Piquet Jnr and Alonso in Renault conspiracy claim

2008 Singapore Grand Prix

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Nelson Piquet Jnr crashed out of the Singapore Grand Prix on lap 14
Nelson Piquet Jnr crashed out of the Singapore Grand Prix on lap 14

After last year’s Singapore Grand Prix there were plenty of conspiracy theories that Nelson Piquet Jnr crashed deliberately to help Fernando Alonso win the race.

Those theories are now being given credence by Brazilian F1 journalist Reginaldo Leme, who claims Renault are to be investigated by the FIA over the result of last year’s Singapore Grand Prix.

Brazilian TV station Globo also carried the report during its Belgian Grand Prix coverage today. The allegation is that Piquet was ordered to crash by the team to help Alonso win the race. Here’s a paragraph from the race report which explains the scenario:

Alonso, who along with Rosberg had started on the less favourable super-soft tyres, made his first pit stop. Although he fell to last it proved extraordinarily fortunate timing when his team mate crashed two laps later, Nelson Piquet Jnr backing his car into the wall in front of the grandstands by the Marina.

Sure enough, as the other drivers made their pit stops Alonso inherited the lead and won the race. This came a day after qualifying down in 15th due to a car failure.

Piquet was, of course, dropped by Renault earlier this year and later launched a vitriolic attack on former boss Flavio Briatore. It doesn’t take a cynic to wonder if he might just be trying to get revenge on his old team.

Here’s a look back at some footage of the crash:

Piquet also spun on the warm-up lap in Singapore. More evidence he was capable of spinning without being told to? Or was he getting in a practice spin ahead of his big moment?

I still think it’s a bizarre conspiracy but if Piquet himself claims it’s true then, notwithstanding his obvious antagonism towards the team, the FIA are surely going to have a look.

Do you think the claims are true? Here’s links to the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix coverage from last year, and other relevant articles, to help you make your own mind up:

Thanks to Sandro and Dank for the tips!

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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218 comments on “Piquet Jnr and Alonso in Renault conspiracy claim”

  1. Ka and Boom spring to mind.

    1. isn’t the journalist being a little paraniod

  2. Wow!. Amazing how Piquet is angry with Briatore!

    1. Well, i think Briatore is capable of coming up with something like that, but have doubts if he actually would. perhaps he had complete faith that Piquet’s inabilities would not be questioned.

      but crashing so that the other car can take the lead? either Piquet is dumb to accept to go along with it and put himself in danger, and Renault would be dumber to commision it, these cars cost millions, whatever happened to flavio wanting to bring costs down….

      part of me wants to believe it, the other doesn’t, imagine the extra air time F1 would get if that were true or at least the FIA buys it and starts sniffing around….

      1. Is there any way that they can “sabotage” a car from the pit wall? I mean, did Jr even know?

        For example, can they change an engine map or “something” mid lap…Could it be, they give Jr the command to Push(Cover story)……then change a setting on his car(Unknown to Jr or Alonso), so that when he uses the throttle exactly the same way he has for the previous 11 laps, on this occasion, it causes a spin?

        Dont flame me, I am just wondering if it is possible to “trip” a car up from the pit wall? To change something so much, that it causes driver to lose control?

        1. Remember when JV’s left rear wheel fell off in the the last race in 1996…like FW didn,t plan that.

          1. Hmm, well remembered. I cant stop wondering why Ruben`s Anti-Stall keeps kicking in.

      2. The FIA are already sniffing around.

      3. I think Briatore would absoulutely do something like this
        Piquet could never lie about something this big. There is definitely something here

    2. Hey, wait a minute. Who said that it is Piquet who is bringing it up?

      1. @AntonioPizzonia Renault+Badoer+Briatore+Grosjean= DreamTeam 2010!about 22 hours ago from web

        Amanhã ou segunda mundo da F1 terá surpresas. Aguardem pq é coisa quente…10:14 PM Aug 29th from web

        Translation: Tomorow or monday F1 world have some surprises. Hold on because is hot stuff.

        AntonioPizzonia and Nelsinho are training at Monaco together… so I believe there is something..

        1. http://twitter.com/AntonioPizzonia

          will the anti-christ reveal himself in a few hours from now?

  3. what can they do though?

    that safety car changed the whole championship, we all remember massa disaster in the pits

    1. Punish Renault.

      1. freakin take away the team and esp the manager from entering the fields of F1 forever!! would be really good for the sport!! let him manage a 2nd rate football team

        1. Flavio is “good” to F1 business…

          (understand that I agree with you.. but F1 is a money machine and this things help it)

  4. aah! don’t take globo tv & Galvao Bueno too seriously!! He’s an absolute patriot & will go to any extent to defend his brazilian drivers. We all know how close piquet sr & galvao are :) i think both the piquet’s must shut up. The son is maligning his father’s image by doing this.

