The next big F1 scandal: Renault cheated? - Page 4 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #31 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 05:10 AM
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Ghosn has got to be fuming.
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post #32 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 08:48 AM
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Renault Facing Criminal Charges & Lawsuits

How does Massa feel today? He misses the championship by one point last year. He was leading this race before Renault fixed it. If he had managed to finish 7th he'd have been champion.

Renault duo could face criminal charges - Yahoo! Eurosport UK


Renault duo could face criminal charges

Eurosport - Thu, 17 Sep 13:10:00 2009
Buzz Up!

Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds could be facing criminal charges for endangering lives after deciding not to contest charges of engineering Nelson Piquet Jr's crash at last year's Singapore Grand Prix.



Renault is due to appear before the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris on September 21 charged with bringing the sport into disrepute by having committed "a breach of Article 151c of the International Sporting Code, that the team conspired with its driver, Nelson Piquet Jr, to cause a deliberate crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix with the aim of causing the deployment of the safety car to the advantage of its other driver, Fernando Alsono".

There are also suggestions that both Briatore and Symonds may find themselves having to fend off a three-pronged legal attack.

According to the Daily Telegraph, Singapore could request extradition from a Commonwealth country should it consider the plot to have been an 'extradition crime' - a category that includes 'acts done with the intention of endangering vehicles, vessels or aircraft' or 'malicious or wilful damage to property'.

There are also possible litigious cases from Renault for dragging the company's global name and image so publicly through the mud and Ferrari.

Felipe Massa had been leading the race when his compatriot Piquet crashed, but following the safety car intervention and a botched pit-stop, the Sao Paulista went on to take the chequered flag outside the points in 13th, before ultimately missing out on the drivers' world championship crown to McLaren rival Lewis Hamilton by just a single marker in the final reckoning.

"There is a clear causal link between the alleged cheating and the financial loss to Massa and his team, reasoned specialist sports lawyer Stephen Hornsby. As for Renault suing Briatore, that is possible too but Renault are unlikely to want to keep the matter going for little reward."
Crash.net / Eurosport
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post #33 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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Briatore: I sacrificed myself for the team

Briatore: I sacrificed myself for the team

Eurosport - Thu, 17 Sep 12:04:00 2009
Buzz Up!

Flavio Briatore said he sacrificed himself to save his Renault Formula One team but it will take more than the departure of a flamboyant Italian showman to repair the damage done by race-fixing revelations.
FORMULA 1 2009 - Renault principal Flavio Briatore in the pits during the qualifying session for the Italian GP - 0
More Stories

* Renault duo facing criminal charges
* What now for Renault?
* Renault race-fixing timeline
* The life and times of Flavio Briatore

"The worst act of cheating in the history of sport," declared the back page headline in The Times.

"I was just trying to save the team," Briatore said after Renault announced he and engineering head Pat Symonds had left the team after allegations they fixed last year's Singapore Grand Prix by ordering Brazilian Nelson Piquet to crash.

"It's my duty. That's the reason I've finished," he said.

Austria's triple champion Niki Lauda, who almost died in a fiery 1976 crash at the Nuerburgring, said the scandal marked a new low and the governing FIA needed to take a tough stance.

"The McLaren spying scandal two years ago was extremely serious but mechanics have always discussed technical data among themselves," he told the Daily Mail, referring to a controversy that cost McLaren a record $100 million fine.

"This, though, is new. The biggest damage ever. Now the FIA must punish Renault heavily to restore credibility in the sport."

Britain's Jackie Stewart, another triple champion, agreed.

"There is something fundamentally rotten and wrong at the heart of Formula One," he told The Sun. "Never in my experience has Formula One been in such a mood of self-destruction. Millions of fans are amazed, if not disgusted, at a sport which now goes from crisis to crisis with everyone blaming everyone else."

Formula One's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone, a co-owner with Briatore of Queens Park Rangers, refused to stand up for a man who had been seen by some as his eventual successor.

"It is a pity that Flavio has ended his Formula One career in this way," the 78-year-old told the Daily Mirror. "You can't defend him at all. What he did was completely unnecessary. It's a pity that its happened."

