The next big F1 scandal: Renault cheated? - Page 3 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #21 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-16-2009, 06:41 AM
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If you lay down with dogs you rise up with fleas.

What a cretin that Briatore guy is. To think he wanted to have criminal charges brought against the Piquet's just days ago and now, here he is unceremoniously dumped and sent packing with his tail between his legs.

The scurvy dogs are gone and so should Falonso's bogus victory be gone too.

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post #22 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-16-2009, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by calgary View Post
Renault fired Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds today - Are they withdrawwing from F1 next??
not sure, just read the official statement on about Flavio and Symonds leaving the team.
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post #23 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-16-2009, 08:52 AM
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Briatore and Symonds leave Renault - Yahoo! Eurosport UK

Briatore and Symonds leave Renault

Eurosport - Wed, 16 Sep 16:19:00 2009

Renault parted company with flamboyant Formula One team boss Flavio Briatore and his deputy Pat Symonds after accepting allegations that last year's Singapore Grand Prix was fixed.

The two men were due to appear before the governing FIA in Paris on Monday to face charges, unprecedented even in a sport often mired in controversy, that the team ordered Brazilian Nelson Piquet to crash deliberately to help Spanish team mate Fernando Alonso win.

Renault said in a statement they would not dispute the allegations.

"It (Renault) also wishes to state that its managing director, Flavio Briatore, and its executive director of engineering, Pat Symonds, have left the team," it added.

Italian Briatore led the team to two Formula One constructors' and drivers' championships with Alonso in 2005 and 2006 after also winning titles with Benetton and Michael Schumacher in 1994 and 1995.

A business partner of Formula One's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone, with the two co-owning Queen's Park Rangers, Briatore is also Alonso's manager.

A familiar face in celebrity magazines, with a jet-setting lifestyle, the perma-tanned nightclub owner is also a leading figure in the Formula One Teams' Association that threatened a breakaway series until recently.

While Briatore focused on business and the bigger picture, Symonds effectively ran the race strategy side and his departure will be a major blow for the team.

No replacements for either man were named.

International Automobile Federation president Max Mosley had already said he considered the case to be more serious than the 2007 spying controversy that cost McLaren a $100 million fine and loss of all their constructors' points.

The FIA's world motor sport council can impose various penalties for fraudulent conduct, including permanently excluding a team from the championship.

Piquet, 24, was dropped by Renault in August after failing to score a point in 10 races and has testified to the FIA that he was told when and where to crash during the night race.

In a statement subsequently leaked to the media, he told FIA investigators he met Symonds and Briatore before the September 28 race in the team boss's office.

"Mr Symonds, in the presence of Mr Briatore, asked me if I would be willing to sacrifice my race for the team by 'causing a safety car'," said Piquet, who was promised immunity from prosecution by the FIA if he told the truth.

The Brazilian added he had been "in a very fragile and emotional state of mind" at the time because of uncertainty about the renewal of his contract for 2009 and hoped his agreement would improve his position.

"Mr Symonds took me aside to a quiet corner and, using a map, pointed me to the exact corner of the track where I should crash," said Piquet in the July 30 statement.

Alonso, who has denied all knowledge of any plot, pitted for fuel on lap 12 and Piquet then crashed at a place where his car could not be easily moved, bringing out the safety car.

The Spaniard went on to win after rivals were penalised for pitting when the safety car was deployed, a rule that has since been changed. The crash caused considerable speculation at the time among rival teams and drivers.

Symonds was evasive in an interview with FIA investigators at the Belgian Grand Prix that was also leaked to the media.

Asked if he had been aware there was going to be a crash on lap 14, he replied: "I don't want to answer that question".

Symonds declared at a later stage: "I have no intention of lying to you. I have not lied to you but I have reserved my position a little."