    1. i extend your “shut up” idea to galvao!
      when could renault have maid this order, that it never appeared on the radio?

      1. Last year’s radio transmissions were not all public, if they wanted they could communicate without being heard. (i hope i remember correctly). in any case i would suspect national pride and friendship has come in to cause a stir, who knows maybe the Piquet’s want to pressure Briatore into releasing Nelsinho from the management contract

        1. Definitely! There would have been secondary radio channels for communication. Do you think what the FIA transmits on TV is the real communication? The FIA wants us to believe the on goings are transparent. Teams have always had alternate methods of secure cockpit to pit communication.

      2. It might have been decided before the race, hence the spin on the warm up lap to practice … allegedly :)

    2. I agree that Piquet Snr is very self serving. You don’t win 3 world championsips without being driven and selfish. However at the time of the incident I like many did wonder if the whole thing had been orchestrated by Renault. I hope that it is not true because F1 really doesn’t need any more scandal. The timing of the revelation does seem a little like the Piquets getting some revenge over Flavio and Renault. Personally I’m not a fan of any of the parties concerned.

  5. Was Piquet stupid enough ‘then’ to drive into a wall just ‘coz his team boss said so? or is he stupid ‘now’ to have come up with a bizzare story just as a revenge-seeking ploy?

    and who’s to say that Alonso would have won? The stewards might not have asked the Safety Car, some other driver might have stayed out and gained an advantage….

    Next he’ll say Briatore also bribed Ferrari pit crew to leave the hose in Massa’s car!

    all it reminds me of is: sour grapes!

    1. All i remember at the time is quite a number of bloggers feeling that the crash was quite bizarre. A few actually dared suggest that it was staged.The fact that FIA are sniffing says something. Ok lets be clear here – if the story is true, who is most likely to expose it if not a Brazilian journalist?

    2. Safety car was 99% sure.. It’s a track and 2 walls along side…

  6. What a mess !??
    I say like this song
    perhaps I send it to him on twitter. ;)

  7. It’s just a coincidence. It is pointless to go on about it near to this years Singapore GP. Piquet wouldn’t risk his health by crashing the car just for Alonso.

  8. I sincerely hope it is not true, both as a Renault fan and as an F1 fan. If it is then you can expect a serious beating from the FIA under Article 151(c).

    1. The FIA often seem to take into consideration commercial factors when punishing teams. Remember, in 2007, they fined Mclaren $100 million over ‘spygate’, but they let Renault off for a very similar offence. Apparently this was because a large fine might have encouraged Renault to pull the plug on the team.

      So even if the story is true, perhaps the FIA will let Renault off lightly to try and encourage them to stay in F1. (But I hope, if guilty, they are punished fairly- such commercially influenced, unsporting decisions are exactly why some people don’t consider F1 to be a true sport)

      1. I don’t think having a few technical documents from a competitor, brought by an employee moving from their team to yours, is “a very similar offence” to having an on-demand flow of stolen information from another team, courtesy of a mole. But I digress….

        One could also argue that “commercial factors” caused the WMSC to change their original punishment of McLaren – exclusion from 2007 and 2008 – to the comparatively lighter penalty of the fine and points loss. And of course there is the matter of Renault’s recent appeal against their Valencia ban …. so there is certainly evidence that some judgements may be commercial rather than strictly sporting, but I think regardless of the punishment, if Renault are found guilty the damage caused to the team and the sport will be massive.

        1. I don’t think having a few technical documents from a competitor, brought by an employee moving from their team to yours,

          a few?, surely you mean, the entire technical specs of an F1 car.

          The shop where Coughlin tried to get photocopies is about 500 metres away from my friends house.

          Strange that.

          1. I was referring to Renault in that case. The “on-demand flow of stolen information….” etc. was McLaren.

          2. But then Renault actually put the part that they stole the plans for on the car.

  9. I don’t see the point in this conspiracy at all, would they be saying this if Piquet was still Fernando Alonsos team mate? i don’t think so, its generally a load of rubbish and strictly a conspiracy, what can they do though? The safety car changed everything, Alonso won the Race, and of course the Ferrari Pit Blunder which cost Massa the championship.

    1. well, Massa only had a chance because Hamilton was penalised in Spa.

