Renault guilty of race fixing

Is the penalty given to Renault fair?

  • Yes

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No – too lenient

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    18

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Renault have been found guilty of race fixing and have been given a 2 year suspended ban.

What now for Renault? Does that put paid to the rumours of them leaving the sport or does it signal their departure from Formula One?

Summary
  • 2 year suspended ban
  • Briatore banned for life from FIA events
  • Symonds banned for 5 years from FIA events
  • No punishment for Piquet
  • No change to race & championship results, points or monies received
  • No fine
  • Alonso an innocent party
Verdict
The World Motor Sport Council considers Renault F1’s breaches relating to the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix to be of unparalleled severity. Renault F1’s breaches not only compromised the integrity of the sport but also endangered the lives of spectators, officials, other competitors and Nelson Piquet Jr. himself. The World Motor Sport Council considers that offences of this severity merit permanent disqualification from the FIA Formula One World Championship. However, having regard to the points in mitigation mentioned above and in particular the steps taken by Renault F1 to identify and address the failings within its team and condemn the actions of the individuals involved, the WMSC has decided to suspend Renault F1’s disqualification until the end of the 2011 season. The World Motor Sport Council will only activate this disqualification if Renault F1 is found guilty of a comparable breach during that time.
Is it a fair penalty?
Do McLaren have a case for complaint now considering the effective penalty is nil for what is a far more serious crime (according to the FIA - "unparalleled severity", "endangered the lives of spectators, officials, other competitors and Nelson Piquet Jr. himself") than McLaren were found guilty of, for which they received a $100 million fine?

The wording the FIA use to describe the incident seems to be at odds with the penalty.

World Motor Sport Council Press Release
[BOX=400]At an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council held in Paris on 21 September 2009, the ING Renault F1 team (“Renault F1”) admitted that the team had conspired with its driver Nelson Piquet Jr. to cause a deliberate crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, in breach of the International Sporting Code and F1 Sporting Regulations.

Renault F1 stated at the meeting that it had conducted a detailed internal investigation, which found that: (i) Flavio Briatore, Pat Symonds and Nelson Piquet Jr. had conspired to cause the crash; and (ii) no other team member was involved in the conspiracy.

The FIA has conducted its own detailed investigation and its findings correspond with those of Renault F1.

At the meeting of the World Motor Sport Council, Renault F1 made the following points in mitigation:

- it had accepted, at the earliest practicable opportunity, that it committed the offences with which it was charged and cooperated fully with the FIA’s investigation;
- it had confirmed that Mr. Briatore and Mr. Symonds were involved in the conspiracy and ensured that they left the team;
- it apologised unreservedly to the FIA and to the sport for the harm caused by its actions;
- it committed to paying the costs incurred by the FIA in its investigation; and
- Renault (the parent company, as opposed to Renault F1) committed to making a significant contribution to FIA safety-related projects.

Nelson Piquet Jr. also apologised unreservedly to the World Motor Sport Council for his part in the conspiracy.

The following decision was taken:

The World Motor Sport Council finds that Renault F1 team members Flavio Briatore, Pat Symonds and Nelson Piquet Jr. conspired to cause a deliberate crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. The World Motor Sport Council therefore finds Renault F1, which, under article 123 of the International Sporting Code, is responsible for the actions of its employees, in breach of Articles 151(c) and point 2(c) of Chapter IV of Appendix L of the Code, and Articles 3.2, 30.3 and/or 39.1 of the Formula One Sporting Regulations.

The World Motor Sport Council considers Renault F1’s breaches relating to the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix to be of unparalleled severity. Renault F1’s breaches not only compromised the integrity of the sport but also endangered the lives of spectators, officials, other competitors and Nelson Piquet Jr. himself. The World Motor Sport Council considers that offences of this severity merit permanent disqualification from the FIA Formula One World Championship. However, having regard to the points in mitigation mentioned above and in particular the steps taken by Renault F1 to identify and address the failings within its team and condemn the actions of the individuals involved, the WMSC has decided to suspend Renault F1’s disqualification until the end of the 2011 season. The World Motor Sport Council will only activate this disqualification if Renault F1 is found guilty of a comparable breach during that time.

In addition the World Motor Sport Council notes Renault F1’s apology and agrees that the team should pay the costs of the investigation. It also accepts the offer of a significant contribution to the FIA’s safety work.

As regards Mr. Briatore, 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 Mr. 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.

As regards Mr. Symonds, the World Motor Sport Council declares that, for a period of five years, the FIA does not intend to sanction any International Event, Championship, Cup, Trophy, Challenge or Series involving Mr. Symonds in any capacity whatsoever, or grant any license to any Team or other entity engaging Mr. Symonds in any capacity whatsoever. It hereby instructs, for a period of five years, all officials present at FIA-sanctioned events not to permit Mr. Symonds access to any areas under the FIA’s jurisdiction. In determining that such instructions should be effective for a period of five years the World Motor Sport Council has had regard: (i) to Mr. Symonds’ acceptance that he took part in the conspiracy; and (ii) to his communication to the meeting of the World Motor Sport Council that it was to his “eternal regret and shame” that he participated in the conspiracy.

