Ex-Renault Formula One driver Nelson Piquet has claimed he is the real victim of the sport’s recent ‘crashgate’ scandal.
The French team was given a suspended two year ban after it was proven that Flavio Briatore, Pat Symonds and Piquet himself conspired to fix the result of last year’s Singapore grand prix, which was won by Piquet’s team mate Fernando Alonso.
In an interview with The Times, Piquet claimed the event has severely hampered his chances of ever returning to the sport.
"Some people have suggested I should have been punished by the FIA but, in reality, no one has been punished more than I have,” he said.
“I am at the beginning of my career, unlike the others who have been punished in this case. I am going to have to overcome many obstacles. I more or less have to start my career from scratch in Formula 1 or justify myself in whatever category I might race in.”
The Brazilian claims the plan to fix the race was only decided shortly before the start and he didn’t have time to think through his actions.
“The crash plan was only made hours before the race, I did not have time to think straight,” he said. “If the proposal had been made during free practice I would have had more time to think and to act in another way.”
Alonso was not involved in the plan, according to Piquet.
Alonso did not participate in the meeting when the idea of a crash was developed,” he said. “If he knew or not about the plan, is a detail that I do not know.”