      1. That is a blatant distortion. In Spa, Hamilton lost 6 points (in my opinion, deservedly) in his fight with Massa. In Singapore, Massa lost 11 points to Hamilton (10 himself plus 1 for LH due to his demise). If you sum to it the engine blow up in Hungary and the mess Ferrari did in his 1st pit stop in Canada, Hamilton would not have had a snif of chance to win last year’s championship – which he did by the skin of his teeth.

        1. Massa not getting points in Singapore was a blunder by Ferrari. Can’t blame anyone else there.

          Lewis got penalised in Spa because the FIA decided to make up a new rule about waiting aleast 1 corner before overtaking.

          1. Plus the Bourdais-Massa incident in Fuji where Massa gained a position and Bourdais was penalised.

        2. Massa crashed/spun out of the first 2 races. If he hadn’t done that he might have won the WDC too.

          1. Strange that people here fail to mention the fact that kimi almost parked his car to let ‘CHAMP’ massa through into second place at china ;)

          2. You can’t blame Massa for the Singapore blunder either. My point here is that he lost the Championship due to problems that he was not to blame. Regarding China, well, the same could be said of Kovi letting Hamilton through in Germany… Hamilton only won the championship (by 1 point in the last curve) because his team did not blunder like Ferrari did.

          3. Hamiliton won by one point because that’s all that was required. He would have had to apply different tactics if it were necessary.

          4. @ Antifia

            Regarding China, well, the same could be said of Kovi letting Hamilton through in Germany…

            just to refresh your confused memory, hamilton went on to WIN that race, in the process he overtook four cars(kovi,nick,massa & our very own piquet ;) ) hamilton & mclaren achieved that on sheer speed. In CHAMP Massa’s case he was trailing kimi by 10 sec with 15 odd laps to go, kimi was forced to drop his pace just for champ massa to catch him & pass him. you see the only person massa overtook on that day was his very own team mate, if you can call it overtaking ;) At least be glad that ferrari didn’t do something they did to irvine


            & most importantly champ massa never deserved to win at spa in the first place.

          5. I think you’re all missing the real culprit who lost the championship for massa and won it for Hamilton. TIMO GLOCK!!!

  10. Leme is very close to Piquet. So I’m pretty sure the Piquets are his sources.

    Also, Joe Saward just confirmed a investigatio is indeed going on.

    1. Augusto Barreto
      31st August 2009, 2:40

      I felt Galvao Bueno very upset, asking Reginaldo Leme about the source all the time.

  11. It wouldn’t be the first time a driver has exposed dodgy goings-on at his former team. Remember Norberto Fontana?

    1. Be that as it may, does Briatore strike to anyone like a man that would refrain from practices as such? Or would Alonso for that matter???

      1. NO and NO!

    2. FOM have removed that video. Obviously ashamed of themselves.

  12. If this story was about anyone other than Briatore, I wouldn’t believe it……………

    1. Seconded.

      And it did seem far too convenient at the time.

      1. Mark Hitchcock
        30th August 2009, 18:09


        I don’t think it’s true but when Briatore’s involved you can never be sure.

  13. I think that this things might be true. I thought of it the moment I saw Piquet crash. People have done much worse things for much worse reasons.

  14. Let’s hope this is’nt so, it would be so damaging to F1, if true. My, oh my, never a dull moment in F1!

  15. So that tells us that the 35 pts racked by Alonso in the closing stages of the 2008 season was also a conspiracy?! I don’t think so. The Singapore GP was just a very wild coincidence.

  16. I always thought that it was deliberate. His voice on the radio was so unemotional, and both Flav and Fernando have form in terms of being willing to break rules to gain the advantage. If the team was in danger of having its budget pulled, as was rumoured last year, they may have felt it justified “tweaking the circumstances” a bit.

  17. Cockney James Hunt
    30th August 2009, 17:26

    It’s not true. Renault would simply not allow such a potentially lethal and plain idiotic plan to happen. Not just Renault – any sane individual. Not only that, but given that Renault and Fernando Alonso were well out of the drivers and manufacturers championship, they had absolutely nothing critical to gain by co-ordinating such a bizarre, homicidal plan at that particular moment, on that particular circuit. This is utter bonkers. Pantaloon wearing bonkersness.

    1. +1. Absurd.

      Why would Piquet endanger himself, other drivers, marsels and members of the public?

      He might not have set the F1 world on fire, but he is a professional driver and good human being.

      FIA is wasting money and futher damaging the F1 brand.

  18. Only one problem with this idea. All team radio transmissions are monitored and recorded. No way that Renault could radio Nelson Piqued (sic) and advise him to trash the car.

    Anyway, you have made racing your life. You are driving in the ultimate global series, one of the most powerful racing machines ever made. Race you really going to risk you life, career or reputation by trashing your drive?

