Renault Managing Director of Engineering Pat Symonds was interviewed at the Belgian Grand Prix this year with regard to the part he played in the race fixing allegations currently surrounding his team and Nelson Piquet Jr.
Below is the full transcript from that interview:
FIA adviser: In your own words Mr. Symonds what do you recall being said to Nelson Piquet Jnr at that meeting? This is shortly before the race.
Symonds: I don’t really remember it.
FIA adviser: You don’t remember?
FIA adviser: Nelson Piquet Jnr says that he was asked by you to cause a deliberate crash. Is that true?
Symonds: Nelson had spoken to me the day before and suggested that. That’s all I’d really like to say.
FIA adviser: Mr Symonds were you aware that there was going to be crash at Lap 14?
Symonds: I don’t want to answer that question.
FIA adviser: There is just one thing that I ought to ask you and put it to you so you can think about it at least. Mr. Piquet Jnr says that having had the initial meeting with you and Flavio Briatore you then met him individually with the map of the circuit. Do you remember that?
Symonds: I won’t answer, rather not answer that. I don’t recall it but it sounds like Nelson’s talked a lot more about it.
FIA adviser: Mr. Piquet Jnr also says at that meeting you pointed out a specific place on the circuit where he was to have the accident and said it was because it was the furthest away from any of the safety or lifting equipment and gave the most likely chance of a safety car being deployed.
Symonds: I don’t, I don’t want to answer that question.
FIA adviser: [Referring to the pre-race meeting] Was it you that did the talking at that meeting Mr. Symonds?
Symonds: I’m sure it would have been both of us but I don’t know for sure. Sorry that’s a contradiction. I would imagine it would be both of us that would be normal. Actually probably more often it’s Flavio that does the talking himself. I wouldn’t necessarily always agree with what he’s saying but the majority.
FIA adviser: Because just to be absolutely clear here what Nelson Piquet Jnr has said is that at that meeting it was you that asked him to have a crash deliberately?
Symonds: I can’t answer you.
FIA adviser: Can I say that if Mr. Symonds you’d been put in the position where you were made to ask Mr. Piquet Jnr to crash it’s much better, it would be much better for you in the long term to tell these stewards to hear that today?
Symonds: I fully understand that.
FIA adviser: Yes.
Symonds: I have no intention of lying to you. I have not lied to you but I have reserved my position just a little.
FIA adviser: And you’re aware that the stewards may draw conclusions from your unwillingness to assist them in relation to what went on in that meeting?
Symonds: I would expect them to. I would absolutely expect that.
FIA adviser: I think I haven’t got any further questions.