Mike Stevens | Sep 22, 2009

RENAULT F1 has been handed a suspended two-year ban by the FIA World Motor Sport Council for its role in the 2008 Singapore race-fixing scandal.

The FIA ruled that, as a reward for providing full disclosure of its transgressions and instituting a change in team management, the French-owned outfit will not be excluded from future competitions or suffer financial penalties.

However, the FIA said it will invoke the suspension should Renault be found guilty of any further sporting breaches of equal standing.

The relative leniency of the penalty is likely to draw the ire of members of the F1 paddock, particularly when compared to the $US100 million fine imposed on McLaren for stealing confidential Ferrari documents in 2007.

Motorsport’s governing body though wasn’t as charitable when dealing with Flavio Briatore, banning the Italian entrepreneur from having any involvement in FIA-sanctioned racing for life.

In a statement, the FIA said:

“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.”


Briatore’s penalty will also affect the future of his management company, with the FIA declaring it would suspend the Superlicence of any driver affiliated with the experienced former team principal.

Drivers among the current crop to be managed by Briatore include Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso and Heikki Kovalainen.

Briatore’s co-conspirator, Pat Symonds, for his cooperation with investigators, was dealt with less-severely. He has been handed a comparatively soft five-year suspension from FIA-sanctioned motorsport .

Meanwhile, two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso was cleared of any involvement in the conspiracy, paving the way for him to complete his expected move to Ferrari next season.

[Top photo by Bert van Dijk]

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