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Briatore banished as Renault escape

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FIA president Max Mosley has confirmed Renault remain committed to Formula One after avoiding severe sanctions over their involvement in fixing last year's Singapore Grand Prix.

Renault's penalty of permanent disqualification from F1, suspended for two years, may be seen by critics as lenient, considering the World Motor Sport Council in Paris noted their breach of the rules was of "unparalleled severity".

The 26-man Council stated that Nelson Piquet Junior being ordered to crash his car "compromised the integrity of the sport, but also endangered the lives of spectators, officials, other competitors and Piquet himself".

Despite that, the WMSC took into account mitigating circumstances, opting to suspend the ban until the end of the 2011 season, and it will only be enforced should they be "found guilty of a comparable breach during that time".

Renault's former team principal Flavio Briatore was handed the most stringent penalty, being handed a lifetime ban from FIA-sanctioned events.

The fact Renault have avoided financial penalty, either via a fine or points deduction which would have a knock-on effect when it comes to awarding prize money at the end of this year, came as a major surprise.

With the car industry currently crippled by the recession, Renault can perhaps breath easy, and in return it will not force them into considering whether to walk away from a sport that currently costs around 250 million Euros a year (£225million) in which to compete.

© Press Association 2009