Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
Location: Los Angeles / Hannover Germany
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Permane is 'Witness X'
Permane is 'Witness X'
Eurosport - Tue, 29 Sep 16:17:00 2009
The identity of 'Witness X', who provided vital evidence which earned Renault managing director Flavio Briatore a lifelong ban from motorsport, has been reported to be chief race engineer Alan Permane.
The Daily Mail said Permane, a respected longstanding member of both the team and the F1 community, is the identity of the witness previously known only to FIA President Max Mosley and a small team of key legal advisors.
Rumours had circulated that the man in question was Renault driver Fernando Alonso, who benefited from the 'fix' by winning the Singapore Grand Prix after team-mate and chief whistle-blower Nelson Piquet Jr crashed.
Renault were handed a two-year suspended exclusion from competition by the FIA's World Motor Sport Council, while executive director of engineering Pat Symonds was penalised with a five-year ban from Formula One.
The documents released by the WMSC following the trial stated: "Renault F1 referred to the existence of another member of the Renault F1 team who, although not a conspirator himself, knew of the conspiracy at the time of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.
"When the FIA's advisors interviewed Witness X, he expressly confirmed that Mr. Briatore was involved in the conspiracy because Witness X had been personally present at a meeting shortly after qualifying on Saturday 27 September 2008 when Mr. Symonds had mentioned the possibility of a crash plan to Mr. Briatore.
"Witness X confirmed that Mr. Briatore had known of the deliberate crash plan before it had been put into effect. (Witness X) was told of the idea suggested by Nelson Piquet Jr by Mr. Symonds, whilst in the presence of Mr. Briatore.
"(Witness X) objected to the idea... and sought to distance himself from it. He did not know the plan was to be carried into effect until the crash happened.
"As a result of the evidence, including Mr. Piquet's admission, Mr. Symonds's responses and (Witness X's) evidence, Renault F1 concluded that they and Mr. Briatore must have known about the conspiracy."
Crash.Net / Eurosport