Former Renault F1 boss explains why he left the team
17 September 2009

Former Renault F1 boss Flavio Briatore has said he left the team in order to save it, ahead of the decisive FIA meeting to face allegations of race-fixing.

The Italian, together with director of engineering Pat Symonds, left the team on Wednesday.

The French outfit said in a statement it would not dispute the allegations of fixing the result of last year's Singapore Grand Prix.

Briatore said he felt it was his duty to quit Renault, hoping the FIA will take a more lenient view.

"I was just trying to save the team. It's my duty. That's the reason I've finished," Briatore was quoted as saying by British newspapers.

Briatore and Symonds could potentially be extradited to Singapore to face criminal charges in connection with the race-fixing claims.

The Times newspaper also says there are legal challenges open to Ferrari and its driver, Felipe Massa, who missed out on last year's world drivers' crown by a single point, and to Renault itself, which may want to sue its former employees for allegedly bringing the company's name into disrepute.

However, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone insisted the scandal wouldn't damage the sport.

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

"He 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.

"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 it's been a torrid year, but it always is in F1. There's always something going on. It's never peaceful."

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17 September 2009

Quote: "However, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone insisted the scandal wouldn't damage the sport."
I just had to laugh at this. How many scandals do Bernie and Max think the sport can shrug off! And was Bernie's father the captain of a large, rather infamous, 'unsinkable' ship?

17 September 2009

[quote noluddite]How many scandals do Bernie and Max think the sport can shrug off![/quote]

The racing is only a small part of F1. The sport feeds off this kind of story and it will do it no harm at all. Purists might disapprove - I do - but that is just the way it is.

As for Flav trying to save Renault, that is a laugh. The day before he was trying to get Petit Piquet jailed for blackmail.

18 September 2009

Yeah Flav, and I got married to avoid disappointing the thousands of fit, fertile and up for it females I was constantly fighting off every Friday night.

19 September 2009

I think Renault is much bigger than you Flav, however large your ego is, it's not as large and important as the Renault brand and company. There must have been a size 10 footprint and the Renault logo imprinted on your backside as you 'left' the team to 'save' it.

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