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Last Updated: Monday September 21 2009 13:05 GMT

Renault given suspended F1 ban

Renault given suspended F1 ban

Renault have been given a two-year suspended ban from F1 for ordering Nelson Piquet junior to crash in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

The team appeared before F1 bosses FIA to answer claims they had asked Piquet Junior to crash to help team-mate Fernando Alonso win.

Former Renault boss Flavio Briatore was banned from FIA events indefinitely.

The result means Renault escaped being thrown out of F1 as they are still able to compete in the championship.

Former renault team-mates fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet Jr
Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet Jr

Renault's ex-engineering director Pat Symonds was banned from FIA events for five years.

F1 bosses agreed not to take action against Piquet Junior because he helped to uncover details of the scandal.

And they cleared Alonso of any involvement in the race-fixing scheme with the FIA adding it "thanks him for cooperating with enquiries".

Serious rule-break

Flavio Briatore
Flavio Briatore

A statement by the FIA said it considered Renault F1's rule-breaking at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix to be very serious.

It said: "They not only compromised the integrity of the sport but also endangered the lives of spectators, officials, other competitors and Nelson Piquet Junior himself.

Renault originally had denied the claims and but later changed their minds and team boss Flavio Briatore quit.

What happened?

At the Singapore Grand Prix in 2008, Fernando Alonso started near the back of the grid for Renault and used a strategy that meant he had to refuel after only 12 laps.

Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso celebrates winning the Singapore Grand Prix in 2008

Team-mate Nelson Piquet then crashed three laps later and the safety car came out, which meant all the cars had to drive slowly and ended up very close together again.

Because the other cars hadn't stopped to refuel yet and Alonso had, he was able to keep overtaking his rivals as they went into the pits, until he was much further up the field.

If the safety car hadn't been needed on the track after the crash, it's unlikely Alonso would have been in such a strong position.