Symonds offered race-fix immunity

Renault director of engineering Pat Symonds has been offered immunity from punishment by the FIA if he offers full disclosure of the facts surrounding last year's Singapore Grand Prix race-fix allegations

Symonds offered race-fix immunity

With less than one week to go before Renault faces the FIA World Motor Sport Council to answer charges that it asked Nelson Piquet to crash deliberately to help Fernando Alonso win, sources have confirmed to AUTOSPORT that Symonds has been given the chance of an amnesty.

The development comes on the back of interviews between Symonds, FIA representatives and members from the Quest agency at the Belgian Grand Prix where it was deemed his evidence was 'central' to finding answers to what happened in Singapore.

In the stewards' report about that interview, a copy of which has been seen by AUTOSPORT, Symonds confirms that the race-day meeting between himself, Briatore and Piquet did take place.

The stewards reports added: "Mr. Symonds accepted that he had discussed with NPJ (Piquet) the possibility of a deliberate crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, although he said the suggestion was raised by NPJ."

However, Symonds then refused to answer questions about specific allegations about the events that took place that day (see separate story).

It is understood, however, that the reason to offer Symonds immunity has come from the fact that he indicated at the time that he may have further useful information.

The stewards report stated: "Mr. Symonds suggested at his interview on 27 August that he might wish to revert to the Stewards with further information, including information responsive to the various questions he had declined to answer.

"However, no such further information was provided on 27 August. On 28 August, Mr Symonds was summoned back before the Stewards to be asked if he wanted to give further information on the questions he had declined to answer. Mr Symonds again declined to answer the questions."

It is not clear if Symonds has accepted the immunity from punishment offer, but should he do so it means only Renault boss Flavio Briatore will face the FIA's WMSC without any such deal in place. FIA president Max Mosley confirmed at the Italian Grand Prix that Piquet would be exempt too.

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