    Nah! No way. More chance that Michael Jackson has just moved into a villa next to Elvis in the Seychelles.

    1. I agree, complete rubbish!!

    2. The FIA are investigating and presumably the first step would be to demand copies of the radio transmissions – as they did with McLaren at Melbourne this year, for example.

      But you wouldn’t necessarily have to use a radio instruction of “Piquet, please crash now so Alonso can win”. If it was pre-planned, any phrase could have been used as a trigger.

      At the time, there’s no way I would have believed the story. And even now I’m sceptical about Piquet’s motives. But we’ll see what the investigation turns up. After their recent troubles and given the economic situation it’s the last thing Renault need.

      1. But you wouldn’t necessarily have to use a radio instruction of “Piquet, please crash now so Alonso can win”. If it was pre-planned, any phrase could have been used as a trigger.

        Indeed, and the true meaning of any “trigger” phrase (and this entire affair) would presumably be Piquet’s word against Renault’s. Unless Piquet can find someone within Renault to back up his account it won’t stand up.

        It would also be an incredibly risky thing for Renault to agree with a driver who was at that point widely believed to be on the verge of the sack – why give an already underperforming employee potential leverage for blackmail?

        I remember reading a piece in Autosport years ago, an interview with Stefan Johansson where he’d been filming some promotional material for McLaren. At one point, the script required him to spin the car and he found it near impossible to do intentionally.

      2. Max should resign now!!!
        31st August 2009, 6:32

        Well it doesn’t have to be Renault, I mean the companies are always expecting results from their teams and the teams have their team manager or however it’s called. So maybe Flavour Flav was in pressure to deliver some results and he figured out he could do this and to maximize his options of getting a podium at least.

        I’m not a big fan of conspiracy theories, actually I don’t buy’em at all but I live in Argentina and with the kind of politicians we have here I’m no longer shocked when horrible claims are made. I guess we will just have to wait for the investigation (and to see how it was carried out too) and see.

        The only thing that tells me that this could be very well true is the fact that they had not had a good result before that and the fact that Alonso had a very unusual fuel strategy to be starting from P15.

      3. How long do the teams have to keep audio tapes. They could well be scrapped by now, as it was last season.

  19. The FIA can probably use this as an excuse to scrap Singapore from last years results and say that Massa is the new 2008 WDC champion.

    1. I wish! More fuel for the FIA-is-against-McLaren fire. It’s been too quiet, we need MORE rumors, conspiracies, what-if’s etc

  20. And for a moment I felt sorry for Piquet jr after he was out of his Renault seat, but now… whether its true or not revenge at all costs is not the way. It would be better for him, more honourable showing to Briatore what hes worth on race track, just like Kubica did. Now Im sure we wont see Piq jr in an F1 car, I cant see any team taking him.

  21. Max should resign now!!!
    30th August 2009, 17:32

    looks like my forum thread is useless now…

  22. So all Piquet crashes were only because he tried to let Alonso win? In that case I’m sure he was right all along about him being a top driver.

    Of course Briatore is Dr. Evil in disguise, but surely radio traffic and such is known by the FIA and would’ve come out long, long time ago.

    Nice conspiracy, plenty of Alonso-haters will be up in arms again.

    1. Why would any radio exist? If (and it’s a big if) something happened it was planned and Nelson knew in which lap he had to crash. If there’s any radiocom it’s something that would look innocent outside of the context.

  23. Despite being a brazilian, I agree that Leme (who is better at sounding more credible than he is) is making too much sound and fury over this, and even if it true, I don’t think it will “rock the foundations” of the sport as he mentioned… just add another sad chapter to formula one racing (Austria in 2002 springs to mind). Furthermore, it wasn’t Renault’s fault that Ferrari screwed up Massa’s pit stop. As much as it pains me to say it, we must on from 2008 and accept that Hamilton won it. Some win, some you lose.

    Furthermore, depsite being a fervent supporter of my country’s driver, I think Piquet Jr. should just shut up already! Granted, Alonso isn’t the best teammate to have and Briatore is not the world’s greatest boss, but he could have done more, a lot more in the car. Honestly, stop finding excuses as to why you were a bad driver and accept that you were just not good enough. Maybe if you accept that (and that you are NOT your father), things may improve… slightly (Massa never whined, just got into the car and drove…).

    1. Allowing ourselves for one second to believe that it were true, what an irony it would be if one Brazilian’s involvement in a scheme like this provoked circumstances which led to another Brazilian losing points and, ultimately, the world championship.

      …and now back to reality.

