F1: Settlement Ends Renault 'Crashgate' Scandal, Ralf Defends Brother, Still Seeking F1 Return

Mike Stevens | Apr 13, 2010

The so-called 'crashgate' scandal is finally over.

F1's governing body on Monday announced that, after talks with Singapore race-fixing conspirators Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds, a settlement has been reached.

Briatore and Symonds were banned from motor racing by the FIA's World Motor Sport Council for ordering Nelson Piquet Jr to crash during the 2008 Singapore GP, but the former Renault chiefs won an appeal against the decision in the French courts.

The FIA's appeal against that decision was pending.

But it was announced on Monday that the duo have now "expressed their regrets and presented their apologies to the FIA".

In return, the Paris-based Federation has dropped its legal action, and Briatore and Symonds have agreed to "abstain from having any operational role in formula one until 31 December 2012".

(GMM)

Ralf Defends Brother, Still Seeking F1 Return

While defending the success of his elder brother's comeback, Ralf Schumacher has refused to rule out also launching a return to the sport.

Also driving for Mercedes, 34-year-old Schumacher has signed up for another season in the German touring car series DTM, having earlier admitted he would jump at the chance of a good F1 seat this year.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport asked the German on Monday whether, given the criticism attracted by the dubious success of his brother's comeback so far, he has now put the idea of a return on the back-burner.

"I see it completely differently," said Ralf, a six-time winner with Williams, whose F1 career subsequently ended in 2007 after four fallow seasons at the wheel of a Toyota.

"I would still take this step if a good opportunity arose. With regards to Michael, I don't know what was expected of him by the outside world.

"He sees it in quite a relaxed way, and it would be the same for myself. The return was primarily for himself, because he has fun with formula one and was looking for a challenge," added Ralf Schumacher.

(GMM)

Korean Promoter Denies F1 Track Delay Reports

Organisers of October's inaugural Korean grand prix have denied reports the race could be called off.

The German news magazine Focus has claimed that the circuit under construction in Yeongam may not be completed in time.

F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone was reported to have travelled straight from Malaysia to South Korea and was poised to make a decision about the cancellation within days.

Focus quoted the track's German designer and advisor Hermann Tilke as saying he was "concerned" the venue "is not going to be finished on time".

But on Monday, the BBC quoted Chung Yung-Cho, of local promoters Korea Auto Valley Operation (KAVO), as saying: "The construction progress is well ahead of its schedule and we have absolutely no issues with completion."

He added: "I understand that Mr Ecclestone is quite happy with not only the progress of the track but the direction the Korean F1 race is headed and he has raised no questions and concerns."

(GMM)

Follow Mike Stevens on Google+

Filed under: f1, formula one, Racing, formula 1, renault f1, michael schumacher, Flavio Briatore, nelson piquet jr, News, korean grand prix, korea f1, ralf schumacher

Leave a comment:

Required
Required
Enter comment here.

    advertisement