Renault apologise to Piquets over Singapore '08 allegations 07 Dec 2010
Renault have issued a formal apology to former driver Nelson Piquet Junior and his father after the High Court decided the team had made false allegations against the two men in relation to the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix race-fixing scandal.
In a press release issued in September 2009, Renault claimed that Piquet Junior had been lying when he made allegations - later found to be true - that he had crashed deliberately during the race. The team also claimed that Piquets intention in making the allegations was to blackmail them into allowing him to keep his drive.
The Piquets took libel action against Renault over the claims and after they won their case on Tuesday the team agreed to pay them substantial damages and cover their legal costs.
In a statement, Renault said: The team accepts - as it did before the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) of the FIA and as found by the WMSC in its decision of 21 September 2009 - that the allegations made by Nelson Piquet Junior were not false. It also accepts that Mr Piquet Junior and his father did not invent these allegations in order to blackmail the team.
As a result, these serious allegations contained in the press release were wholly untrue and unfounded, and we withdraw them unequivocally. We would like to apologise unreservedly to Mr Piquet Junior and his father for the distress and embarrassment caused as a result.
As a mark of the sincerity of our apology and regret, we have agreed to pay them a substantial amount of damages for libel as well as their costs, and have undertaken not to repeat these allegations at any time in the future.
Renault were given a two-year suspended ban from the sport in September 2009 after the WMSC found that then team boss Flavio Briatore and then executive director of engineering Pat Symonds had planned the crash with Piquet in order to benefit the race strategy of team mate Fernando Alonso, who was unaware of the plan.