      1. But remember the pit stop hose debacle – that wasn’t Renault’s fault. After looking at these comments, I do wonder if it is another huge conspiracy to strip our Lewis of the title. Surely not! A conspiracy within a conspiracy. This is getting quite surreal.

        1. If this is a conspiracy against Hamilton it wouldn’t work… If Alonso and Piquet were stripped of all of it’s points from last year (and other drivers inherit the positions), Hamilton would still win the championship, and with a two point difference to Massa instead of 1 (104 to 102).

  24. I was watching the brazilian coverage of the Belgian Grand Prix erlier today (as I live in Brazil). After Reginaldo Leme’s revelation, there was clearly an unconfortable situation installed in the coverage. Luciano Burti replied “As long as I know Nelsinho, I’m sure he would never crash purposely on a race”.

    Later, Galvão Bueno brought back the subject, saying Piquet sr. told him earlier this year: “Why do you think I am coming for every single GP in 2009? Do you think I like this? I am here ’cause something big is gonna happen”.

    I can’t say I don’t think Briatore is not capable of such thing. My only fear is the future of the Renault team in F1 after this Singaporegate.

    1. Augusto Barreto
      31st August 2009, 3:22

      I agree with you. Very strange the way Reginaldo told the story as well as Galvão´s reaction. Never saw such a situation.

  25. Well, we all know Nelson is the ‘King of Spin(ing)’.

    To Piquet: to spin a vehicle on track with style.

  26. Haha…I love this because as soon as the race was over and it showed the highlights I said as a joke to my dad I bet he did that to gift Alonso the win, to get back in briatories good books.

    If any sort of punishment was given to renault it is likely to be diqualification from the race…etc. Not really changing that much, giving Rosberg a win and Hamilton an extra 2 points onto his title, meaning he won it by a margin of 3 points, as Massa finished 13th.

    Would love to hear more about how Briatorie treated Piquet though, feel sorry for the poor lad…

  27. Truly awful news if true mp4-19b (was your dad an F1 fan by any chance?), Journeyer just alluded to this in another thread.

    What a difference one week makes. Shiney, sterile Valencia – no overtaking on the circuit, but excellent entertaining facilities over the pit lane for the uber-wealthy. Soggy tents and mayo-soaked chips Spa – overtaking throughout the field. Shame Vijay Mallya had nowhere to park his dingy, but bet he is still grinning from ear to ear.

    Without real racing in F1, the fans WILL switch off. The TV companies will stop buying. The billionaires club will find somewhere else to party.

    Bernie and CVC need to take a reality check, before they start bouncing.

    1. was your dad an F1 fan by any chance?

      why would you want to know that?

      1. LOL – your name sir! Just being silly. No offence intended. And no, my dad wasn’t a sous chef, before you ask.

        Back on topic though. Could we be seeing the final throes of Max trying to lash out at the constructor teams who have been his undoing? I mean really why else would the FIA be seriously giving credence to this frankly delusional journo’s ramblings. Could Max want to force out Renault, thus creating a force majeure, wherein he, as current FIA president, steps into the breach and REMAINS president of the FIA ufn to provide the guidance the sport obviously needs during this constructor crisis?

        Now that’s what I call a conspiracy theory!

        1. Why do these message always appear at the end of the comments? Is it a conspiracy?

  28. I wonder whether the FIA will consider investigating the Brazilian GP, given that similar conspiracy theories were flying around about Glock “yielding” to Hamilton. To me both claims seemed equally baseless, but it does make you wonder….

    1. The Glock conspiracy is more baseless than the Piquet conspiracy (sounds like a Robert Ludlum novel). Glock was on dry tyres in the wet. No true F1 fan or expert would ever consider that to be a conspiracy, whereas quite a few seem to be giving credence to this one.

      1. I don’t think it’s really possible for something to be “more baseless” than anything else…. ;)

        That aside, the Piquet conspiracy was widely dismissed until this “new evidence,” whatever it may be, came to light. The same could well be true of Glock, for all we know.

        1. Glocks final lap time in Brazil was identical to Trulli who was the only other driver on the wrong tyres. There was no conspiracy there. In fact Glock made a position by not changing tyres, so the decision was a success for him.

          In Singapore, I did immediately think “that was convenient” when it became obvious Alonso would benefit hugely from his team mate’s crash.

          I hope the FIA find that it was just coincidence. I can’t be bothered with months of controversy, which would surely end in Renault leaving the sport if they’re found guilty.

