Flavio Briatore quits Renault F1 team in Crashgate scandal
This came in light with the recent investigations by the FIA on the incident and was revealed by Piquet Jr himself after he was sacked from the team. The Renault F1 team has announced that they will not dispute the allegations which resulted in the resignation of 2 of their top profile people.
According to a statement released by Renault F1, “The ING Renault F1 Team will not dispute the recent allegations made by the FIA concerning the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. 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.”
The incident, which was also dubbed the ‘crashgate’ scandal will be reviewed on Monday at the FIA headquarters based in Paris by the World Motor Sport Council. Despite the resignations, the team could still face disciplinary actions which might see the team being banned. The charge by the FIA on Renault is to be “conspiring with its driver, Nelson Piquet Jnr, to cause a deliberate crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix with the aim of causing the deployment of the safety car to the advantage of its other driver, Fernando Alonso”.
Apparently, according to Piquet Jr, who released 2 detailed statements accounting to the events that led to his crash in Singapore, he claimed that Briatore and Symonds met him a few hours before the race to crash his car, with details of where and when he should do as instructed. He did so as told and in turn 17 during lap 14, he crashed at the point where there would be no cranes available thereby forcing race stewards to call in the Safety Car. This would eventually provide Alonso the advantage to catch up and win the race as he had just pitted.
The incident came into light after Picquet Jr’s father, Nelson Piquet Sr revealed the allegations in public and an investigation took place which showed that Piquet Jr had accelerated before crashing instead of jamming on the brakes which is pretty much a basic instinctive maneuver.
Bernie Ecclestone, the Formula 1 supremo expressed his disappointment with Briatore of the scandal, saying that “I feel sorry for him actually. Obviously, I’m surprised at what has happened, and I’m taken by surprise today that they’ve decided to walk away. I’ve no idea what will happen. We’ll have to wait and see. To be honest with you, I don’t want to make any comments about the World Council.”