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DATE News (chronologically)
09/10/09
f1
Symonds evasive during FIA questioning
(GMM) Pat Symonds refused to answer direct questions about the 'crash-gate' scandal when interrogated by chief FIA steward Alan Donnelly and investigators for the Quest firm recently at Spa, it emerged on Thursday.

After Nelson Piquet's statement to the governing body was leaked to the media, evidence containing a Q-and-A with Renault engineering boss Symonds' also came to light.

56-year-old Symonds, whose team tenure dates back to its Toleman days in the early 80s, admitted that in a pre-race meeting with Piquet in Singapore, the Brazilian driver made the suggestion of a deliberate crash.

But when asked if he knew Piquet was still planning to crash on lap 14 when the race began, Symonds declined to answer.

When probed about Piquet's claim that, no longer in boss Flavio Briatore's presence, he showed the driver on a layout map on which corner he should crash, Symonds again said he did not want to answer.

He also gave a similar answer when the FIA interviewer asked about Piquet's claim that the crash site was selected due to the lack of recovery cranes.

The additional leaked information on Thursday also showed that Fernando Alonso was brought in for his pitstop before the Piquet crash two laps early, with more than 8kg of fuel left in his tank.

The Spanish driver's race engineer was at the time concerned about the change of strategy, to which radio evidence shows Symonds replied: "No, no, it's going to be alright."
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