Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

Briatore, Symonds step down from Renault



There’s an extraordinary story breaking just now, with Formula One team Renault releasing a statement saying they will not contest the charge that last year’s Singapore Grand prix was fixed.

Renault also announced that team boss Flavio Briatore and director of engineering Pat Symonds have left the team.

Briatore and Symonds were both due to appear before the governing International Automobile Federation to answer charges that they ordered Brazilian Nelson Piquet to crash in Singapore a year ago to help Spanish team mate Fernando Alonso win.

If found guilty, the team could be kicked out of the championship.

Piquet, 24, was dropped by Renault in August and has testified to the FIA that he was told when and where to crash during the sport’s first night race in Singapore.

Would you drive into a wall if someone asked you to?


Crashing a Formula One car is easy. Even I could do that, although fitting into the cockpit might be a bit of a squeeze. It’s the driving that is difficult.

In the old days, when there were fewer races in a season but more funerals, you crashed at your peril.