The Reuters global sports blog
Former champion Niki Lauda did not mince his words last year when he said that Formula One’s Singapore Grand Prix race-fixing scandal demanded the heaviest of punishments to restore credibility.
A Times headline called Brazilian Nelson Piquet’s deliberate crash at the 2008 race “the worst act of cheating in the history of sport.”
Renault were handed a suspended permanent ban, with the authorities eager to keep them in the sport, while former team boss Flavio Briatore was barred for life and his engineeering head Pat Symonds for five years.
Piquet, the driver at the eye of the storm, walked away without sanction after being handed immunity for telling the governing FIA how he had obeyed orders to help team mate Fernando Alonso to win the race.
The news has just come in from Paris, where Renault have been handed a suspended ban from Formula One, while their former boss Flavio Briatore has been banned from all F1 activities, including driver management, and ex-technical chief Pat Symonds is barred for five years.
So the immediate result of the inquiry into race-rigging at last year’s Singapore Grand Prix is that Renault can stay in the sport, provided they stay on their best behaviour for the next couple of years, even though the offence was described by the FIA as one of “unparalleled severity”.
I asked Max Mosley at a lunch before the start of the Formula One season whether there was anyone masochistic enough to want to take on his job. He laughed.
“Maybe that’s the qualification, that you’ve got to be into that little world…” the FIA president chuckled.
The disagreement, which centred on Mosley’s plans to introduce a budget cap for the 2010 season, had threatened to end Formula One’s 60-year existence with eight teams including champions Ferrari prepared to walk away for good.
A deal has been reached with Formula One teams to avoid a breakaway series next year, media reported FIA president Max Mosley as saying on Wednesday.
Mosley and eight teams had been at loggerheads over his plans to introduce a budget cap for 2010.
Formula One plunged into its biggest crisis in 60 years on Friday with eight of the 10 teams announcing plans to set up their own championship.
The teams association FOTA said BMW-Sauber, Brawn, Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull, Renault, Toro Rosso and Toyota were united in a decision that would split the sport in two if carried through.
How complicated can an entry list be? Very, if its anything to do with Formula One.
On the piece of paper published by the governing FIA on Friday, there are 13 teams entered with a total of 26 cars. Simple as that.
Even in the often bizarre world of Formula One, this week’s points system controversy takes a bit of explaining.
Ultimately, inevitably it all comes down to politics.
The governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) wanted to show the Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA) who called the shots while the teams were determined to demonstrate their own new-found unity and leadership.
Formula One looks set to ditch controversial plans to award the championship to the driver who wins most races after the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) performed a late U-turn on Friday.
“If, for any reason, the Formula One teams do not now agree with the new system, its implementation will be deferred until 2010,” the FIA said in a statement.
How many points will go to the winner of the Australian Formula One Grand Prix?
The season-opening race in Melbourne is less than two weeks away now but we still don’t know the absolute answer to what is after all a fairly straightforward question.
To be sure, we will have to wait until the governing International Automobile Federation’s world motor sport council meets on Tuesday.