Renault apologise to Piquets over crash allegations
Nelson Piquet Jr and his father are to receive substantial damages from Renault after winning their libel case in the High Court with regard to the ‘crashgate' scandal.
The duo pursued legal action after Renault issued a statement in September of last year in which they claimed the Piquets had lied about the events surrounding the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, further suggesting there had been an attempt to blackmail the team.
The statement was issued as Piquet Jr had suggested that, at the bequest of senior Renault personnel, he deliberately crashed his car to help then team-mate Fernando Alonso win that race.
At an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council that followed, Renault were given a two-year suspended ban from F1 due to the “unparalleled severity” of the case.
That judgment allowed the Piquets to pursue Renault through the courts, resulting in yesterday's verdict.
The Piquets’ lawyer Dominic Crossley said: “This marks the start rather than the end of the long journey they are both taking to correct many of the wrongs that took place during last year's ‘crashgate' scandal.
“They were both treated appallingly by Renault F1 when they dared to reveal the scandal to the governing body, and Nelsinho was abused terribly throughout his absurdly short career in F1.
“It is to the immense credit of both my clients that they have refused to be deterred from righting the wrongs despite the ferocity of the attacks and the size of the opponents they have had to confront.”
In response, Renault said: “We would like to apologise unreservedly to Mr Piquet Junior and his father for the distress and embarrassment caused as a result.
“As a mark of the sincerity of our apology and regret, we have agreed to pay them a substantial amount of damages for libel as well as their costs, and have undertaken not to repeat these allegations at any time in the future.”