The most colourful boss on the Formula One Grid Flavio Briatore and his executive director of engineering Pat Symonds are walking away from the Renault Team.
It comes days before the team of the Italian former boss of the Benetton team was to answer questions about Nelson Piquet Jr’s crash in last years Singapore Grand Prix. An incident that required the safety car to come out as there was debris all over the track in the early stages of F!’s first night race. His team mate former World Champion Fernando Alonso had come into the pits early two laps before an took on a big fuel load. Under the safety car conditions he gradually climbed up the field to take a surprise win in that race.
Briatore and the Renault team had threatened legal action against Piquet and the former World Champion father only last Friday. Now with the two principles accused of asking the driver to deliberately crash his car to help his team mate the suspicions of where the blame falls have shifted.
News reports say that the FIA will still meet to hear the allegations on Monday. The extent of the action taken by Renault to rectify this situation has on any outcome has yet to be seen. There is possible suspension of involvement in F1 being discussed for Briatore, who’s been around the paddock for 21 years, and Symonds who have been through the Toleman, Benetton and Renault stages of the team since the early 80s.
There may have been united colours at Benetton, but Briatore and Symonds are currently blue. Renault have showing they aren’t yellow. The FIA may still be seeing red. There may be a green light at the end of all this for Piquet.