Ecclestone still could not resist making light of Briatore's predicament, suggesting he would now have more time to pick QPR's team, and said the sport that he has built into a billion dollar business would not suffer.

"He (Briatore) told me recently that he didn't want to finish up like me, playing with racing cars at my age. So at least he's been saved that embarrassment," he said.

"It (the sport) has recovered from so many things when people have said it was finished and it will recover from this. It was supposed to be finished when Ayrton Senna died. It was supposed to be finished when Michael Schumacher retired.

"People say its been a torrid year but it always is in F1. There's always something going on. It's never peaceful."
Reuters
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post #34 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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Consequences await former Renault F1 chiefs

Consequences await former Renault F1 chiefs

17/09/09 18:06

F1-Live.com

What next for Symonds and Briatore?
The loss of their jobs may not be the only ramifications faced by Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds after effectively admitting to race-fixing amid the 'crashgate' scandal, as the FIA's World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) meeting next Monday could result in lifetime bans on the pair.

But according to the Daily Telegraph, a guilty verdict could mean even more dramatic consequences, such as possible extradition to Singapore to face criminal charges for ordering a dangerous and violent incident to take place.

The British newspaper said other lawsuits are also possible, such as one on behalf of Felipe Massa or Ferrari, who might argue they lost the 2008 World Championship because of the events at the Singapore night race. However, such a move on the Italian team's part is unlikely.

The F1 chiefs' employer Renault SA, meanwhile, "may want to sue its former employees for allegedly bringing the company's name into disrepute," the Telegraph added. But specialist sports lawyer Stephen Hornsby said: "Renault are unlikely to want to keep the matter going for little reward."

In addition to his former team boss duties, also in the spotlight are Briatore's separate roles as a driver manager with his own firm FFBB and his co-ownership of the London football club Queens Park Rangers.


The Football League did not comment specifically, but the competition does not allow for an association with "anyone subject to a ban from the involvement in the administration of a sport by a sport's governing body." It is reported that the League is closely monitoring the situation.

The World Motor Sport Council, meanwhile, is tipped to look closely next Monday at the role played in the scandal by Briatore's apparent conflict of interest in being both Nelson Piquet's manager and his team boss.

An insider told the Guardian: "The wider implications for Flavio and others found to have put Piquet in this position, and what sanctions can be brought to prevent this happening again, are likely to be looked at by the WMSC."

As ever, Briatore's close friend Bernie Ecclestone found something ironic to say.

"He told me recently that he didn't want to finish up like me, playing with racing cars at my age," 78-year-old Ecclestone told the Daily Mirror. "So at least he's been saved that embarrassment."

D.B. © CAPSIS International
Source: GMM
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post #35 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-20-2009, 02:41 PM
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Massa could not have been even close to a championship if the FIA had not stolen Lewis Hamilton's victory at Spa and gifted it to Massa.

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post #36 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-20-2009, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
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Renault Faces Financial Hit Because of Formula 1 Cheat Scandal

Renault Faces Financial Hit Because of Formula 1 Cheat Scandal


By Alex Duff

Sept. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Renault SA faces a fine and a struggle to find a new sponsor because of the cheating scandal involving its Formula One team.

The squad said Sept. 16 it won’t dispute charges by the sport’s ruling body that it conspired for Nelson Piquet Jr. to crash at last year’s Singapore Grand Prix to help teammate Fernando Alonso win the race. In 2007, McLaren was fined $100 million for spying on rival Ferrari. Renault officials will attend a disciplinary hearing in Paris today.

The scandal will also hit the Renault F-1 team’s search for a sponsor to replace ING Groep NV with backing of as much as $90 million over the next three years, according to Mark Jenkins, a business strategy professor at the U.K.’s Cranfield University. ING announced it was quitting before the scandal.

“There are a lot of negative repercussions,” said Jenkins, who has written a book about Formula One. “One big question is: Where are they going to get sponsorship money from next year?”

