Briatore maintains his innocence in Crashgate

Briatore maintains his innocence in Crashgate

Five years down the line, Flavio Briatore is adamant there is "no proof" that he ordered Nelson Piquet Jr to crash during the 2008 Singapore GP.

Briatore, who was the Renault team boss at the time, was found guilty of ordering Piquet Jr to deliberately put his car in the wall to help team-mate Fernando Alonso to the victory.

The Italian was handed a lifetime ban which was rejected by the Tribunal de Grande Instance in Paris in 2010.

Speaking in an interview with F1 Racing's Maurice Hamilton, Briatore maintained his innocence in the matter.

"The court in Paris was very clear; I was not involved at all. That is what the letter said," he said.

Pressed as to whether that was what was put into writing, Briatore said: "Yes, it's official.

"There was no proof that I was involved in Singapore. Which is the reason I won in court. I've nothing more to say; I say it already at the time.

"If what people claimed about Singapore was true, then why did I fire Piquet in the middle of the next season? Why take that risk? Why not renew the contract because it would be 30 or 40 per cent less money and there would be no trouble if all this was true. I had Fernando back and, for me, the second driver was not important.

"I respect what was said in the court. After that, I have an agreement with Jean Todt that the FIA will not appeal.

"I stay away with no problem at all. I had the moral responsibility because I was in charge of the team. But now it is gone."

However, don't expect the Italian to make an appearance in the paddock as anything other than a guest.

"Now I have a son, three years old; I'm working 20 hours a day for different businesses, different investments, different situations, both here and over in America; I'm very happy. This restaurant, for example, is the most popular in Monte Carlo.

"I was in Formula 1 for 20 years, won seven championships with two different teams, discovered the two big stars after Ayrton Senna: Schumi and Fernando.

"I know everything that's going on and I know to have a team at this moment makes no sense financially. So, there is no reason for me to come back to F1."