Briatore Could Face Criminal Charges

With Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds still keeping quiet on their decision to leave Renault yesterday – the Italian was the only one who allegedly said he did it for the good of the team – all eyes are now focused on the statement released by the French manufacturer yesterday.

And the “we will not dispute the FIA charges” part seems the most intriguing, as it practically means Renault admits to their wrongdoings in the race-fixing scandal. Whether that means Briatore and Symonds are also guilty – although the latter was given immunity by the FIA – that's for the WMSC to decide on September 21.

The Renault statement seems to point out that Piquet's claims are true, so everybody is now focused on what will be the punishments to be received by Briatore and Renault next week. While the French manufacturer will most likely plead for clemency and get away “only” with a huge fine – as compared to being kicked out from the sport – Briatore seems to risk much more.

As reported by The Telegraph earlier today, “Singapore could request extradition from a Commonwealth country for someone charged for offenses which are deemed "extradition crimes (...) Acts done with the intention of endangering vehicles, vessels or aircraft. Malicious or willful damage to property” are listed as an extraditable crime.

Even if the Singapore officials will not proceed to that, Briatore may also be forced to pay Ferrari a great deal of compensatory money because of influencing the title fight last year. During the aforementioned race, Felipe Massa was leading the race at the moment Piquet crashed his car. Eventually, the Brazilian finished the race in 13th place, therefore point-less in the title fight. In the end, he lost the championship by a single point.

There is a clear causal link between the alleged cheating and the financial loss to Massa and his team. As for Renault suing Briatore that is possible too. But Renault are unlikely to want to keep the matter going for little reward,” said Stephen Hornsby, a specialist sport's lawyer, as quoted by Planet
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