Renault agree to pay damages to Piquet

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The Independent Online

The Renault Formula One team apologised unreservedly to triple world champion Nelson Piquet and his son yesterday and agreed to pay them substantial damages for libel resulting from 2009 race-fixing allegations.

Piquet Jnr triggered one of the sport's biggest scandals last year when he told the governing FIA that he had been ordered to crash deliberately at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix to help team-mate Fernando Alonso win.

Former champions Renault, who were subsequently handed a suspended permanent ban, had issued a media release last September accusing the Brazilians of lying as part of a blackmail attempt.

"The Team accepts ... that the allegations made by Nelson Piquet Junior were not false," Renault said in a statement read out in the London High Court. "It [the team] also accepts that Mr Piquet Junior and his father did not invent these allegations in order to blackmail the team."