No punishment for Briatore or Symonds?

An (un-bylined) article in the Daily Express suggests Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds may go unpunished for their role in the Renault crash scandal.

Having left Renault, Briatore and Symonds are no longer represented by a licence holder, and so cannot be punished:

Although the Council have unlimited power when it comes to imposing a penalty against Renault, they are now powerless to act against Briatore and Symonds, despite the severity of the case.

It claims the World Motor Sports Council plans to change the rules so it can penalise individuals in similar cases in the future.

This was also the case in 2007 during the ‘Spygate’ enquiry, when the FIA was unable to punish Nigel Stepney after he had been dismissed by Ferrari. Instead it warned teams against hiring him:

As Mr Stepney is not a licence-holder of the FIA, no formal action may be taken against him under the International Sporting Code (though the FIA is co-operating with the Italian police, who are investigating Mr Stepney’s actions). As a matter of good order, the FIA recommends to its licensees that they do not professionally collaborate with Mr Stepney without conducting appropriate due diligence regarding his suitability for involvement in international motor sport. This recommendation stands until 1 July 2009.

Under the circumstances, it’s surprising they didn’t address the sooner. We can expect a similar announcement regarding Briatore and Symonds after the WMSC hearing on Monday.

Other questions are being asked today about the FIA’s handling of the matter. It has now emerged it was first brought to the FIA’s attention by Nelson Piquet Snr at last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix almost 11 months ago.

The delay in prosecuting the case was because the FIA required a statement from Nelson Piquet Jnr, and did not receive one until July 30 of this year. Was this because Piquet waited, or because the FIA didn’t offer him immunity until July? If the latter, why did they wait so long?

Renault Singapore crash controversy

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45 comments on No punishment for Briatore or Symonds?

  1. Franton said on 19th September 2009, 13:47

    I’m curious how people here think that the FIA should be able to punish those responsible when they’re now both outside the sport? I wasn’t aware the FIA had powers similar to the judiciary system over most of the planet. I fail to see how they can be punished now, with the exception of blacklisting them from motor sport entirely.

    This unfortunately will have major knock on effects. The drivers that Flav represents who will very quickly have to find new representation and that will effect their contracts with the teams. Flav’s interests in QPR football club will come under scruitiny and that will cause some rumbles elsewhere. This ain’t simple thing at all.

    So does anyone fancy setting up a driver management company? :) I hear there might be a vacancy soon :p

    The Singapore authorities are another matter entirely. That really will put the cat amongst the pigeons but I think there will be a behind the scenes political negotiation to avoid compromising the grand prix.

  2. The FIA may not have any power to punish them now they have left Renault but they will surely make it so they can’t come back into F1 anytime soon if they are found guilty.

  3. Bartholomew said on 19th September 2009, 22:27

    The maximum authorities in F1 should spend more time creating exciting racing conditions in beautiful historic tracks, instead of finger-pointing and chasing after people for doing something wrong.
    F1 authorities are responsible for creating the conditions of the Singapore affair, for their incompetence in allowing boring procesional racing in Tilke tracks. No wonder people like Flav and Symonds start thinking about something to do.
    Let´s start forgetting about all this Renault affair. At least the Singapore race was not the usual procession

  4. Legally, it was fraud, at least it would have been in the U.S. But Singapore does not have a dog in this race, and will not to prosecute a case against three foreigners who caused no harm to Singaporeans.

    Briatore and Symonds have disgraced themselves and the sport; Piquet has disgraced only himself. All three deserved to be banned from F1, Flavio for life, the other two for a period of years. Whether Flavio’s superiors condoned such appalling behavior is impossible to prove; nonetheless Renault should be fined for failure to set proper standards.

  5. scarlet pimpernel said on 22nd September 2009, 19:41

    Everyone on this forum that does NOT think there have been laws broken IS TAKING A STUPID Pill !!!! Last time I saw, the Renault F1 team is incorporated in a country (in France or in the UK), the Renault Automobile company is incorporated in a country (in France or in the UK), Briatore’s FFBB driver management company is incorporated in a country (in France, Monaco, or in the UK), and the company that manages and delivers the Singapore Grand Prix race is protected against loss in value and misrepresentation by laws in Singapore…!!! So please STOP saying out loud “the FiA have no jurisdiction on this or on that”…What you have to ask yourself is when will these countries in-which these racing and management organizations are based are NOT throwing people in JAIL right now ???!!!

    Just watch: NO BODY WILL GO TO JAIL !!! And we all know that there should be about 3 or 4 people who SHOUD be in jail right now ! And that little jerk Nelson Piquet Jr. should not be given any immunity since he always had the power to say “NO” to any of this…the steering wheel was in his hands. Thank God nobody got hurt in the race because of this. Just watch: NO BODY WILL GO TO JAIL !!!

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