Renault Places Blame on Bosses in Formula One Race-Fixing Scandal
Formula One in 2009 is gaining something of a reputation for off-track scandal, but the allegation that the Renault team crashed one of its cars deliberately in order to give its other driver – Fernando Alonso – a better chance of winning last year’s Singaporean night race Grand Prix probably takes the biscuit. Nelson Piquet Jr., supported by his more legendary/beloved father, blew the whistle on the team following his thoroughly expected sacking. Today Renault’s chief, Patrick Pelata has pointed the finger of blame squarely at the now-departed team bosses, Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds. Both men resigned following Piquet Jr.’s revelations.
Speaking to French radio station, RTL, Pelata said that Briatore had “considered he was morally responsible and resigned.” The boss was keen to deflect attention from moral questions in the sport at large, claiming the fault of two people should not reflect badly on the rest of the sport’s participants. The Renault team had initially reacted angrily to the allegations, accusing the Piquets of blackmail, but has since changed its tune, with Briatore and the teams executive director of engineering Symonds departing their posts. It has been suggested that the reversal has been inspired by the desire to avoid exclusion from the sport. The FIA will meet on Monday with the Renault team, and could impose further sanctions.