F1 News, Views and Reviews

Briatore and Symonds See Bans Reduced To 3 Years As Crash-Gate Scandal Closed

Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds, the two synonymous names of the Renault Formula One Team, best known for their starring roles in the crash-gate scandal have seen their lifetime Formula One bans reduced to 3 years this evening.

Briatore and Symonds were involved in a plot with Nelson Piquet Jnr, asking him to crash his Renault F1 car at the 2008 Singaporean Grand Prix to allow team mate Fernando Alonso the best opportunity to win.  In exchange he would win a contract for the 2009 season.  He crashed, and Alonso won the race.  It was not until mid way through 2009 when Piquet was fired from Renault that he made the accusations, and the truth of the victory came to light.

Briatore and Symonds were immediately fired and handed life time bans, Piquet left F1 and has been branded as totally unemployable within the sport.

An official statement read:

“After discussions between their lawyers and those of the FIA, Mr Flavio Briatore and Mr Pat Symonds have each made a settlement offer to the FIA President with a view to putting an immediate end to the legal proceedings. Each of them recognising his share of responsibility for the deliberate crash involving the driver Nelson Piquet Junior at the 2008 Grand Prix of Singapore, as “Team Principal” of Renault F1 where Mr Flavio Briatore is concerned, they have expressed their regrets and presented their apologies to the FIA.

They have undertaken to abstain from having any operational role in Formula One until 31 December 2012, as well as in all the other competitions registered on the FIA calendars until the end of the 2011 sporting season. They have also abandoned all publicity and financial measures resulting from the judgment of 5 January 2010, as well as any further action against the FIA on the subject of this affair.

In return, they have asked the FIA to abandon the ongoing appeal procedure, but without the FIA recognising the validity of the criticisms levelled against the WMSC’s decision of 21 September 2009, as well as to waive the right to bring any new proceedings against them on the subject of this affair.

Considering that the judgment of 5 January 2010 concerned only the form and not the substance of the WMSC’s decision of 21 September 2009, and that the undertakings and renunciation of all claims expressed by Mr Flavio Briatore and Mr Pat Symonds are in line with what the WMSC is seeking, the FIA President has considered that it is in the best interests of the FIA not to allow the perpetuation of these legal disputes, which have received a great deal of media coverage and which, regardless of the outcome, are very prejudicial to the image of the FIA and of motor sport, and thus to accept this settlement solution, thereby putting an end to this affair.”

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2 responses

  1. The apology from Briatore was welcome – it appeared for the first time he was accepting his responsibility for the events in Singapore. Sadly, this evening he’s released a statement saying he apologises only in the context of his role of team director – and not personal guilt.

    This further underlines for me that a three year ban is clearly not enough. All three of Briatore, Symonds and Piquet should be banned for life.

    April 12, 2010 at 7:51 pm

  2. Absolutely right, he has accepted no responsibility for asking Nelson to crash throughout the entire thing, at least Pat Symonds showed some remorse AND declined to take immunity, which I was very impressed with.

    Flavio should have kept the lifetime ban, Pat should have got a lifetime F1 ban and I think Piquet should have been punished. He did blow the whistle on the whole thing, BUT he still crashed, and he still endangered his and others around him’s lives. Unacceptable.

    April 15, 2010 at 11:06 am

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