Renault escape ban for crash (Poll)

2009 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Renault ony received a suspended sentence for causing a crash in Singapore
Renault ony received a suspended sentence for causing a crash in Singapore

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 harsh (2%)
  • Too harsh (2%)
  • About right (25%)
  • Too soft (33%)
  • Far too soft (39%)

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 (Poll)”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!!!

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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?)

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