Just a quick post (from my phone...how modern!) to discuss the verdict from the FIA World Council Meeting in Paris. In case you haven't heard, Renault have been given a suspended two-year ban while their former manager Flavio Briatore has been given an indefinite ban from all forms of motorsport, including driver management.
My buddy James, on his F1 Focus blog, argued that Renault should have been excluded from Formula One for race fixing and up until last week I probably would have agreed. They not only conspired against the merits of competition, but did so in a potentially dangerous fashion. However, the key figures in their conspiracy (namely Piquet, Briatore and Symonds) have all now left the team. Would there really be anything to gain from kicking them out? I think not.
Also, would Formula 1 be helped by banning Renault? Certainly not. In the last year we've seen the withdrawal of Honda and BMW and while fans aren't drawn to supporting the multi-ational manufacturers, the sport is helped in a commercial sense by their involvement. Business should not interfere with sport but there's little merit to punishing Renault when the 'brains' behind their plan have fallen on their swords. A fair balance has been struck, in my opinion.
As for Flavio...ciao. He may be enigmatic and a flamboyant presence, but anyone who conspired over this and other rumoured cheating scandals in the sport is no loss. We don't need him, and the sport will survive and thrive in the coming years, minus hospital ilk. It's time to close the door on 'crashgate' and move on.