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

The FIA let Renault off lightly yesterday

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?σΤιΌ?ͺ (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

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