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Ecclestone: Renault will face serious consequences

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Formula one supremo Bernie Ecclestone has warned there could be serious consequences for Renault and Nelson Piquet if any evidence is uncovered by the FIA in their investigation into allegations of race fixing.

Claims emerged last weekend at Spa that Piquet had been ordered to deliberately crash out of the sport's inaugural night race at the 2008 Singapore grand prix to help his Renault team-mate Fernando Alonso secure the race win.

The source of the claims has yet to be revealed and the FIA have yet to confirm that they are looking into the Singapore race.

However, Ecclestone has confirmed that the FIA are looking into events in Singapore and he stated that the governing body are taking the matter seriously.

"The FIA has launched a thorough investigation into the allegations about Nelson," Ecclestone said. "I do not know if they are true or not.

"But if they are true then I would have thought Nelson was in just as much trouble. If I tell you to go and rob a bank and you get caught you can't say, 'Well Bernie told me to.'

"It all seems very strange to me and I do not know the truth."

Ecclestone said that, if any suspicious evidence came to light, the FIA would most likely call a hearing of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) to look into the matter further and he warned that any involved parties would face a severe punishment.

"If the investigation finds out that that is what happened then I think there is going to be a lot of trouble," Ecclestone said.

"You hear of these things happening with jockeys and in football and it has led to all sorts of trouble, hasn't it?

"If it is true then it is a very serious situation.

"But it could just be a rumour and Nelson is just annoyed that he has been fired.

"But it is not good for the sport. People seem to be spending money betting on F1l, which is good, but they will not want to do that if they think something is wrong with the result."

Ecclestone also raised fears that Renault could decide to exit from the sport following the investigation, following in the footsteps of Honda and BMW.

He told The Times newspaper: "This is not the sort of thing we need at the moment.

"I think it will p*** off Renault for a start. Them leaving the sport is a danger, obviously. I mean, I hope that it isn't like that, but it's the sort of thing that might happen."
© Adfero Ltd
04 September 2009 08:00 GMT

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