        2. Andy this is not the WMSC. This is a public forum of F1 fanatics. Winning an argument here won’t change the evidence – if it is a fact that Nelson crashed on purpose, then regardless of where the information comes from, FIA are bound to take action. If it is not, then why worry?
          Frankly, FIA was ready to risk McLaren leaving the sport in 2007. I don’t see why saving Renault – a team with less following – should be a priority above McLaren. Maybe this could be Mosley’s last kick at the troublesome FOTA members – first, BMW, then Renault and probably Toyota later on in the year. Now how is that for conspiracy theories :)

  29. The FIA will undoubtedly look at it. They can’t help themselves.
    Since the FIA loves conspiracies they will punish teams whether they had a real part in something or not.
    This will undoubtedly result in Renault getting a huge fine and maybe a suspension for a year. This is more than spying after all. It is doing something to manipulate the outcome of a race and affect the championship.
    The lawyers will be busy!!

  30. If he managed to pull that crash on purpose he deserves an Oscar nomination. I’m a sceptic untill I see an evidence.
    Also, I don’t mean to generalize but recently a brazilian journalist made headlines with his creative way of doing investigative journalism.

    1. yes …. for special effects

  31. It´s unbeliveble…What does the Piquet´s want ? Seriosly ?
    It´s sad to be a Piquetjr fan,why cant he drop
    everything in the past and start all over.
    What did hurt Nelshino so incredible enourmous much ?
    To be honest,I can see a pattern…it´s about his own
    ego.When he get´s older and more wise he will understand.

    …once bitten, twice shy.

  32. I wouldn’t be surprised if Piquet Jr. was behind all of this. He got fired, and now he wants to be pitied on. What do you do then? Create a conspiracy theory against your old team, of course!
    Sure, sure. But maybe it’s just the fact he’s that bad, as shown in the videos. Most agree that he only got that position at Renault because he has a famous dad. Whoop de do.
    But since it is a Brazilian network that reported all of this, then it might just be Piquet Jr. desperately trying to create controversy. Good work, Nelson. Now, go away and have a fun time being unemployed.

  33. Pique senior was a very bitter man, look at the insults he said to Nigel Mansell.
    Piquet Jnr was quoted as calling his side of the garage mechanics “a group of useless typical english sheep-shaggers”, on his twitter page after the Spanish Grand Prix.

    1. We all know what he did to salazar


      never seen a f1 driver getting physical.

      maybe piquet sr is bitter of the fact that mansell’s son might be better than his pet son ;)

    1. The first thing that Flavio did was look towards the end of the pit lane!! obviously he was looking at the safety car to be deployed ;) Could Flavio possibly be a covert member of the infamous “Propaganda Massonica”?

      justa thought ;)

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        31st August 2009, 6:40

        Actually, if you look at the monitor just in front of him, the view is not of Piquet’s accident. However, if he had knowledge that an accident was about to happen, he is giving himself away a little.

        1. My wife (who works for the CIA and MI6) is an expert in Facial recognition, and, after watching this video with much attention, she asserts (without any doubt), Flavio already knew what was going to happend before it happened.

          Sorry guys, but I have to leave now, she has to take her medicines right now…

  34. somebody will shut all of his door’s for a future drive

  35. Big brother at work again ;)

  36. My first though on the matter was, ‘What utter, utter, utter, UTTER ********’! However, if the FIA are prepared to seriously investigate it, at least there’s some smoke. And where there’s smoke…

    Anyhow, I would be very surprised if there actually is a conspiracy, and even then, if the FIA can prove it.

    1. Sorry about the b-word. Apparently it makes for my post to be ‘awaiting moderation’.

  37. Piquet may be angry with Renault and want revenge, but he wouldn’t make such an accusation without some evidence to back it up, surely. One cannot just instantly dismiss it because it originates from Piquet. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it were true. Ooooh, I love a good conspiracy theory – there’s always a fresh one on the go in F1.

  38. If McLaren are acused of doing all sorts of things, are the other teams all perfect, or only better in hedding their dirt.

    This time is Renault, took them almost an year…

    And when it will come time for Ferrari to pay their dues for playing dirt since the Schuma times…?

    1. Ferrari’s will be the absolute dirtiest – i was hoping Rubinho would come out with something this year after Brawn’s delay on signing him up last year, but now we know why he got a drive and nothing will be coming out of that soon – unless of course if he cracks the whip and threatens to tell all if Brawn doesn’t give him equal treatment in the Champinoship fight.

  39. Reginaldo Lemes is absolutely right!!!

    FIA is currently using MI6 services. I have a good friend there, and I know they have a pair of “double-zeros” working on this project (code name: French Caipirinha).

    Nelsinho was hypnoticed by Flavio Briatore (Alias Gustav Graves). For this reason, Nelsinho has declared recently he doesn’t know anything about this affair.

    Flavio (and Renault) are creating the “ultimate F1 weapon”: every Fernando Alonso contender will be crashed against a wall.

