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Renault car bosses get the boot -

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ELEANOR HALL: Executives from French car maker Renault all but admitted overnight that their
Formula One team cheated at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

The company's former star driver had already told the sport's governing body that he deliberately
crashed his car and that he was told to do so by Renault bosses.

Overnight Renault's team chief resigned and the car maker now says it won't contest the charges.

As Di Bain reports not only is the car maker's reputation now in tatters but Renault could face a
fine of more than $100 million and expulsion from the sport.

DI BAIN: The charismatic Italian Flavio Briatore was the driving force behind Renault's successes
on the track. He was the boss of the team - ultimately responsible for its wins and losses. When he
was interviewed trackside just a few months ago there was no sign he was about to be booted out of
his 20 year career.

FLAVIO BRIATORE: I want to be in this business for a long time and you know, if it is me, it would
be a lunatic find (phonetic).

DI BAIN: But overnight Flavio Briatore fell on his sword and so too did Renault's executive
director of engineering Pat Symonds.

Their resignations came as Renault was called to answer charges that it conspired with driver
Nelson Piquet Jr to cause a deliberate crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

Twenty-four-year-old Piquet has signed a statement saying he was told to crash into the barrier
during the race.

That meant while Piquet's car was being taken away other cars behind him were forced to pit stop
and refuel giving his team mate Fernando Alonso who was up the front a clean ride to win.

MURRAY WALKER (COMMENTATING ON THE SINGAPORE RACE): And Renault's gamble looked to have paid off
when Piquet crashed heavily and brought out the safety car.

DI BAIN: A hearing into the event has been scheduled for next week.

Renault has now issued a statement saying it won't contest the charges.

The Formula One community is stunned. Former team boss Eddie Jordan told the BBC he can't believe
anyone would stage a crash.

EDDIE JORDAN: There is not a sport I believe in creation that doesn't have some form of
manipulation. We can look at the rules and see how we can get around them and legitimately fight
them in a case in a court or something like that. That is part and parcel of what makes up sport.

But you know, when you endanger or the potential to endanger somebody's life let alone the driver
himself which obviously, I am surprised that Piquet Jr even in allowing this to happen. Really
surprised.

DI BAIN: Commentators say it's a serious offence which could cost Renault fines in the hundreds of
millions of dollars and even expulsion from the sport.

Former race caller Murray Walker says Piquet Jr is now very unlikely to earn the famed career of
his father - F1 legend Nelson Piquet.

MURRAY WALKER: Nelson Piquet has not done at all well last season. His career was obviously in
danger of finishing which it has now done and he was fighting to retain his career and was prepared
to do this dastardly thing of crashing deliberately which is, as I say, is without precedent in
Formula One.

DI BAIN: The scandal will also send shockwaves through the Renault boardroom which is trying to
turn around the company's financial problems.

This year Renault reported a first half net loss of 2.7 billion euros - that's more than $AU4.5
billion.

ELEANOR HALL: Di Bain reporting.