Currently reading: Briatore, Symonds leave Renault
F1 team chiefs leave, Renault won't dispute race-fix allegations

Renault team boss Flavio Briatore and engineering chief Pat Symonds have parted company with the team - and Renault has said it will "not dispute" the allegations of race-fixing when it appears before the World Motor Sport Council next week.

The team had been accused of asking driver Nelson Piquet to crash deliberately during last year's Singapore Grand Prix in order to cause a safety car period that would work to his team-mate Fernando Alonso's advantage. The Spaniard went on to win the race.

Alan Henry blog - Are team orders and race fixing the same thing?

"The ING Renault F1 Team will not dispute the recent allegations made by the FIA concerning the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix," said a statement from the team.

"It also wishes to state that its managing director, Flavio Briatore and its executive director of engineering, Pat Symonds, have left the team.

"Before attending the hearing before the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris on 21 September 2009, the team will not make any further comment."

Shortly before losing his drive with Renault, Piquet approached the FIA with the allegation that Briatore and Symonds had asked him to cause a deliberate accident that would bring out the safety car in Singapore, and that his heavy crash on lap 14 of the race had therefore been pre-planned.

Alonso - who had been a contender for pole until a qualifying fuel pump failure left him only 15th on the grid - had made a very early pitstop just before the caution caused by Piquet's crash and duly vaulted to the front of the field, from where he delivered Renault's first victory of a difficult season.

FIA investigators quizzed Briatore, Symonds and other team members over the incident during the Belgian GP weekend, and subsequently announced that the team would face a World Motor Sport Council hearing in Paris on 21 September.

Evidence, including Piquet's statement, telemetry details and radio transmissions, was leaked to the media during last weekend's Monza event, which also saw Renault announce that it would take legal action against Piquet and his triple world champion father Nelson, accusing both of blackmail.

The saga then took another twist when it emerged that the FIA had offered Symonds immunity at the hearing in exchange for full disclosure of the facts surrounding the Singapore incident.

According to, as the Renault team - rather than Briatore and Symonds themselves - has been charged over the allegations, today's announcement by the team is unlikely to have any bearing on next week's hearing.

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Broom Broom 18 September 2009

Re: Briatore, Symonds leave Renault

danny bahr wrote:
Are you bucking for Briatore's defence brief?

No, I think he's more likely to get things sorted-out with something far more covert, shall we say, than you'll never know about.

danny bahr wrote:
Do yourself a favour pal, cut out the waffle and cut to the chase: Briatore publcly accused Piquet Sr. of blackmail.

I didn't want to say that, because only a bit of a plonker would've included that in my wonderful exaltation of Joe Bananas. Briatore is as vulnerable to blackmail as anyone. Are you Peter Cavellini's schizophrenic altered consciousness, prithee?

danny bahr wrote:
How would you feel if a person had done that to you? Would you pass it off as 'spice', the mere actions of a bounder? No...

Yes, I'd say it was very spicy, and think, "What a bounder!" Yes. Not no. Yes!

danny bahr wrote:
Briatore is a proven liar, a defamator of character, a criminal libeler and a perverter of the course of justice.

Nobody ain't don't nuffink to prove Briatore is a provable liar, a derfleburger or a labelling gun, so I don't know where you're going with that one. As for being perverter, Shirley, Mosley is even perverter that Flavio, Peter.

danny bahr wrote:
I'm sure others can think of other charges, relating to wilful endangerment of spectators at a public event. F1 is a circus. Okay, if that's what the masses want. But some still wish to call a spade a spade and see Briatore and his ilk as scum and the 'sport' of F1 as a sick, very expensive joke, that was indulged once when money was apparently limitless. The real tale underneath all this is the money is running out and it's making the actors show their true colours as they panic seeing the end of their priviliged, bacchanalian life.

Peter? Do you not like Flavio Briatore or something?

Lee23404 17 September 2009

Re: Briatore, Symonds leave Renault

danny bahr wrote:
Briatore publcly accused Piquet Sr. of blackmail. He requested criminal proceedings be instigated against him. How would you feel if a person had done that to you?

Just because Flav appears to be guilty as charged it doesn't mean that the Piquets aren't guilty of blackmail. The two things are separate issues are they not? Strange how this all came out shortly after Piquet was sacked.

We'll have to wait and see if there's anything it that one, although I suspect that all concerned will want this episode over asap.

230SL 17 September 2009

Re: Briatore, Symonds leave Renault

Briatore, the bloke has history, would you give him responsibilities? Renault must have been out of their minds getting involved with this bloke.