Renault and Briatore had in turn accused Piquet and his father, a triple world champion and namesake, of false allegations and attempted blackmail and begun criminal proceedings in France.
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post #24 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-16-2009, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Media: "unclear whether the pair have fallen on their swords or been pushed"

Swift media reaction to Briatore departure

16/09/09 16:42

Renault making no further comment until after the hearing
The media read between the lines of Renault's short media statement issued today which announced that the bosses Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds had left the team and that Renault would not dispute allegations they conspired with Nelson Piquet to rig the outcome of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix by faking an accident.

The German press agency DPA said the team had "effectively admitted to race-fixing" ahead of the September 21 hearing of the World Motor Sport Council who have the powers to impose a range of penalties, from fines to permanent exclusion.

"Renault will almost certainly plead for clemency ... as they will claim the actions of two men should not affect the employment of nearly 700 other staff within the team," said the Daily Telegraph.

The Times of London agreed: "(The) governing body is likely to accept that, by admitting its guilt and by removing the conspirators, Renault has gone a long way to clearing this matter up."

The Telegraph said it "unclear whether the pair have fallen on their swords or been pushed" by the French carmaker parent, Renault SA.

Ed Gorman, writing for the Times, made the same conclusion about Renault's guilt, explaining that Wednesday's events had turned "one of the worst examples of pre-meditated cheating in the history of professional sport ... from ... lurid allegations to fact".

Even the wire services made no bones about interpreting Renault's statement. Reuters said "Renault admit race-fixing charge", AFP said the team "partly admit some role in the controversy", while PA said Briatore and Symonds have "fallen on their sword".

There are also other ramifications to consider, such as Briatore's co-ownership with Bernie Ecclestone of the London football club Queens Park Rangers, and - depending on the carmaker's reaction or the WMSC sanction - Renault's significant role in GP2 and other motor racing categories.

Former team boss and owner Eddie Jordan told the BBC: "Will the FA (Football Association) allow him to continue to run a club?"

"As a normal person on the street I think this is a clear-cut admission and I am surprised," he added, explaining that after decades in motor racing, he "can't comprehend" ordering a driver to crash.

Source: GMM
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post #25 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-16-2009, 12:35 PM
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It would seem that Piquet's claims have been vindicated

BBC SPORT | Motorsport | Formula 1 | Briatore out over Renault fix row

No trees were harmed creating this message, however some electrons were very inconvenienced.
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post #26 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-16-2009, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RedLiner View Post
It would seem that Piquet's claims have been vindicated

BBC SPORT | Motorsport | Formula 1 | Briatore out over Renault fix row
...and turned himself into F1's pariah = unemployable.
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post #27 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-16-2009, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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James Allen on the Renault scandal

James Allen on the Renault scandal

Wednesday, 16 September 2009 18:44

Renault’s decision not to put up any defence against allegations that it sought to fix the result of last year’s Singapore Grand Prix has left it firmly in the dock heading into next Monday’s World Motor Sport Council meeting.

The team’s two most high-profile senior figures, team principal Flavio Briatore and engineering chief Pat Symonds, have walked the plank – but it is far from clear that their departures will draw a line under the scandal. columnist James Allen takes stock of Formula 1's latest unsavoury episode and considers where Renault might go from here, as well as reflecting on Briatore's colourful F1 career.

This is a huge day for the sport and for Renault F1 in particular.

Today the car company accepted that they were involved in one of the most audacious and infamous cheating scandals in the sport’s history – issuing a brief statement to the effect that they would not be challenging the allegations at next Monday’s World Council hearing and that Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds had both left the company.

In effect, what Nelson Piquet junior alleged has been accepted by Renault and the question now is: will they stay in the sport?

I strongly believe that the FIA would have thrown them out of Formula 1, maybe even out of all motorsport, if they had gone to Paris on Monday and been found guilty.

And let’s not forget that Renault have a big involvement in international motorsport. They run GP2, along with Bernie Ecclestone, they have the World Series, Formula Renault, Clio Cup racing and much more besides.

By coming clean and removing the management figures responsible for this disgraceful plot, they avoid that and probably avoid a really substantial fine too.

