As a result of the WMSC investigation in the race-fixing scandal that has recently gripped Formula One, the Renault team have received a two year suspended disqualification. The lenient punishment comes after the WMSC agreed that the Renault team acted swiftly and with authority as soon as they became aware of the issue. Essentially, the three employees involved now no longer work for Renault – Nelson Piquet Jr having been fired earlier in the season and Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds resigning last week. However, Briatore has not escaped sanctions entirely.
In a press release issued following the hearing at the FIA headquarters in Paris, the governing body stated the following with regards to the former RenaultF1 boss…
As regards Mr. Briatore, 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. FIA Press Release.
The key line there is that the FIA do not intend to allow anyone associated with Flavio Briatore to have their super license renewed. As far as I can tell, Mark Webber and Heikki Kovalainen are still managed by the flamboyant Italian. If Webber and Kovalainen are still on Briatore’s books, they better find alternative management pretty soon if they wish to continue racing in FIA-governed events.
A similar punishment has been dealt to Pat Symonds, the former head of engineering at Renault who resigned along with Briatore last week. The only difference between the sentences are that Symond’s is for a period of five years, while Briatore’s remains unlimited.