Briatore, Symonds, leave Renault team

(GMM) Renault boss Flavio Briatore and his engineering deputy Pat Symonds "have left the team", it was announced in a short media statement on Wednesday.

The Enstone based outfit, owned 100 per cent by the French carmaker Renault SA, also revealed that it will "not dispute the recent allegations" about the 2008 Singapore grand prix at the World Motor Sport Council hearing on 21 September.

It is a dramatic change of position for Renault, whose Briatore said at the previous Monza and Spa-Francorchamps races that he denies Nelson Piquet's claims about his Singapore crash being deliberate.

Symonds, however, had told FIA investigators that a deliberate crash – albeit he claims suggested by Piquet – was at least discussed prior to the inaugural Singapore night race.

At Monza, a media statement said 59-year-old Italian Briatore as well as the Renault team he leads had commenced criminal proceedings in France against the sacked driver and would alert the UK police about the "false allegations" and "blackmail".

Briatore's career in formula one and with the team dates back to its days as Benetton 20 years ago. Symonds, 56, has been with the team even longer, when in the early 80s it was known as Toleman.

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