Renault escape permanent Formula One ban

Renault have been given a suspended permanent disqualification from Formula One after motor sport's governing body ruled on Nelson Piquet Jr's crash during last year's Singapore Grand Prix.

Piquet Jr claimed in sworn statements to the FIA he was ordered to crash his car a few hours prior to the sport's first night race, to aid the cause of team-mate Fernando Alonso.

Depite admitting the "unparalleled severity" merited permanent disqualification, the World Motorsport Council instead suspended the punishment for two years after taking into consideration the steps taken by Renault "to identify and address the failings within its team and condemn the actions of the individuals involved".





The FIA has effectively handed Flavio Briatore a lifetime ban from motor sport, as well as determining he should not manage any drivers. There are currently four prominent F1 stars in his stable.



The flamboyant Italian insisted no wrongdoing took place during last year's race in Singapore, but the council decided he was "complicit", also ruling that he continued "to deny his participation in the breach despite all the evidence".

Pat Symonds, who resigned from his role as the team's executive director of engineering last week, has been handed a five-year ban from motor sport.

Following the hearing at the FIA headquarters in Paris, the WMSC gave Symonds a more lenient sentence than Briatore as he accepted his part in the conspiracy, as well as communicating to the 26 members of the council that he participated in the event to his "eternal regret and shame".



Describing the action taken against Briatore, a FIA statement read: "The World Motor Sport Council declares that, for an unlimited period, the FIA does not intend to sanction any international event, championship, cup, trophy, challenge or series involving Mr Briatore in any capacity whatsoever, or grant any license to any team or other entity engaging M. Briatore in any capacity whatsoever.

"It also hereby instructs all officials present at FIA-sanctioned events not to permit Mr Briatore access to any areas under the FIA's jurisdiction.

"Furthermore, it does not intend to renew any Superlicence granted to any driver who is associated (through a management contract or otherwise) with Mr Briatore, or any entity or individual associated with Mr Briatore.

"In determining that such instructions should be applicable for an unlimited period, the World Motor Sport Council has had regard not only to the severity of the breach in which Mr Briatore was complicit, but also to his actions in continuing to deny his participation in the breach despite all the evidence."

Briatore currently has management contracts with Fernando Alonso, Heikki Kovalainen, Mark Webber, Romain Grosjean and Piquet Jnr.

To aid their case, Renault made the following points in mitigation:

* accepting, at the earliest practicable opportunity, that it committed the offences with which it was charged and co-operated fully with the FIA's investigation.

* confirming Mr Briatore and Mr Symonds were involved in the conspiracy and ensured that they left the team.

* apologising unreservedly to the FIA and to the sport for the harm caused by its actions.

* committing to paying the costs incurred by the FIA in its investigation.

* Renault - the parent company, as opposed to Renault F1 - committing to making a significant contribution to FIA safety-related projects.

Following the hearing, a Renault statement read: "We are very sad to find ourselves in front of the World Motor Sport Council today.

"By way of background, as a result of our own enquiries, we informed the FIA last week that we would not defend the charges and we accepted our responsibilities in relation to the incident in Singapore and we immediately took appropriate action inside the team.

"Today, we fully accept the decision of the Council. We apologise unreservedly to the F1 community in relation to this unacceptable behaviour.

"We sincerely hope we can soon put this matter behind us and focus constructively on the future. We will issue further information in the next few days."



The WMSC also confirmed the immunity from individual sanctions granted to Piquet Jnr, who apologised unreservedly for his part in the conspiracy, in exchange for volunteering his evidence.

With regards to Alonso, who went on to win the race on September 28 last year, the Council thanked the double world champion for co-operating with the FIA's enquiries and for attending the meeting.

The Council concluded Alonso was not in any way involved in Renault F1's breach of the regulations.

Speaking after the hearing in relation to the penalty, Mosley said: "I think it's the right decision.

"I think the blame has been placed where the blame should be placed.

"The penalty we have imposed is the harshest one we can inflict, which is disqualification, and it is complete expulsion from the sport.

"However, because Renault have demonstrated they had absolutely no moral responsibility for what took place - that's to say Renault F1 the team didn't know, and still less of course the company - it would be wrong in the circumstances to impose an immediate penalty."

As to Briatore, Mosley added: "It's sad because he's been in motor sport for 20 years, more actually.

"It's sad to see a career end like that, but what else could we do?"

With regard Renault's future in F1, when asked whether they would remain in the sport, as they are committed to do through to the end of 2012, Mosley issued a firm "yes."

News
Patrick Stewart in the classiest ice bucket to date
people
News
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea was left red faced but, thankfully, unhurt after taking a few too many steps backwards, sending her tumbling off the stage.
peopleIggy Azalea was left red faced but apparently unhurt after taking a few too many steps backwards
News
newsComedian Lee Hurst started trend with first tweet using the hashtag
News
The current recommendation from Britain's Chief Medical Officer, is that people refrain from drinking on at least two days a week
food + drinkTheory is that hangovers are caused by methanol poisoning
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A nearly completed RoboThespian robot inside the Engineered Arts workshop is tested in Penryn, England. The Cornish company, operating from an industrial unit near Falmouth, is the world's only maker of commercially available life sized humanoid robots
techSuper-intelligent robots could decide destroying the human race is the kindest thing to do
News
scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
News
newsRyan Crighton goes in search of the capo dei capi
Life and Style
techConcept would see planes coated in layer of micro-sensors and able to sense wear and tear
Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
Extras
indybest

Arts and Entertainment
Actors front row from left, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyongío Jr., and, second row, from left, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyongío and Angelina Jolie as they pose for a
film
Sport
sport
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition