It's been a long, drawn-out affair extending back two years since the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. That's when then-Renault F1 chiefs Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds allegedly instructed their rookie driver Nelson Piquet Jr to crash on purpose and give the advantage to his world-champion wingman Fernando Alonso. The scandal erupted the following/last season when Piquet blew the whistle. Briatore and Symonds were summarily excommunicated from Formula One and any FIA-regulated racing series (which is pretty much all of them).

Briatore fought back and had the ruling overturned in court on procedural grounds. The FIA said it would appeal Flavio's appeal (and we're not talking about his famous supermodel-luring swagger here), but now the two parties have apparently reached an out-of-court settlement.

Both Briatore and Symonds will soon be cleared to return to F1 or other FIA-sanctioned series, beginning at the start of 2013 F1 season and the end of 2011 for other racing disciplines. In the meantime, the FIA is abandoning further legal recourse, citing the best interest of the organization and of motorsport as its motivation.

[Source: Autosport | Image: Paul Gilham/Getty]