Briatore Claims Innocence In Crashgate Scandal

Former Renault chief, Flavio Briatore maintains he is innocent of the crash-gate scandal which engulfed his team five years ago.

The Italian was found guilty of ordering Nelson Piquet Jr. to crash during the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix to benefit team-mate Fernando Alonso who then won the race.

As a result, Briatore was handed a lifetime ban before the ban was rejected by the Tribunal de Grand Instance in Paris in 2010.

Speaking to Maurice Hamilton, Briatore highlighted the Tribunal’s findings as proof.

“The court in Paris was very clear; I was not involved at all. That is what the letter said,” he said.

When asked if it was put in writing, he said “Yes, it’s official.

“There was no proof that I was involved in Singapore. Which is the reason I won in court. I’ve nothing more to say; I say it already at the time. If what people claimed about Singapore was true, then why did I fire Piquet in the middle of the next season?

Why take that risk? Why not renew the contract because it would be 30 or 40 per cent less money and there would be no trouble if all this was true. I had Fernando back and, for me, the second driver was not important.

“I respect what was said in the court. After that, I have an agreement with Jean Todt that the FIA will not appeal. I stay away with no problem at all. I had the moral responsibility because I was in charge of the team. But now it is gone.”

However, he rubbished any rumours that he could make a return with to the pit wall in the future.

“Now I have a son, three years old; I’m working 20 hours a day for different businesses, different investments, different situations, both here and over in America; I’m very happy. This restaurant, for example, is the most popular in Monte Carlo.

“I was in Formula 1 for 20 years, won seven championships with two different teams, discovered the two big stars after Ayrton Senna: Schumi and Fernando.

“I know everything that’s going on and I know to have a team at this moment makes no sense financially. So, there is no reason for me to come back to F1.”

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