    They are having some trouble to make it work properly (due to McLaren’s ECU) but it seems it will work without any problem for next season, despite Alonso will be collaborating with another rival organization.

    It seems he (Alonso) has sold the system to Ferrari, lead by his ultra-villain, Luca le Chiffre.

    Oh my God! I’ve talked too much… I hear some voices in the corridor… oh no!

    Please no…

    1. ha ha ha hah

  40. I’m very sorry if I missed the bulk of information on this issue but it looks like there hasn;t been much more than what is in this post.

    First off, it states the FIA has launched an investigation on the situation, not that they have launched it because of this ‘investigative journalism’, only that this journalism uncovered the investigation itself.

    Secondly, if this was spreaded as a rumour I doubt it was Piquet (jr) himself, at least not deliberately. The last time we’ve heard from him he was still hopeful for a drive. If true something like this would rule out any chance of him ever stepping into an F1 car again and if he started the rumour, it wouldn’t even matter if it’s true.

    I haven’t decided if it’s got any credibility, but when watching the race it certainly crossed my mind as well. Alonso finally in a competitive car again, the team messed up quali, they put Alonso on a totally crazy strategy and just after he pits, Piquet crashes. It’s got all the right ingredients for a good ol’ conspiracy. :)

  41. You know what they say… there’s no smoke without fire… and this one smells real shmokey to me

  42. oh. my. god. what a load of absolute rubbish.

  43. “The FIA can confirm that an investigation is underway regarding alleged events at a previous world championship race,” said the spokesperson.

    Should the FIA investigation suggest there is any evidence of foul play involved, then the governing body could call a hearing of the World Motor Sport Council to discuss the matter.


  44. Formula 1’s governing body has launched an investigation into an unspecified previous race, reported to be last year’s Singapore Grand Prix.

    a href=”http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8229787.stm”>BBC

    1. Proper link:


  45. How would you penalise Renault anyway?

    1. The FIA would decide the penalty for Renault by looking at what fines they gave to other teams for equivalent offences, then deducting $100m.

  46. I don’t know if it is true or not, but is a stranger case. Piquet was ironic by radio at moment.
    However, if we think about a conspiracy claim, what he would gain? Why to reveal it now?
    It is very misteryous.

  47. For me is really hard to believe in a history like that, but Reginaldo Leme is a very respected journalist who covered F1 for over 30 years. The man is a close friend of Piquet Senior and the people here in Brazil believes that The Father is the main source backing Reginaldo´s history.

    He said also that the mood in the Renault garage has been terrible and that the investigation is independent.

    Incidentally, Mike Doodson written some weeks ago this very odd paragraph:

    “…On this subject, though, I had expected Renault to have thought twice about firing Nelson Jr mid-season, for a variety of interesting reasons which would have been likely to attract the attention of m’learned friends if I had been rash enough to reveal them here. Let’s just say that the Piquet/Renault story is almost certainly unfinished, with some potentially fascinating and possibly even scandalous turns in the road still to come….”

    1. Wow, that’s interesting. The credence level has just been heightened.

    2. I read that Doodson piece at the time and wondered what he was referring to. Maybe now we know….

    3. While i agree that Reginaldo Leme has been around forever [and I’m sure he should then have many connections among brazilian drivers], I certainly wouldn’t call him an F1 expert, and I’m not sure his so respected among more specialized media. I’ll wait for the Celso Itiberê column on the subject [he’s a trustable source, I can’t tell you]. So far, I take it as sensationalism.

      And I can’t tell you Nelsinho is really, really angry at Renault and everybody at the team. On his twitter page, shortly after Grosjean crashed out of the race, there was a tweet on Portuguese mocking him and his performance. They were teammates, for God’s sake!!! It wasn’t his fault that PIQ was sacked!!!

    4. While i agree that Reginaldo Leme has been around forever [and I’m sure he should then have many connections among brazilian drivers], I certainly wouldn’t call him an F1 expert, and I’m not sure his so respected among more specialized media. I’ll wait for the Celso Itiberê column on the subject [he’s a trustable source, I can tell you]. So far, I take it as sensationalism.

      And I can’t tell you Nelsinho is really, really angry at Renault and everybody at the team. On his twitter page, shortly after Grosjean crashed out of the race, there was a tweet on Portuguese mocking him and his performance. They were teammates, for God’s sake!!! It wasn’t his fault that PIQ was sacked!!!

      1. On his twitter page, shortly after Grosjean crashed out of the race, there was a tweet on Portuguese mocking him and his performance.

        Which Piquet later deleted! Too late now though, we’ve seen it.

