• Crashgate

Briatore banned as Renault escape

ESPNF1 Staff
September 21, 2009 « Nico Rosberg to drive for Mercedes GP in 2010 | »

The FIA has banned disgraced former Renault boss Flavio Briatore from motorsport for an indefinite period although the team itself has escaped with a suspended ban after a hearing into the so-called Crashgate scandal.

Renault, whose permanent disqualification is suspended until the end of 2011, issued a statement saying it apologised unreservedly for its "unacceptable behaviour".

"Renault'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 FIA said, but explained the decision not to impose a ban as being because of its steps to "identify and address the failings within its team and condemn the actions of the individuals involved".

There was no such leniency for Briatore and his colleague Pat Symonds, who received a five-year ban. Although both have resigned from Renault, the FIA was in no mood to forgive.

"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 Briatore in any capacity whatsoever, or grant any license to any team or other entity engaging Briatore in any capacity whatsoever. It also hereby instructs all officials present at FIA-sanctioned events not to permit Briatore access to any areas under the FIA's jurisdiction." The decision also bans Briatore from having any association with F1 drivers.

It explained the indefinite ban was a result of "the severity of the breach in which Briatore was complicit but also to his actions in continuing to deny his participation in the breach despite all the evidence".

Piquet's team-mate Fernando Alonso was cleared after being found "not in any way involved in Renault F1's breach of the regulations". Piquet was immune from sanctions after giving evidence to the FIA.

"We fully accept the decision of the Council," stated Renault team president Bernard Rey. "We apologise unreservedly to the F1 community in relation to this unacceptable behaviour. We sincerely hope that we can soon put this matter behind us and focus constructively on the future."

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