Millionaire playboy and Formula One head Flavio Briatore is the center of major controversy today. Briatore, famous as much for his freespending and modelizing ways as his racing career, has stepped down as the head of the Renault team. Briatore told the Daily Mirror
that he made the move for the good of the team amid allegations of race-fixing. Both Briatore and the team's executive director of engineering, Pat Symonds, left their posts after Renault refused to contest allegations that former Renault driver Nelson Piquet Jr. was asked to deliberately crash in last year's Singapore Grand Prix. His crash benefitted the team's other driver Fernando Alonso who went on to win the race.
Members of the Renault team are set to appear before the International Automobile Federation (FIA) in Paris on Monday and face the possibility of being expelled from competition. Now that Briatore and Symonds are no longer part of the team Renault may not be banned but will likely face a fine or some other action. Piquet has already testified that he was told by Briatore and Symonds when and where to crash .According to CNN
, Renault's chief operating officer Patrick Peralta has said that Briatore and Symonds are solely responsible for the incident.