by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 64
5 F1 NEWS >> Fair cop -- or a cop-out? mention of a good will gesture by Renault to pay the FIA's costs for the investigation and an undisclosed gure to be handed over for the FIA's safety projects. Was the FIA's decision to suspend the ban or to forget about a nancial penalty in uenced by those o ers? The FIA admits it was. And thus there is a slightly disconcerting feeling that Renault has bought its way out of a stronger punishment. One only wonders if Renault's nancial gift to the FIA will disappear into the same black hole as McLaren's $100 million. Flavio Briatore probably deserves his lifetime ban from motorsport. As Managing Director of the team it is inconceivable that he had no idea of the plot. His continued squeals of innocence, if anything, made his punishment all the worse. Rumours around the tactics he has employed as a team-manager and the manner in which he has treated a number of his drivers will mean there are few people within the F1 paddock that will be truly sad to see him go. Sure he was a big character, but he was and is a character with some pretty big aws, too. Again, however, the punishment for Briatore when compared with that for the team seems disproportionate and gives weight to allegations that this entire investigation was simply a means for the FIA (read Max) to nally nail Briatore and get him out of racing once and for all. Why else would all the players in the scandal be o ered immunity except for the Italian? That Symonds did not take that immunity has probably saved his former team from further punishment. That Briatore would have been the only man to be punished in the scandal if he had, shows to many the FIA's ulterior motive. With the loss of BMW and Honda, F1 could not a ord to lose Renault, too. There will, of course, have been this very important thought sitting at the back of the mind of the WMSC when it came to its decision on Monday. But all of these mitigating circumstances don't really do anything to help with the underlying feeling that the punishment hasn't come up to the same levels as the crime. Yes, it was a plan concocted between Briatore, Symonds and Piquet and, as such, they should have born the brunt of the punishment. It would be unfair to tarnish Renault, a company with 30 years of racing history in F1, as being rotten to the core just because its F1 team was being run by a man whose grip on moral decency was questionable. Many have called for Piquet to be punished over his actions, but his immunity puts that out of the question. There are some who say that Nelson won't be missed from F1 either, as he never really showed much when he was there in the first place. Knowing what we now know about the manner in which Briatore ran that team, and the pressures he put on his drivers, facets which have all added up to his being kicked out of motorsport for good, there is room for arguing that Piquet's 18 months in Formula 1 should perhaps be reappraised. Nelson Piquet Jrs F1 career is at an end. His whistle-blowing, ironically, in outlining just how impossible a situation he'd been racing within, and as refreshing as it was to have a driver speak his mind and tell it like it is, may have signalled an end to his F1 dream, just as it has led to the end of Flavio Briatore's career in motorsport.