Renault F1 TeamRenault has somehow managed to get away with only a small smack on the wrist from the FIA over the whole crash-gate scandal. They’ve been handed a 2 year “suspended disqualification”. This means the disqualification will be placed on hold until the end of 2011, and it will only become active if the FIA gets a sniff of something similiar happening.

The following is the official statement from the FIA:

At an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council held in Paris on 21 September 2009, the ING Renault F1 team admitted that the team had conspired with its driver Nelson Piquet Jr. to cause a deliberate crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, in breach of the International Sporting Code and F1 Sporting Regulations.

Renault F1 stated at the meeting that it had conducted a detailed internal investigation, which found that: (i) Flavio Briatore, Pat Symonds and Nelson Piquet Jr. had conspired to cause the crash; and (ii) no other team member was involved in the conspiracy.

Having used information based on its own investigation of the incident in Marina Bay, the FIA listed the reasons why the penalty is suspended (and set to expire at the end of 2011) as opposed to an instant banishing from Formula One:

* It had accepted, at the earliest practicable opportunity, that it committed the offences with which it was charged and cooperated fully with the FIA’s investigation.?
* It had confirmed that Mr. Briatore and Mr. Symonds were involved in the conspiracy and ensured that they left the team.?
* It apologised unreservedly to the FIA and to the sport for the harm caused by its actions.?
* It committed to paying the costs incurred by the FIA in its investigation.
?* Renault (the parent company, as opposed to Renault F1) committed to making a significant contribution to FIA safety-related projects.

Nelson Piquet Jr. also apologised unreservedly to the World Motor Sport Council for his part in the conspiracy.

In addition, Flavio Briatore has been banned permanently from F1 and all FIA events. Here is a separate statement released on that matter:

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 Mr. Briatore in any capacity whatsoever, or grant any license to any Team or other entity engaging Mr. Briatore in any capacity whatsoever.

It also hereby instructs all officials present at FIA-sanctioned events not to permit Mr. Briatore access to any areas under the FIA’s jurisdiction.

Furthermore, it does not intend to renew any Superlicence granted to any driver who is associated (through a management contract or otherwise) with Mr. Briatore, or any entity or individual associated with Mr. Briatore.

In determining that such instructions should be applicable for an unlimited period, the World Motor Sport Council has had regard not only to the severity of the breach in which Mr. Briatore was complicit but also to his actions in continuing to deny his participation in the breach despite all the evidence.

Flavio was the team principal for Renault but that was not the only area he was involved in when it came to F1. He was also the driver manager for Mark Webber and Heikki Kovalainen from Red Bull and McLaren respectively. They will have to look for new management and get new super licenses.

Renault’s Executive Director of Engineering Pat Symonds (who also resigned when Briatore did) has also been served a punishment – a 5-year ban.

The World Motor Sport Council declares that, for a period of five years, the FIA does not intend to sanction any International Event, Championship, Cup, Trophy, Challenge or Series involving Mr. Symonds in any capacity whatsoever, or grant any license to any Team or other entity engaging Mr. Symonds in any capacity whatsoever.

It hereby instructs, for a period of five years, all officials present at FIA-sanctioned events not to permit Mr. Symonds access to any areas under the FIA’s jurisdiction.

In determining that such instructions should be effective for a period of five years the World Motor Sport Council has had regard: (i) to Mr. Symonds’ acceptance that he took part in the conspiracy; and (ii) to his communication to the meeting of the World Motor Sport Council that it was to his “eternal regret and shame” that he participated in the conspiracy.

Nelson Piquet goes off scot-free. As for who will replace Briatore – people are saying it could be Alain Prost.