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DATE News (chronologically)
09/17/09
f1
Eddie Irvine says cheating normal in F1
Eddie Irvine has hit back at what he deems the sanctimonious posturing of former drivers and figures in Formula One by claiming that cheating has always gone on in Formula One and that the current furor over Renault’s alleged ‘race-fixing’ is simply the governing body “going on a crusade”.

Renault have been called to answer charges by governing body, the FIA, of ordering Nelson Piquet Jr to crash. Yesterday their team principal, Flavio Briatore, and director of engineering, Pat Symonds, departed the sport under a cloud after the team decided not to contest charges of fixing the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

But Irvine says that this matter is the latest in a long list of rules that have been bent in the sport over the years.

"Formula One has always been a war and in war all is fair," the former Jordan and Ferrari driver said.

"When I was in various teams you would do anything to win. Back in the day it was normal."

"This is probably slightly on the wrong side of the cheating thing but in days past every team have done whatever they could to win - cheat, bend the rules, break the rules, sabotage opponents," he claimed. "This is just the FIA going on a crusade."

Irvine’s comments would appear to contradict those of his former team boss Eddie Jordan who said: “The ramifications with safety, safety of the marshals, the safety of the driver...you're asking someone to do something absolutely ridiculous. I ran a team for nearly 30 years and I can't comprehend that is even part of the agenda. I don't know how desperate they were.”

Renault face the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council in Paris on Monday and Irvine believes that if they are found guilty, the FIA will deal with them leniently.

"Formula One cannot afford to lose more teams. For me, it will be a massaged court where the fine will be reduced in order not to scare Renault away,” the Northern Irishman said.

"There are several teams in the sport that are looking shaky and they cannot afford to kick Renault out of Formula One." Expressbuzz.com

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