The FIA is launching an investigation into allegations of race-fixing by Renault.
F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed that the race under investigation is the 2008 Singapore GP, and the investigation is focusing on suggestions Nelson Piquet Jr was ordered to crash to bring out a safety car to help team-mate Fernando Alonso, who went on to win the race.
Piquet spun out on lap 14, bringing out the safety car. Once the safety car pulled off the circuit, most drivers pitted, allowing Alonso, who had pitted immediately prior to his team-mate's crash, to join the leading pack, despite starting the race in 15th position. He went on to win by three seconds from Nico Rosberg.
The source of the accusations is unknown, although unconfirmed reports suggest Piquet has provided evidence following his sacking by Renault last month.
Ecclestone conceeded this was a possibility, and added that drivers should take as much responsibility as the team if they were found to follow orders:
He said: ‘If I tell you to go and rob a bank and you get caught you can't say, “Well Bernie told me to.”’
If the FIA considers that the allegations are founded, it will call a meeting of the World Motor Sport Council, which in turn could impose fines, bans, or total exclusion from F1.
Renault has not commented.