The 24-year-old Piquet escaped injury as his car slammed into a concrete wall after 14 of 61 laps soon after Alonso had entered the pit lane. Alonso, who began the race in 15th place, moved up the field as other drivers followed him into the pits just after crash debris was cleared.

Brazil’s Piquet, the son of three-time world champion driver Nelson Piquet, gave evidence to ruling body Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, or FIA, about the incident after being dropped by Renault. He hadn’t finished higher than 10th in the first 10 races this year.

‘Damaging’

“In the short term the media spotlight will undoubtedly be damaging for Renault,” said Richard Houston, a brand strategist at Wolff Olins Ltd. The affair diverts attention from four all- electric prototype cars the French company launched last week at the Frankfurt Motor Show, he added.

Flavio Briatore, who led the team since it started, and engineering chief Pat Symonds left their posts Sept. 16. That may help diminish the sanction handed out by the FIA, according to Nazir Hossein, a former vice-president of the ruling body.

“The guys have gone, they’ve left and that speaks volumes,” Hossein said. “If the people responsible have gone would it be right to hurt Renault?”

Renault bought Benetton Group SpA’s team for $120 million in 2000 and its Spanish driver Alonso won the driving title in 2005 and 2006. Renault previously supplied engines to teams including Williams.

The French carmaker -- which will lose Alonso to Ferrari SpA’s team in November, according to Italian magazine Auto Sprint -- may seek to scale back its investment in Formula One because of the scandal, Jenkins said. Although in July it signed up to the series through 2012, it could relinquish management of the team, he said. Renault spokeswoman Patrizia Spinelli declined to comment.

“Renault may go back to being an engine provider and let other people take the risks,” Jenkins said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Duff in Madrid at aduff4@bloomberg.net
Last Updated: September 20, 2009 20:38 EDT
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post #37 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-21-2009, 09:46 AM
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Briatore is banned from F1 for life. Renault will be allowed to continue racing, two years under probation, no financial penalty...
Quite different from the McLaren-Mercedes penalty??
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post #38 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-21-2009, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Briatore forced to wind up management firm

Briatore forced to wind up management firm

21/09/09 17:06

F1-Live.com

Driver forced to seek new management
Despite resigning from his role as managing director of the Renault F1 team, Flavio Briatore still manages a number of high profile drivers. The findings of the World Motor Sport Council, which has banned him indefinitely from the sport, mean that he will no longer be able to continue driver management in any FIA sanctioned series and that any driver associated with him will not be eligible for a superlicence.

Briatore’s firm, FFBB, manages Heikki Kovalainen and Mark Webber as well as Renault Development Drivers such as Romain Grosjean and Lucas di Grassi. In the past he has managed Jarno Trulli and Fernando Alonso, amongst others.


In a fairly blunt statement the FIA made clear that any driver associated or managed by Briatore, will not be granted a superlicence - the essential qualification required to compete in Formula One. Kovalainen who is currently seeking a drive for next season will not be able to use the services of Briatore in his negotiations with McLaren or other potential teams.

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post #39 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-21-2009, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Briatore banned for life

Renault Escapes F-1 Ban in Singapore Cheating Scandal (Update2)
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By Laurence Frost and Alex Duff

Sept. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Renault SA’s team escaped a ban from Formula One for a race-fixing scandal. Former team manager Flavio Briatore was excluded from the sport for life.

Renault will only be kicked out if found guilty of a comparable breach through 2011, the auto racing series’ ruling body said on its Web site today. Pat Symonds, the team’s former engineering chief, got a five-year ban.

The Renault team said Sept. 16 it wouldn’t dispute charges by the ruling body that it conspired for Nelson Piquet Jr. to crash at last year’s Singapore Grand Prix to help teammate Fernando Alonso win the race.

The incident was of “unparalleled severity,” the ruling body, Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, said after a hearing at its offices in Paris today. The team “endangered the lives of spectators, officials, other competitors and Nelson Piquet Jr. himself.”

