key members of the team; then, the team goes unpunished. It’s also ridiculous that sacked employees cannot be called to the hearing and face punishment…

  24. I know it’s unashamedly off-topic but who cares…

    BRING BACK V10s!

    My apologies :)

  25. Guys – chill out F1 is as much sport as wrestling. FIA, FOTA, teams, FOA make up the rules as they go along. It’s just big business. Don’t get stressed over it.

    Lewis Hamilton and McLaren attempted to influence a race at the start of the season to Trullis’s detriment and got off with slapped wrist. Schumi and Ferrari got away with it for years. If it’s illegal, it’s illegal. There’s no degrees of illegality.

    Sit back and laugh and just hope there might be some real racing on the track before Bernie stage manages another season ending cliffhanger.

  26. I think that the fact it took almost a year for it to surface mean that they didn’t cooperate fully (ok technically yes for the investigation itself) at all times.

    This is another reason why people are angry about this. That and Mosley’s ‘strongest possible penalty’ comment.

    And why hasn’t the win been taken away? Surely this had to happen!

  27. The crime committed by the Renault F1 team to which they have admitted has far more reaching consequences to the sport which have now been compounded by the penalty imposed being a farce.
    The difference here is F1 and BE need Renault on the grid. They can ill afford to lose another major manufacturer with Honda, BMW and potentially Toyota being gone so they caved in and Max got Flav as a bonus for leaving.
    One the otherhand, if McLaren left, they would not have the same impact so they put the boots to them for a much less crime ableit one conducted by an employee much as this was but lower down the rungs. They were fined 1 million Euro, disqualified for the season, had scrutiny imposed on them for a year and stopped development in the area subject to the Ferrari info for a year. How is what Renault got for fixing a race and influencing the outcome of the championship even on par with what McLaren is alleged to have done?
    Whitmarsh and McLaren should be appealing their penalty or suing the FIA for unfair discipline.

  28. He himself should be banned a long time ago… and yes, Renault came out easy – rememberthe fine to McLaren… but they are afraid that Renault would bail out from F1 and after Honda, BMW, is Renault leave and possibly Toyota… then, with the small time newcomers, it really will transform F2 into some kind of GP2 series…

    But it’s unfairs regarding all other teams, because we all really everybody saying this was the worst case of them all (all the …’gates’ affairs… and there was really no punishement. Yes, because the termination of Briatore and Simmons was Renault’s doing, not FIA – the only thing FIA did was to ban him from ever return, but did anybody really expected that to happened… In effect there was NO punishment AT ALL…

  29. Was it the McLaren spy incident where Mosley said that the team should be punished because the individual is representing the team? Or something along those lines? But not in this case, because it’s better for the sport that Renault don’t get a harsh punishment?

    That says to me that it’s ok to cheat if you’re important to the sport. Might explain some of the recent Ferrari decisions then.

    With the amount of data available to engineers they all must have known what happened – when the throttle was applied etc and how the timing was perfect to get Alonso to the front. Of course they all knew. And Alonso must have known also. There is no proof though. But to say that the whole team apart from Flav, Pat Symonds and NPjr behaved impeccably is incredibly naive.

  30. What happened in Australia `09 was triggered by McLaren sh***ing themselves and trying desperately to avoid a penalty, and it could`nt have worked out worse. The place was rightly Hamilton`s.

    And should`nt Renault at least have had to pay back 10 points worth of `08 prize money ? That would have been fair enough in my opinion.

  31. I may be in the minority, but having spent all day observing in a courtroom, I believe the punishment fits the crime here…except for Piquet.

    If Flavio masterminded the whole thing, he deserves to be banned for life. Telling a driver to crash on purpose is beyond serious. I do agre with those who believe Piquet should also be banned, but I doubt he’ll really need to be, as no ne is going to be in a rush to get him on the grid….

  32. ok if you cut a chicane then give the postion back then pass again at the next corner, and you are then stripped of your win…

    …then how come if you setup the race results from the begining of the race can you not loose the win?

    its a bit of a confusing question but if you can understand it please comment back!

  33. ……O and i must say that 08 Reanult looks quite nice with the 09 livery and slick tyres, altough the 09 Renault looks like a dogs behind!

  34. “One does not cane the entire class for one boy peeing in the lemonade at the school picnic.”

    A classroom is not a team sport. There was a great article in the Times concerning collective responsibility. And if there is a “Witness X” I would not hesitate to presume there are others within the team who also knew. The team deserve and earned some kind of team punishment such as reduction in points or fines.

    No getting away from it, in my opinion.

  35. Oops. Looks like Renault just lost ING as sponsor as well…

    Guess Renault is getting fined after all :)

  36. I don’t think there’s nearly as much outrage as the British media would have us believe. The problem is that the British media (like every other national media)take most notice of their own so that a) they don’t pay much attention to people like Prost and Pescarolo who think the FIA got it right and b) they’re annoyed by the apparent contrast to the McLaren situation.

  37. Astute observation santori. I for one am still livid over the entire McLaren playout. Especially because Renault was wrist tapped previously for similar offenses, at the same time. And here they manage another team pass for a much more serious transgression.

    At least Flabio has finally received his just rewards. Mike Lawernce over at Pitpass has quite an essay on his much delayed comeuppance.

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