Flavio Briatore has claimed that he quit the Renault F1 team to save the team over the allegations that Nelson Piquet Jr was asked to crash during the Singapore race in 2008.
In an interview with The Mirror, Briatore commented, “I was just trying to save the team. It s my duty. That s the reason I m finished.â€
Renault s chief operating officer Patrick Pelata has admitted that the crash scandal has severely dented Renault s reputation and won t confirm what the plans are for the team s future.
“The team believes that a mistake has been made, and punishment must follow,’ he said. “Flavio Briatore considered himself to be morally responsible and resigned.
On Renault s future Pelata said, “This is not the issue right now. We will take our time before looking at our options.â€
The recent scandal may leave it s mark on more than just Formula One. Briatore is also the co-owner of English football team QPR and many are wondering if Briatore may also be forced out of football if he is banned from motor racing at the World Motor Sport Council hearing next week: Football League rules states that persons expelled from another sport may not be a club director under their â€˜fit and proper rules.
It is currently unclear as to whether the FIA s current ruleset would actually allow them to ban Briatore from the sport, although having left Renault and left F1 reeling from the incident, it is unlikely that he will be a part of any Formula One team again.
Despite this, there appear to be no rules on driver managers – of which Briatore is one. The Italian has double F1 world champion Fernando Alonso on his books thus still has links with the sport.