Mike Stevens | Sep 18, 2009

RENAULT CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Patrick Pelata has revealed his company expects to be heavily sanctioned when it appears before the FIA World Motor Sport Council, despite the departure of Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds.

Briatore and Symonds parted company with Renault yesterday after it was revealed the company would not contest charges of fixing the outcome of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

While Renault hasn’t confirmed whether the duo resigned or were indeed forced out by the manufacturer, it was hoped a change in management would prompt the FIA to deal with the team more leniently.

However, Pelata told French radio station RTL he expects Renault to be punished for its transgressions.

“I don't know all the details but there was a fault and a fault requires a sanction,” he said.

“We will know more about the details after what will happen on Monday with the FIA. For the moment we have assumptions but it is clear that basically there was a fault.”

The race fixing scandal came to light when the father of Nelson Piquet Jr, former three-time World Champion Nelson Piquet, approached FIA President Max Mosley and disclosed his son had important information surrounding the events of the ’08 Singapore race.

The Piquets had felt mistreated by Briatore, who sacked the Brazilian halfway through a one-year deal, prompting them to seek revenge and report to the FIA that Briatore and Symonds conspired to manipulate the result of the race and requested Piquet Jr crash deliberately.

With the accusations threatening to damage the integrity of the sport, the FIA called Renault to appear before the WMSC and commenced an investigation, discovering radio transcripts and in-car telemetry that strongly suggested Piquet Jr did indeed orchestrate an accident.

Facing expulsion from the sport, Renault then acted to preserve the future of its 700 strong workforce, announcing it wouldn’t contest the FIA’s charges, while Briatore and Symonds’ spilt from the outfit.

The scandal has cast doubt over Renault’s participation in Formula One, but Pelata refused to comment on the company’s future in the sport.

He said: “This is not the debate today. We will have it calmly. Formula 1 is the world's most-watched show and you have to respect that. Formula One has been in the vanguard of progress for car technology.

“It is probably not the case at the moment, but it could be again and it is always what Renault have tried to do.”

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