Renault bosses quit team

Briatore and Symonds leave ahead of WMSC meeting

Last Updated: 19/09/09 2:32pm

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Briatore: Sensationally quit

Briatore: Sensationally quit

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Renault managing director Flavio Briatore and executive director of engineering Pat Symonds have sensationally quit the team.

The news was announced as the team revealed that they would not be challenging recent allegations made against them that Nelson Piquet Jnr was ordered to crash his car at last year's Singapore Grand Prix.

Despite Briatore's assertion of no wrongdoing, the swift departure of he and Symonds appears to point to their guilt.

Piquet Jnr, who was recently sacked by Renault following a poor season, subsequently revealed he was told to crash into a wall in order to facilitate victory for team-mate Fernando Alonso.

Renault then launched criminal proceedings - including those relating to an alleged blackmail attempt - against Piquet Jnr and his three-times world champion father.

However, it was reported earlier this week that both Symonds and Piquet Jnr would be granted immunity from punishment by the FIA if they provided details of the alleged race-fixing.

An investigation into the incident is already under way, with FIA president Max Mosley revealing on Tuesday that there was evidence to support Piquet's claim.

Charge

Renault bosses had been called to appear at an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Paris on Monday, which will now go ahead without them.

The WMSC may still impose severe sanctions on the team now they have chosen not to launch a defence.

The FIA charged Renault with "conspiring with its driver, Nelson Piquet Jnr, to cause a deliberate crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix with the aim of causing the deployment of the safety car to the advantage of its other driver, Fernando Alonso".

Alonso went on to take the chequered flag at Formula One's first night race, his first victory for two years, and at a time when Renault were considering quitting the sport.

The French manufacturer will almost certainly plead for clemency from the FIA as they will claim the actions of two men should not affect the employment of nearly 700 other staff within the team.

The FIA have the power to exclude Renault from the championship, although it is anticipated such a strict penalty will not be administered.

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