Sep 22

Briatore demise ‘sad’ – Mosley

Crash-gate over but clouds remain over Renault

2009-04-04 - Renault - Flavio BriatoreMonday’s meeting of the World Motor Sport Council ended Flavio Briatore’s 20-year career in motor racing, and now the British Football League is considering whether to also ban the disgraced former Renault team boss.

“The Football League chairman, Lord Mawhinney, has today written to the FIA to request further details of its decision,” a spokesman for the soccer competition said.

“Thereafter, the League will consider its position on the matter.”

With billionaires Bernie Ecclestone and Lakshmi Mittal, Briatore owns Queens Park Rangers and is listed as the London club’s chairman and a board director.

FIA president Max Mosley said the manner in which Briatore’s career shattered over the crash-gate scandal is “sad” but argued that another outcome was not possible.

“It’s sad because he’s been in motor sport for 20 years, more actually.  It’s sad to see a career end like that, but what else could we do?” the Briton said after the Paris hearing.

But Nelson Piquet Jr, who was told to crash in the Singapore grand prix by Briatore and the similarly-ousted Pat Symonds, was scathing of his former boss and manager after the hearing.

“His true character, which had previously only been known to those he had treated like this in the past, is now known,” the Brazilian driver said in a statement.

Crash-gate over but clouds remain over Renault

The World Motor Sport Council was seen in F1 circles to have gone easy on the French marque on Monday, but the question marks remain over Renault’s future on the formula one grid.

Many observers believe the FIA body did not levy a big monetary fine, or a tangible penalty like race or championship bans, in order to safeguard the carmaker’s participation in a sport that has already lost Honda and BMW.

It is suggested that Renault and Toyota would be the next big names to go, and the fact that Renault has been effectively caught cheating does not bode well for the carmaker’s forthcoming deliberations about the value of staying on the grid.

FIA president Max Mosley was asked by reporters in Paris what the scandal means for Renault’s commitment to the sport.

“I don’t think it means anything,” he answered, adding a simple “yes” without elaborating when asked if Renault are planning to stay in formula one.

The timing of the so-called crash-gate scandal could not have been worse for Renault, given the global car sales crisis and the fact that its title sponsor ING is stepping out of formula one at the end of 2009.

Jonathan Neill, PR director for the company Generate Sponsorship, said: “No one, whether it’s a fan or a business, will like to position themselves with a brand accused of cheating.”

source: GMM