Motorsport legend Nelson Piquet and son Nelsinho accept damages from F1 team
Tuesday 07 December 2010
Motorsport legend Nelson Piquet and his racing driver son Nelsinho today accepted substantial undisclosed libel damages from the Renault Formula One Team.
The pair had brought proceedings in London's High Court against Renault F1 Team Limited over a September 2009 press release.
Their counsel, David Sherborne, told Mr Justice Eady that it suggested that "Nelson Piquet Junior and his father had lied by making false allegations that he and members of the team had caused a deliberate accident at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix to benefit the Team's other driver."
He added that the press release came at a time when, as the defendant knew, the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) was investigating the circumstances of the crash.
"The defendant's press release also suggested that the claimants had not only lied in making these allegations but that they had deliberately invented them in order to blackmail the defendant into allowing Mr Piquet Junior to drive for the Team for the remainder of the 2009 season, and they were therefore guilty of a serious criminal offence."
Mr Sherborne said the defendant fully accepted - as it did before the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) of the FIA and as found by the WMSC in its decision of September 21 2009 - that the allegations made by Nelson Piquet Junior were not false.
"Renault F1 Team also accepts that Mr Piquet Junior and his father did not invent these allegations in order to blackmail the team."
Counsel said that, as a result, the serious allegations in the press release were wholly untrue and unfounded, and the defendant now withdrew them unreservedly.
"The defendant is here through its lawyer in order to apologise to the claimants unreservedly for this regrettable publication.
"As a mark of its apology and regret, the defendant has agreed to pay the claimants substantial damages and costs, as well as not to repeat these allegations at any time in the future."
He added that it was an unfortunate but not surprising consequence of the sensational nature of the allegations that they were widely republished throughout the press.
"It is hoped that through the making of this statement, the defendant's apology and unequivocal withdrawal of these allegations will also be picked up and repeated throughout the media.
"In the circumstances, having achieved everything they set out to achieve through the commencement of legal proceedings, the claimants are now prepared to let the matter rest."
Advocate Amber Melville-Brown confirmed that Renault F1 Team Limited fully accepted that the suggestion that the claimants had lied by making false allegations was wholly untrue, and apologised unreservedly for the hurt and distress caused.
Neither father nor son were in court.
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: David De Gea could leave for FREE; £38m for Marquinhos; £37m bid for Mats Hummels;
Transfer talk: Juan Cuadrado Chelsea move imminent; Manchester United eye Nathaniel Clyne; Andre Schurrle medical at Wolfsburg
Danny Ings to Liverpool: The Reds attempt to steal a march on rivals in race to sign Burnley striker
Kim Sears 'swearing' outburst threatens to overshadow Andy Murray's Australian Open semi-final win
Kim Sears: Andy Murray defends fiancée's for outburst after a bad-tempered march to final
- 1 Woman falls to her death as she celebrates marriage proposal at the edge of Ibiza cliff
- 3 Dad attempts revenge on teenage daughter, plan backfires spectacularly
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures