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Renault handed suspended ban

PARIS, September 21 – The International Automobile Federation (FIA) on Monday handed the Renault Formula One team a suspended ban from the sport for ordering Nelson Piquet junior to crash in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.RENAULT_CAR_2009_The FIA told the French team that the threat of a permanent ban from the sport will hang over them until the end of the 2011 season and be activated during that time if they are found guilty of a similar charge.

The verdict was announced by the the sport’s governing body after a one-and-a half-hour hearing at the FIA’s Paris headquarters.

Renault, who have been involved in F1 since 1977, were in the dock for conspiring with Piquet junior to cause a deliberate crash to help the Brazilian’s teammate, Fernando Alonso, win the race.

The team which won two drivers’ titles in the 1990s were facing permanent exclusion from the sport over ‘crashgate’ as the affair became known. Renault escaped that ultimate sanction after owning up to the conspiracy after the departure from the team of Piquet, team boss Flavio Briatore and chief engineer Pat Symonds.

Briatore himself was given an "unlimited" ban from the sport while Symonds was suspended for five years.

Piquet, having acted as ‘whistleblower’, went into the hearing with the promise of immunity while Alonso was cleared of any involvement.

Both Piquet junior and Alonso attended Monday’s hearing with Renault F1 president Bernard Rey but neither Briatore nor Symonds showed up.

The WMSC thanked Alonso for "cooperating with the FIA’s enquiries and for attending the meeting", adding that "Mr. Alonso was not in any way involved in Renault F1’s breach of the regulations".

Explaining its decision not to kick Renault out of the sport for life, the FIA said in a statement: "The council considers Renault F1’s breaches relating to the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix to be of unparalleled severity.

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"They 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 (WMSC) considers that offences of this severity merit permanent disqualification from the FIA Formula One World Championship.

"However, 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 affair dates back almost a year to the Singapore Grand Prix of September 28.

Alonso began the race in 15th position, but after making a very early pit stop to refuel, Piquet crashed into a wall, prompting the deployment of the safety car.

As Alonso’s rivals then gradually disappeared into the pits to refuel, the Spaniard catapulted himself up into the virtual lead to go on and win his first race in a year.

Piquet subsequently fell out with Briatore and was dismissed from the team in August.

It was after that that he and his father, three-time world champion Nelson Piquet senior, claimed that Renault’s Briatore and Symonds had conspired to fix the outcome of the race in Singapore.

In response to the allegations Renault accused Piquet of blackmail and announced they were launching criminal proceedings against him and his father.

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Briatore denied all the accusations — notably conspiring with team management and Piquet to cause a deliberate accident — saying they were "outrageous lies".

But last week Renault dramatically announced they would not be contesting the charges and that Briatore and Symonds wre leaving.

Renault, who will pay the cost of the FIA investigation, as well as contributing to its safety-related projects, said it accepted the council’s decision.

"We are very sad to find ourselves in front of the World Motor Sport Council," a team statement said.

"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."

Piquet, 24, said after the hearing: "I bitterly regret my actions to follow the orders I was given. I wish every day that I had not done it."

By a quirk of fate Renault and the rest of the grid next race in anger on Sunday – in Singapore.

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21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. ali mohamed

    March 9, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Conguratulations mr president and the many kenyans who voted for or against you, their kept peace, and the nation. To the loosers, who have perfected the art of refusing defeat they should go home gracefully and let kenyans continue with their peace. It is not possible that senators, governors, mps and county reps were not rigged and only the presidential elections were rigged. Let them be reminded that Uhuru won the presidential debate too and nobody went to court to challenge the obvious.

  2. The hague

    March 9, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Kudos Mr president for winning. Hon prime minister Raila. you deserve also Hongela, a charismatic leader who did well too. Sir you can bow out and still walk with your head high. Mr president serve 40 million Kenyans and at large 150 million East Africans. Welcome to Kigali, Kampala Bujumbura, Juba and Dar

    • MM

      March 10, 2013 at 8:28 am

      “Hongela” instead of “Hongera” gave it away!

      • evans sum

        March 11, 2013 at 9:55 am

        Democracy on trial, only time will tell, Kenyans have not won, we’ve lost, jus rem areas where jubilations were only central, ooooooooooh kenya has lost its democracy.

        • Dick Tate

          March 11, 2013 at 12:46 pm

          It is mostly in Central Kenya that citizens are politically aware. It is also worth noting that there were no signs of violence anywhere in the country following the announcement on the outcome of the election

        • Patora

          March 11, 2013 at 1:01 pm

          I dont think so, if there was a problem with the tallying and results then it is not a voter problem, let those responsible be accountable. Democracy is a process and not an event…

        • Sarah Nelson

          March 12, 2013 at 8:43 am

          Odinga’s statesmanship is on trial not democracy. Kenyans have demonstrated they can act democratically by registering and voting for Governors, Senators and MP’s. Odinga and Uhuru are not Kenya. Kenya is made up of 40M citizens.

        • Botlhe

          March 15, 2013 at 10:29 am

          …and areas where cord were only….?

  3. Dr Madhaka

    March 9, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Hats off to all Kenyans . You have demonstrated that democracy is possible on our continent. This was a largely peaceful vote where freewill was expressed without fear by the majority of voters. To brothers in Zimbabwe , THIS IS THE WAY TO GO. Let the people decide who should lead them. Ahoy Africa. Long live our beautiful conitinent.

  4. Von didas

    March 9, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    GO GO GO KENYATTA….it is your time to proove for the KENYAN’s you can and surely you can no matter what your opposers Say unawezaaaaaa jembe…!!!

  5. paul

    March 9, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    i thank God 4 taking us all this to the nation thenks 4 mentaining peace God bless us all uhuru our presdent lead us 2 the will of God gud ad keep kenya moving william ruto a thenks keep the moral 2 keep kenya moving God bless u all

  6. kange

    March 11, 2013 at 8:53 am

    MAY GOD BLESS OUR PRESIDENT TO BE AND THE NATION AT LARGE

  7. Patora

    March 11, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Very presidential, I watched the address and for the first time I really think it was a better deal than RAO…

    • Gabby

      March 11, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      I always knew it was a better deal than RAO

  8. suluhisho

    March 11, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Hongera Kenya’s {NB:Not Jubilee’s} President.We wish you well.Please do not disappoint your employers.

  9. yusuf

    March 11, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    mr president”bravo” we kenyans love and trust our leadership, may the Almighty God who choose you for kenya and kenyan bless you so that you can ashame your haters including obama and his other western haters. washindwe, hongera rais wetu mpendwa rais uhuru.

  10. Sarah Nelson

    March 12, 2013 at 8:41 am

    God Bless You! You’ve shown remarkable patience, maturity and calm throughout this process from ICC trials to these elections. You are ready to lead and take Kenya to the next level. Hongera Your Excellency Honorable Kenyatta Aririririr!

  11. Guest

    March 12, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    At last a President who tells Kenyans that they have personal responsibility for building the country and that they should not wait for handouts, and that it is not someone else who is to blame for the problems they face. It is part of the human condition to be faced with difficulty.

  12. Mwanainchi

    March 14, 2013 at 2:45 am

    Congratulation president Uhuru. You have known the secret, which is non but putting God first in everything, and thanking Him for his goodness so far. He is Ebenezar. May God bless you and keep you. May He shine His face upon. And may He lead you as you lead the nation. Amen!

    • muchemi

      March 14, 2013 at 4:45 am

      Hakuna mungu. ngozi ya kondoo. Mungiki diehards in power.

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