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The Contrarian: FIA Got Renault’s Punishment Right

At the FIA hearing into the alleged race-fixing incident at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, where it was found that—on the orders of his Team Principal, Flavio Briatore, and Chief Engineer, Pat Symonds—Nelson Piquet, Jr. deliberately crashed in order to generate a Safety Car period that benefited his teammate Fernando Alonso, who went on to win the race. The result of the hearing was that Briatore and Symonds were banned from appearing at FIA-sanctioned events indefinitely and for five years respectively, and the Renault F1 Team was given a ban from Formula 1, suspended for two years. Many commentators have derided the penalty imposed on Renault as being a mere slap on the wrist and compared it with the sanctions that McLaren ha...

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