FIA Verdict: Renault Banned

Stuart BairdCorrespondent ISeptember 21, 2009

MONZA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 11:  Renault F1 Executive Director of Engineering Pat Symonds is seen in the paddock following  practice for the Italian Formula One Grand Prix at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza on September 11, 2009 in Monza, Italy.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

The World Motorsport Council, in Paris, has reached a verdict regarding the future of the Renault F1 team.

The team had already chosen not to contest the charges of fixing a race, effectively admitting their guilt. They had also sacked Flavio Briatore and Pat Symmonds.

The FIA's choice of punishment is a two-year ban, suspended until the end of the 2011 season.

Former team boss Flavio Briatore has been banned from any FIA sanctioned events and anything to do with motorsport, including managing drivers, for an unlimited period.

Ex-engineering director Pat Symmonds has also been banned from FIA events for a period of five years.

The hearing was about the team fixing the 2008 Singapore GP, allowing Brazilian Nelson Piquet to crash his car so  the safety car would be deployed and that Spaniard Fernando Alonso could take advantage of his stratergy and win the race.

This eventually changed the outcome of the championship, as Felipe Massa effectively lost the championship at that race due to a pit stop error while the safety car was deployed.

This may force Renault to leave the sport after 2011, leaving Fernando Alonso without a race seat at the same time that Kimi Raikkonen's contract run's out.

If the team choose to leave the sport, however, then I believe that it will be bad for the sport, the company and its employee's, as many hundreds of people will be left un-employed.

I think that the punishment is just, and that F1 will not suffer too much from the aftermath of the, now infamous, inaugural Singapore night race, in 2008.


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