Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I'm absolutely floored

Renault will not contest race fixing charges; Briatore, Symonds leave team
ING Renault F1 Team Statement – 16 September 2009

The ING Renault F1 Team will not dispute the recent allegations made by the FIA concerning the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. It also wishes to state that its managing director, Flavio Briatore and its executive director of engineering, Pat Symonds, have left the team. Before attending the hearing before the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris on 21 September 2009, the team will not make any further comment.
I really don't know what to say.

I've long thought that team orders should be legal -- at the time my argument was that Ron Dennis pays a lot of money to run two F1 cars, if it should please him to run one particular one in front of the other, then that should be his privilege. Assuming of course that there's no unsporting behavior going on.

Using one car to defend another -- that's been done for years. Recall Boutsen's Williams at Hungary in '89 or '90 -- Patrese in the sister car delayed his pit stop, destroying his own chances at a good result, so that Boutsen would have a few more clear sailing laps before the McLarens would catch up with him.

And holding up faster traffic, especially lapping faster traffic, is a time-honored tradition, even if it is technically against the rules now.

But deliberately crashing one car to the advantage of the other?

Frankly, I'm stunned that it happened, let alone that Renault has, as an organization, essentially copped to it.

(Update: Comprehensive analysis at