It’s the latest scandal to hit Formula One after the FIA fined McLaren $100 million in 2007 for spying on rival team Ferrari. It comes amid concern over future commercial support for F-1, after Honda Motor Co. announced its withdrawal last December and BMW AG said it will leave after this year’s series. ING Groep NV already announced it was withdrawing its sponsorship of the Renault team before the scandal broke.

Singapore Crash

Piquet escaped injury in Singapore as his car slammed into a concrete wall after 14 of 61 laps soon after Alonso had entered the pit lane. Alonso, who began the race in 15th place, moved up the field as other drivers followed him into the pits just after crash debris was cleared.

Only Briatore, Symonds and Piquet were involved in the conspiracy, the FIA said. Briatore and Symonds quit their posts last week.

Brazil’s Piquet Jr., the son of three-time world champion driver Nelson Piquet, gave evidence to the FIA about the incident after being dropped by Renault. He hadn’t finished higher than 10th in the first 10 races this year.

Piquet Jr. was granted immunity from punishment by the FIA for cooperating with their enquiries.

Renault agreed to remain in Formula One amid the negative publicity of the scandal, FIA President Max Mosley told reporters in Paris. In July, it signed up to race in the series through 2012. Renault spokeswoman Gita Roux said the carmaker had no immediate comment on Mosley’s remarks or on its future in the sport.

Road Safety

Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One’s chief executive, said he didn’t think the scandal would lead to Renault’s withdrawal from the sport.

“They’ve always said they were committed until 2012. I don’t see why they would rethink that now or at any time,” he said in a phone interview.

Renault, which apologized for its behavior, also agreed to make a “significant” contribution to FIA road safety projects.

“They’re going to do an awful lot for safety improvements,” Ecclestone said. “It’s more sensible than a fine really.”

Briatore, a former Benetton Group SpA executive who confesses to knowing little about cars, entered Formula One as commercial director of the apparel company’s team in 1989. He became team manager in 1991.

Briatore Background

He hired Michael Schumacher, who won the 1994 and 1995 driving championships for Benetton -- the first of his record seven titles. Briatore joined Renault after it bought Benetton’s team for $120 million.

Briatore oversaw Alonso’s driving championship wins in 2005 and 2006, when Renault also won the constructors’ championships.

He’s also part-owner of Queens Park Rangers, a second-tier English soccer team.

In a statement, Piquet Jr. said he “bitterly” regretted his actions “to follow the orders I was given. I wish every day that I had not done it.”

He said he still hoped to resurrect his racing career.

“I am so sorry to those who work in Formula One (including the many good people at Renault), the fans and the governing body,” he said. “I do not expect this to be forgiven or forgotten but at least now people can draw their conclusions based upon what really happened.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Laurence Frost in Paris at lfrost4@bloomberg.net; Alex Duff in Madrid at aduff4@bloomberg.net.
Last Updated: September 21, 2009 10:28 EDT
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post #40 of 55 (permalink) Old 09-21-2009, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Football League looks at Briatore

BBC SPORT
Football League looks at Briatore

The Football League has asked Formula 1's governing body the FIA for more details of Flavio Briatore's ban.

The Queens Park Rangers co-owner and ex-Renault team boss has been suspended indefinitely from FIA-sanctioned events over the F1 race-fixing scandal.

According to Football League rules, nobody can be a director or hold a majority interest in a club if they are banned from a sport's governing body.

The league said it will consider its position once the FIA has replied.

The 59-year-old Italian left his post as Renault team principal last week, along with executive director of engineering Pat Symonds, after the team decided not to contest FIA charges of fixing the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

The charges were brought after Nelson Piquet Jr claimed he had been asked to crash in order to help team-mate Fernando Alonso.

At a World Motor Sport Council hearing on Monday, Briatore was banned with the FIA adding that it would not grant a licence to any team he was involved with or renew an F1 Superlicence granted to any driver associated with him.

Briatore is co-owner of QPR along with F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal.

He is also chairman of the holding company that owns the club and a director on the board of the Championship side.

The Loftus Road club have refused to comment on the FIA's findings.
Story from BBC SPORT:
BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Q | QPR | Football League looks at Briatore

Published: 2009/09/21 17:08:31 GMT

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