Crash-gate over but clouds remain over Renault

The World Motor Sport Council was seen in F1 circles to have gone easy on the French marque on Monday, but the question marks remain over Renault's future on the Formula One grid. Many observers believe the FIA body did not levy a big monetary...

The World Motor Sport Council was seen in F1 circles to have gone easy on the French marque on Monday, but the question marks remain over Renault's future on the Formula One grid.

Many observers believe the FIA body did not levy a big monetary fine, or a tangible penalty like race or championship bans, in order to safeguard the carmaker's participation in a sport that has already lost Honda and BMW.

It is suggested that Renault and Toyota would be the next big names to go, and the fact that Renault has been effectively caught cheating does not bode well for the carmaker's forthcoming deliberations about the value of staying on the grid.

FIA president Max Mosley was asked by reporters in Paris what the scandal means for Renault's commitment to the sport.

"I don't think it means anything," he answered, adding a simple "yes" without elaborating when asked if Renault are planning to stay in Formula One.

The timing of the so-called crash-gate scandal could not have been worse for Renault, given the global car sales crisis and the fact that its title sponsor ING is stepping out of Formula One at the end of 2009.

Jonathan Neill, PR director for the company Generate Sponsorship, said: "No one, whether it's a fan or a business, will like to position themselves with a brand accused of cheating."

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Series Formula 1