As regards Mr. Piquet Jr., the World Motor Sport Council confirms the immunity from individual sanctions under the International Sporting Code in relation to this incident, which the FIA had granted to him in exchange for volunteering his evidence.

As regards Fernando Alonso, the World Motor Sport Council thanks him for cooperating with the FIA’s enquiries and for attending the meeting, and concludes that Mr. Alonso was not in any way involved in Renault F1’s breach of the regulations.

The World Motor Sport Council would like to thank the Stewards and legal investigation team (in particular Dorothy Cory-Wright of Sidley Austin LLP who conducted the interviews at the Belgian Grand Prix).

The full reasons for this decision, in addition to a complete recording of the proceedings before the World Motor Sport Council, will be made available shortly.[/quote]
FIA Press Release

World Motor Sport Council Documents

WMSC Decision

WMSC Dossier
 

Attachments

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Not entirely unexpected given Renault admitted the whole thing. Also, Flav banned for an unlimited period and Symonds banned for 5 years. Flav will have to go back to selling pull overs LOL

Nothing about revising the results from last years race. Would that have been appropriate given that Alonso knew nothing of the plan but was the main beneficiary?
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Just noticed another snippet.

Not only has Briatore been banned for life but so has anyone involved with him.
Presumably that puts paid to him managing any drivers.

And as Symonds has been banned we must assume he didn't take the immunity that was offered by the FIA.
Did he think it would be better in the long term to side with Briatore than the FIA?
 

bogaTYR

Points Scorer
as expected. dont think they could have decided much else now the two main culprits have left the building.

oh well, football is a nice sport too, flav. lots of supermodels visiting. but what symonds is going to do is another one. but i feel no real sorry for either of them.

thank god this is over.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff member
Premium Contributor
I've gone for "too lenient" for one reason only.

Renault should have been disqualified from the Singapore race. There seems to be a hazy distinction between driver and team at the moment. As far as I'm concerned weather he knew about it or not, Alonso gained a victory due to his team cheating. Would he have won the race without the intervention of Piquet etc? Of course the answer is no and therefore the result should not stand.

As we know the change in points would make very little difference to the WDC/WCC standings that there is little point removing them however the win will forever be tainted and should not stand.

I once again find myself dissapointed with the FIA for not taking this action becuase it will stand on both Alonso's and Renaults records now as a win when it quite obviously shouldn't. Another missed opportunity.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Renault have made a "significant contribution" towards FIA safety projects - we can only guess at how much.

If it is true that these two cooked it up between them then I think the penalty is appropriate.

McLaren claimed to have done an internal investigation but subsequently the Alonso - de la Rosa emails emerged - hence the more severe penalty (personally I'd say what McLaren did was worse anyway, but it's arguable).

Any drivers who are still managed by Briatore (Grosjean? Not sure) will have to find themselves new representation.

As for Pat, by the sound of it he had an attack of conscience between the Spa weekend and the date of the hearing.
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
What a :censored: joke

A suspended ban? until the new concorde agreement runs out?

Pathetic.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Indeed c_a_t, there's a case to be made regaring the win, points, money and pit garage allocation.

I'm surprised that the effective punishment is absolutely nothing.
As long as Renault keep their nose clean for the next 2 years then they will have effectively gained from the whole issue.

The wording used by the FIA to describe the incident is totally at odds with the punishment.

The World Motor Sport Council considers Renault F1’s breaches relating to the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix to be of unparalleled severity. Renault F1’s breaches not only compromised the integrity of the sport but also endangered the lives of spectators, officials, other competitors and Nelson Piquet Jr. himself. The World Motor Sport Council considers that offences of this severity merit permanent disqualification from the FIA Formula One World Championship.
So the offence is (one of) the worst ever and worthy of being permanently banned and yet the actual penalty is a suspended 2 year ban?

McLaren must be quietly fuming.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff member
Premium Contributor
Yeah Bro, and if you read the wording of the statement, for the ban to be invoked they have to comit an offence of equal severity. Therefore in the next two years Renault would be ok unless they comit an offence equal to, in the words of the FIA, one of the worst ever seen in the sport.
 

RickD

Pole Sitter
The Farcial International Automatons strike again. This is far too lenient in the respect of the result for Singapore standing as is.

Also, McLaren may be consulting their lawyers along with a lot of bookmakers and any other interested party. How many lawsuits do you think will be started before this affair is put to bed?
 

Muddytalker

Points Scorer
cider_and_toast said:
I've gone for "too lenient" for one reason only.