McLaren were hit with a $100 million fine because they lied to the first World Council hearing and were only found out at the second hearing because of the emails of Pedro de la Rosa and Fernando Alonso.

The FIA didn’t like the deception and cover-up aspect of this and hammered them for it.

Here Renault have taken the opposite approach. They hope to get off lightly because of that. But we may still lose the team at the end of the year.

Renault were not in the strongest position anyway – lying eighth in the world championship, with no title sponsor in place for next year, likely to lose their champion driver Fernando Alonso and now without their engineering and tactical genius in Pat Symonds.

But there are many really great people at Renault, lots of talent and experience, and one hopes that the company will wish to carry on and put all this behind them.

If they don’t it’s not clear what would happen to Red Bull and Williams, one of whom is currently a Renault engine customer and the other wants to become one.

As for the two figures who have departed, we should be clear that they have not been found guilty, but the implication of Renault’s decision is that the French manufacturer believes they were guilty.

Symonds accepts that a meeting took place with Piquet and that they discussed deliberately crashing, but says it was Piquet’s idea. Briatore denies everything.

If you read the stewards’ report you will see that they weren’t sure whether Briatore was actually involved in this, but it was clear that they felt Symonds was central to it.

The reason why today was the crunch day was because the team had to present a defence dossier to the FIA and so it was ‘put up or shut up’ time.

The whole episode has been really bad for the sport.

Yes it’s been dealt with, but only because the perpetrator came forward to the Federation, not because the Federation was on to it, committed to weeding out cheating.

F1 has had a tough time with its credibility lately, convincing people that it is a sport and not just a cynical show.

And now to add to the humiliation the public sees that people in the sport have such a skewed moral compass that they will plot to crash a car on purpose to fix a result (which stands, by the way – it cannot be reversed now).

Piquet comes out of it terribly. The legal complaint of blackmail Briatore and Renault have made against him in France presumably still stands because that wasn’t contingent on the whether the allegations were true or false, merely that they contend the blackmail was attempted.

Briatore was one of the larger-than-life figures in the paddock of whom there are a dwindling number.

He tried to modernise the sport to get the old school racing purists to see that it was a show more than anything else and that they should focus on that, but he kept talking about it and never achieved it.

He was saying the same things on behalf of FOTA recently that he was saying in the early 1990s.

Formula 1 moves on quickly and it will do so again after this.
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post #28 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-16-2009, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Deutsche Welle TV news reported the 'dynamic duo' have quit the Renault team.
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post #29 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-16-2009, 10:13 PM
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Wow. Simply wow.

And we thought politics were bizarre.

F1 just gets stranger and stranger.

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. (Winston Churchill)

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post #30 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-16-2009, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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BBC SPORT Piquet 'now unemployable in F1

Piquet 'now unemployable in F1'

By Martin Brundle
BBC F1 analyst

Formula 1 is nervously awaiting the outcome of the inquiry into Nelson Piquet Jr's claim to have crashed intentionally under instructions during last year's Singapore Grand Prix in order to help his Renault team-mate Fernando Alonso's race.

We will have an answer around 21 September and before the next GP in Singapore, ironically where all the troubles began last year.

The word in the paddock is that team boss Flavio Briatore will step away from F1 - possibly even before the hearing.

Briatore and director of engineering Pat Symonds deny the allegations that they asked Piquet to crash and Renault have stated that they have initiated a criminal case against the Piquets for extortion and attempted blackmail. Heavy stuff.

The sad thing is that the damage to F1 is already done because of the leaked information.

I'm disappointed in Piquet father and son.

Like many of us in the paddock, they have benefited enormously from being in the privileged inner sanctum of F1, and the boy's career opportunities and funding existed only because of F1.

So crashing deliberately in the first place, as he claims he did, and then lobbing this nuclear bomb into the paddock is not impressive to say the least.

They've cut off their noses to spite their face because surely Nelson Piquet Jr is unemployable in F1 now.

Which team and sponsor wants to be associated with all this? Anger has got the better of them here.

F1, though, will survive it and move on.
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