19 Sep 2009

Disgraced Renault boss says he sacrificed himself

6:58 am on 19 September 2009

Renault's disgraced former team boss Flavio Briatore says he sacrificed himself to save the Formula One team, but leading figurers in the sport say it'll take more than the departure of an Italian showman to repair the damage done by race-fixing scandal.

In what's being described as the worst act of cheating in the history sport, Briatore and his deputy Pat Symonds quit the Renault team after allegations that they fixed last year's Singapore Grand Prix by ordering their young Brazilian driver Nelson Piquet to crash.

Austria's triple world champion Niki Lauda says this race fixing scandal is easily the most damaging blow to motorsport, and another three-time world champion Jackie Stewart says there's something fundamentally wrong and rotten at the heart of Formula One, and in his experience Formula One has been in such a mood of self-destruction with everyone blaming everyone else.

But the sport's ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone, a business partner of Flavio Briatore, insists Formula One will survive the cheating storm.