Opinions around the internet are inevitably varied, but general consensus seems to be: Nelson Piquet effectively getting away with intentionally crashing seems wrong; Renault getting away with just a suspended – very suspended – penalty is rather lenient; the FIA has finally got rid of Flavio Briatore; and it’s a bit of a surprise that Pat Symonds was involved in the first place.
The interesting part for me is the impact this will have on two of those involved.
Although without penalty, Nelson Piquet is pretty much screwed. But Renault paid him $1.5 million in 2008, and his contract was for $1 million this year, so I’m not sure I’ve much sympathy. It’ll be interesting to see quite what he’ll do with his time now though, because really no-one is going to want to be associated with him. Or will they?
The other is Flavio Briatore. I didn’t realise until today, but he’s one of the founders of GP2. With a ban from anything to do with the FIA, what’s he going to do there? Give it up, it seems. Same goes for his management of Mark Webber, Heikki Kovalainen and so on.
Less clear is Briatore’s role in owning Queens Park Rangers. On the face of it, this rules him out as a fit and proper person to be involved in football. The Football League is looking into the matter, but if the QPR fans I know are anything to go by, they’d be as sad to see Briatore go as the FIA was today.
Ultimately, Briatore is a very rich man, so I’m sure he’ll survive. But equally, he doesn’t seem like the sort of man who’d take anything lying down. His next move could be interesting.
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