17 Sep 2009

Renault won't contest race fixing charges

8:55 am on 17 September 2009

Renault could still be kicked out of Formula One despite sacking their team boss Flavia Briatore and his deputy Pat Symonds and accepting allegations that last year's Singapore Grand Prix was fixed.

Renault have decided not to contest allegations that the pair conspired to fix the outcome of the Singapore race.

The two men were due to appear before the sport's governing body to face unprecedented charges that the team ordered Brazilian driver Nelson Piquet Jr. to crash deliberately to help his Spanish team-mate Fernando Alonso win.

Briatore led Renault to two Formula One constructors' and drivers' championships with Alonso in 2005 and 2006 after also winning titles with Benetton and Michael Schumacher in 1994 and 1995.

He's a business partner of Formula One's commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone, and is also Alonso's manager.

The FIA president Max Mosley had already said he considered the case to be more serious than the 2007 spying controversy that cost McLaren a $100 million fine and loss of all their constructors' points.

The 24-year-old Piquet was dropped by Renault last month after failing to score a point in 10 races, and he has testified to the FIA that he was told when and where to crash during the Singapore race.

Piquet was promised immunity from prosecution by the FIA if he told the truth.