Details from race-fix driver's sworn statement leak out
11 September 2009

Nelson Piquet Jr has given a full account of how he deliberately crashed his car in order to help Fernando Alonso win the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

His damning description of the events have also put Flavio Briatore, the Renault team principal, and Pat Symonds, the engineering director, in the spotlight.

In a statement dictated to FIA officials, the Brazilian driver described how Briatore and Symonds asked him to crash, with Symonds taking him to one side before the race and pointing out the exact section of the track in which to carry out the “accident strategy”.

In his statement, Piquet said, “Mr Symonds … pointed me to the exact corner of the track where I should crash. This corner was selected because the specific location of the track did not have any cranes that would allow a damaged car to be swiftly lifted off the track.

“Mr Symonds also told me which exact lap to cause the incident on, so that a strategy could be deployed for my team-mate Fernando Alonso to refuel at the pit shortly before the deployment of the safety car,” he continued.

Having started from 15th on the grid, Alonso went on to win the Singapore Grand Prix. He took an early fuel stop in lap 12, two laps before Piquet hit the barriers and forced almost all of the Spaniard’s rivals to pit to refuel during the six-lap safety car period.

Describing the crash itself, Piquet told the FIA that he kept his foot on the throttle coming out of the previous corner, when normally he would have lifted, and that the engineer of his car noticed this when he had a look through the telemetry readings.

“The engineer of my car questioned the nature of the incident because he found it unusual, and I replied that I had lost control of the car," he stated. "A clever engineer would notice from the car’s telemetry that I caused the incident on purpose as I continued accelerating.

“A ‘normal’ reaction would be to brake as soon as possible.”

In spite of the threat that the team could be thrown out of the sport, Renault has refused to make any formal comment on the situation, although both Briatore and Symonds are said to have claimed it was Piquet who devised the ‘accident strategy’, not them.

The case against Renault will be heard at an extraordinary meeting of the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council in Paris on 21 September.

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Comments
12

11 September 2009

Whatever happens, he's finished.

What a fool

11 September 2009

He's just a pawn ... they need to find the chess player.

The whole thing stinks.

11 September 2009

Filth. This is an even worse act of premeditated cheating than McLaren's in 2007 I think - surely heads will roll at Renault.

Or will the FIA go soft on them for fear of pushing another manufacturer out of the sport?

11 September 2009

Flav and the team are taking legal action against the Piquets

It's been passed to the Police in the UK

11 September 2009

[quote Autocar]he deliberately crashed his car in order to help Fernando Alonso win [/quote]

I don't for a second believe that Alonso didn't know about this.

Remember, this is the guy who said he didn't know about Ferrari data being used at McLaren when, as a result of the FIA giving him immunity, then produced emails between him and Pedro that he obviously did!

Dirty rotten cheat. Throw Renault and Alonso out of F1 for good.

11 September 2009

Absolutely disgusting....if this is true....flavio should never be allowed near an F1 grid.....this is against the whole sporting spirit.....first McLaren then Renault..... cant bear what's happening in F1. and if alonso new about it which i think he did, he should be striped of his two titles. and revoking his racing licence... it might be harsh for both flavio and alonso but if there was a harsher sentencing for the McLaren scandal flavio would never thought of this....they got away with a fine and championship points dropped. i think with a harsh sentence no one would ever think to do something like this again.....im truly sad to what happening to my favourite sport.

11 September 2009

[quote carnut]first McLaren then Renault[/quote]

The difference is that there were rogue elements inside McLaren, but with Renault it's going right to the top. Ron Dennis didn't know that emails were being passed between Mike Coughlan to Pedro de la Rosa to Fernado Alonso. With this case it appears that Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds knew and instructed Piquet. If true, and proved, this is much much more serious.

http://www.motorauthority.com/blog/1026398_fia-delivers-the-shocking-proof-behind-mclarens-cheating

11 September 2009

Renault, Flavio and Alonso are all a complete disgrace. I hope they get an exclusion, big fine, titles stripped etc.

Lest we forget Renault were found to have techical data on another team's car in 07 and they got off scot free.

-------- 

I'm The Ωmega Man, always talking to myself

11 September 2009

Interesting that all posters above seem to assume Renault's guilt. I for one don't.

Unless there's a smoking gun such as a taped pit-to-driver communication, I think that crashing a car to favour your team mate is such an incredible long shot with so many variables that I really can't believe it.

What I do believe is that the Piquets suffer from a near terminal case of sour grapes and that Junior's racing career now is on life support with very little hope of recovery. I can't even imagine teams in the US touching him now.

Also telling is the fact that Renault has gone to court over this against the Piquets.

Finally, but this is just a side issue. I don't think that F1 can afford to lose Renault at this point after the withdrawal of Honda and BMW.

11 September 2009

Brava,

Interesting last point about F1 losing Renault - new teams would not have the money that Renault has to "give" to the Ecclestone Clan until budget caps kick in.

However, I really can't see Renault laying charges on Piquette other than a smoke screen and defending by attacking. This whole saga is indeed as much as, if not more deplorable than the spygate issue, especially when other innocent parties could have been hurt. And if the telemetry statement is correct, then I think that may constitute as enough proof also. I'm sure FIA et al will be reviewing all video of that weekend to disect any discussions between Flav, Pat, Piquette and even Alonso, as I'm sure he knew about this all.

What a shame this all is....who knows, maybe Ron Dennis will make a come back!

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