- Title: UNITED KINGDOM: MOTOR RACING - Team bosses react to Renault controversy
- Date: 18th September 2009
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) CHRISTIAN HORNER, TEAM BOSS OF RED BULL RACING, SAYS "Obviously surprised I don't think it is good for the sport at the moment to have this kind of controversy but we are focused on going racing."
- Embargoed: 3rd October 2009 13:00
- Location: United Kingdom
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVA2RPW479U1JB9MBWP20HJ229TY
- Story Text: Red Bull Racing's principal Christian Horner said on Thursday (September 17) that he had been surprised by the revelations that the Renault team had staged a crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix to engineer a win.
"Obviously surprised, I don't think it is good for the sport at the moment to have this kind of controversy but we are focused on going racing," Horner said as he attended a Formula One in Schools contest for secondary school pupils in London.
Renault blamed departed team bosses Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds for the Formula One race-fixing controversy on Thursday and said their behaviour should not reflect on the carmaker or the sport.
Briatore and Symonds left Renault on Wednesday as the car maker announced it would not dispute the allegations made against it.
Renault will appear before the governing International Automobile Federation in Paris on Monday charged with ordering Brazilian Nelson Piquet to crash deliberately in Singapore last year to help team mate Fernando Alonso win the race.
Possible sanctions include being kicked out of the championship.
Piquet, who lost his place at the team in August, has told the world body that he was told what to do in a meeting with Symonds and Briatore.
Sam Michael, Williams F1 technical manager, said nothing in Formula One surprised him.
Attending the same event as Horner, Michael said he had seen many things during his Formula One career.
"I am not surprised by anything in Formula One any more," he said.
"I've been in Formula One for my whole life. I have seen a lot of things happen and there is pretty little that can surprise you these days. I think ultimately you can't be good in Formula One unless you are good at engineering and you can have all the rest of the peripheral things going on around you to distract you from it; politics, different scenarios approaching yourself, you all the time, but ultimately you have got, still got to design fast reliable racing cars and as an engineer that is why I got into Formula One and that's why I am still there."
The Singapore race came at a time when Renault was desperate for success, without a win all season and Renault were considering their future in the sport. Double world champion Alonso was also talking to Ferrari about a possible switch.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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