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September 24, 2009

FRANCE: Renault ‘will make changes to stay in F1’

Renault wants to stay in F1 motor racing and continue to make an important contribution to the sport, the company has told the FIA, motorsports' controlling body.

Renault wants to stay in F1 motor racing and continue to make an important contribution to the sport, the company has told the FIA, motorsports’ controlling body.

The company has withdrawn criminal proceedings in France against Brazilian driver Nelson Piquet Jr and his father, a triple world champion, for false accusations and attempted blackmail following the ‘crashgate’ scandal at the 2008 Singapore grand prix.

The team was given a suspended permanent ban on Monday. On Wednesday it made a statement posted on the FIA website (www.fia.com).

“Renault F1 and its parent company have given serious consideration as to whether it should remain in the sport following the prejudice caused to its corporate image by the conspiracy, in addition to the existing background of financial pressures that have caused car manufacturers to withdraw,” the team said.

“But it has concluded that it would like to remain in Formula One and continue to make an important contribution to the sport. Renault F1 will introduce a new structure within the team and will review its internal procedures in an effort to ensure that this type of incident will never happen again,” the team added.

Flavio Briatore and head of engineering Pat Symonds left the team last week before the FIA’s hearing in Paris and have yet to be replaced.

The race-fixing controversy came to light after Piquet was dismissed by the team and told the FIA he had crashed deliberately in a plot with Briatore and Symonds to help team mate Fernando Alonso win.

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