Renault should have been disqualified from the Singapore race. There seems to be a hazy distinction between driver and team at the moment. As far as I'm concerned weather he knew about it or not, Alonso gained a victory due to his team cheating. Would he have won the race without the intervention of Piquet etc? Of course the answer is no and therefore the result should not stand.

As we know the change in points would make very little difference to the WDC/WCC standings that there is little point removing them however the win will forever be tainted and should not stand.

I once again find myself dissapointed with the FIA for not taking this action becuase it will stand on both Alonso's and Renaults records now as a win when it quite obviously shouldn't. Another missed opportunity.
It's a good point. When BAR were found guilty of having the 'extra fuel tank', they and the drivers were banned for 2 races, BAR and the drivers were disqualified from the Imola results. I also went for too lenient, I would also have liked Renault's construction points to be removed for this year, as were McLaren's in 2007.
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
I had to vote "unsure" because of the dearth of information regarding who originated the idea in the first place. If it was Flab, then the punishment seems too light. If, as has been suggested, it was NPJ who came up with the idea, then the punishment seems appropriate, except for the immunity given to NPJ. I am really disappointed that the "investigation" left that important question unanswered.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
I believe the FIA will be publishing a document outlining the investigation in more detail soon.

Hopefully that will clear up some of the unanswered questions.
 

Porceliamone

This cost me a tenner, but so L'Oreal.
Contributor
I think the decision if fair enough, taking into account that it really does seem that there were only three people involved who clandestinely risked the reputation, livelyhoods and careers of their entire team.

Also, the true 'powers that be' within Renault took absolute and immediate action within the team once they had the facts.

To have banned Renault completely would have done F1 no favours whasoever in the grand scheme of things.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
When you consider Renault were banned for a race (later revoked) earlier this year due to releasing Alonso from the pits with an unsafe wheel which subsequently came loose, this penalty seems all the more surreal.

I agree that permanently banning Renault from F1 wouldn't help the sport but it does seem a fairly lenient punishment when compared with the Alonso wheel incident or the Honda fuel tank situation.

This particular incident had elements of both - cheating and safety issues.
 

RickD

Pole Sitter
Porceliamone said:
Also, the true 'powers that be' within Renault took absolute and immediate action within the team once they had the facts.
No they didn't. This has been floating around for nearly a year. Renault have their telemetry and should have been able to spot this a mile off.

If they had done something about this over the winter, I could have understood it, but to leave it this long shows some level of involvement from the Renault team itself.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Nelsinho Piquet speaks.

21/09/09 - Nelson Piquet - Statement

21 September 2009

I am relieved that the FIA investigation has now been concluded. Those now running the Renault F1 Team took the decision, as I did, that it is better that the truth be known and accept the consequences. The most positive thing to come from bringing this to the attention of the FIA is that nothing like it will ever happen again.

I bitterly regret my actions to follow the orders I was given. I wish every day that I had not done it.

I don't know how far my explanation will go to making people understand because for many being a racing driver is an amazing privilege, as it was for me. All I can tell you is that my situation at Renault turned into a nightmare. Having dreamed of being a Formula One driver and having worked so hard to get there, I found myself at the mercy of Mr Briatore. His true character, which had previously only been known to those he had treated like this in the past, is now known.

Mr Briatore was my manager as well as the team boss, he had my future in his hands but he cared nothing for it. By the time of the Singapore GP he had isolated me and driven me to the lowest point I had ever reached in my life. Now that I am out of that situation I cannot believe that I agreed to the plan, but when it was put to me I felt that I was in no position to refuse. Listening now to Mr Briatore?s reaction to my crash and hearing the comments he has made to the press over the last two weeks it is clear to me that I was simply being used by him then to be discarded and left to ridicule.

I have had to learn some very difficult lessons over the last 12 months and reconsider what is valuable in life. What has not changed is my love for Formula One and hunger to race again. I realise that I have to start my career from zero. I can only hope that a team will recognise how badly I was stifled at Renault and give me an opportunity to show what I promised in my career in F3 and GP2. What can be assured is that there will be no driver in Formula One as determined as me to prove myself.

As my final words on this matter, I would like to repeat that I am so sorry to those who work in Formula One (including the many good people at Renault) the fans and the governing body. I do not expect this to be forgiven or forgotten but at least now people can draw their conclusions based upon what really happened.
http://www.npiquet.com/news.asp?NewsID=340
 

fat jez

Race Winner
Valued Member
I don't think they could remove results from Renault's record, as the results now stand - i.e. the 2008 championship was concluded and the results have to stand. The difference between this and BAR being banned for 2 races was that BAR were found guilty during the season. From memory, the championship is not awarded until the end of that year, where presumably the gap between the last race of the season and the championship being decided is to allow for any shenanigans to be investigated. Once the championship is awarded, all results stand.
 
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