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Renault chief: Briatore felt responsible

Pat Symonds and Flavio BriatoreRenault chief operating officer Patrick Pelata says someone needed to pay for the French squad's actions at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

"I don't know all the details but there was a fault and a fault requires a sanction," Pelata told French radio RTL after team boss Flavio Briatore and director of engineering Pat Symonds left the team on Wednesday.

"Piquet had already left and Pat Symonds is gone. Briatore considered he was morally responsible and has resigned."

Pelata added: "We will know more about the details after what will happen next Monday, with the FIA. At the moment, we have assumptions but it is clear that basically there was a fault."

Renault announced yesterday that it will not dispute the race-fixing allegations when it faces the FIA's World Motor Sport Council next Monday.

Pelata admitted the row had been a blow for the French company, but suggested the actions of Briatore and Symonds should not affect the rest of the team.

"Yes, we don't like this, but do we not want the fault of two people to reflect upon the work of a company and the entire Formula 1 team," Pelata added.

He said it was not the time to think about Renault's future involvement in Formula 1.

"It costs us less than that, but this is not the debate today," he said when asked if it would be a relief for Renault to be saving 350 million euro on its F1 programme.

"It is probably not the case at the moment."

And Pelata denied the French car maker had already lined up former world champion Alain Prost to replace Briatore.

"No. It's too early to discuss these questions."

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