  48. It was such an obvious plan I`am amazed it wasn`t picked up at the time. Oh hum just another sleezy story involving F1, you never know,one day they might get back to racing.

  49. It’s hard to believe but then it’s hard to believe Alonso would blackmail his boss, that McLaren would lie to the stewards in Melbourne etc.

    I’ve been surprised before and as unlikely as it sounds, well as they say, once bitten…

    I hope it’s not true, for the sports sake. We’ve had enough political hoo haa this season and this is the last thing F1 needs.

    1. It’s hard to believe but then it’s hard to believe Alonso would blackmail his boss, that McLaren would lie to the stewards in Melbourne etc.

      That’s exactly how I see it. Can’t believe it on face value. Where’s the smoking gun?

  50. where Benetton (Renault) with Flavio in charge not caught cheating back in the Schumacher winning years???
    and was Alonso only too happy to use info stolen from Ferrari when he was at Mclaren and would young nelson have not done anything to get another season in F1.
    it would not take a great leap of faith for this to be true.

    This is F1 and nothing would surprise me!!!

    1. This sounds again like the 9/11 conspiracy theories. Really stupid

      It was McLaren, not Alonso, who used info stolen from Ferrari. Alonso’s emails were published which shows, among many other things we do and don’t know how he was treated.

    2. Benetton were found to have removed a filter from their refuelling system, but not punished.

      Benetton were also discovered to have a secret program hidden in their car’s software – the so-called ‘option 13’. This was discovered to be a launch control system, which had been banned for 1994. Again, there was no punishment.

      Schumacher’s two-race suspension was for overtaking on the formation lap at Silverstone and subsequently ignoring an instruction from race control. He was also disqualified from the Belgian Grand Prix, which he had won, for excessive plank wear (which could have been by accident, by negligence or by intention, but in all likelihood probably not the latter because it’s hard to get away with).

  51. Roger Carballo AKA Architrion
    30th August 2009, 21:17

    Finally, here is my piece of conspiracy theory to add to this little mess…. :-)

    It’s well known that Freddy has some clause that makes him free to get out of Renault if the team is found guilty of breaking the spirit of the sport…. Maybe, and I say just maybe, someone is trying to give the Fred a freeway to get rid of his contract with Renault so he can sit on the Ferrari next race in Monza…. twisted mind what I have.

    1. I wonder sometimes if having Alonso as a driver is such a great idea. He is arguably the best driver today in Formula 1 but he seems like such a bad person to work with, a real backstabber. He may (and probably would) win races, but his demeanor and morale would probably do more harm than good in the long run.

      Best of luck to Ferrari (and Massa) should they hire him…

      1. to alonso haters
        31st August 2009, 9:38

        are you working with Alonso, to know that by yourself?

        1. The people who worked with Hitler said he was a “swell guy”. Don’t realy see how that matters though.

  52. Funny how everyone is suddenly blamming Piquet for speaking too much.

    He is not the one to blame and he is not the one that spread the history just to get a revenge on Briatore.

  53. 2 points:

    If this theory came from Piquet, I find it hard to believe he would just make it up. His situation is already embarrassing and uncertain, so if he was making this up, his whole racing life would be over.

    If this theory was found out to be true, what should the punishment be? To me, it is more serious than anything I’ve heard in the last 3 years, so I would think a ban for next year would be in order (and the rest of this year too).

    I wonder when we will hear the outcome.

    1. Punishment? Taking away superlicence for him because of results fixing. Financial punishment for Renault if it turns out beyond doubt that they really did the fixing.

  54. I remember a similar incident in IndyCars (or whatever it was called back then). Mario Andretti stopped his car on the entry to the pitlane so a full course yellow would come out. This benefitted his son Michael Andretti. I don’t think either of them got any penalty for that.

    1. what about schumi’s famous not-being-able-to-make-the-corner scheme in Monaco?

      Now THAT’S cheating & what happened to him?

      1. Even though we all know he did it on purpose, it was still questionable to the stewards. They gave him a fair penalty by making him start at the back of the grid….

  55. Cockney James Hunt
    30th August 2009, 22:31

    Screaming James Allen has suggested this investigation is a fart in the general direction of Briatore delivered from the freshly spanked behind of Max Mosley. A devious scheme designed to avenge all the FOTA shenanigans earlier in the season. This I can believe.

    1. Agree CJH, tis at least more likely than a pre-planned ‘crash on lap14 50M down Raffles St. Don’t forget to make sure there is LOTS of debris.’

      No, tongue in cheek, I suggested 4 hours ago (psst. Keith, why is it at the bottom of this thread?) that FIA investigating this nonsense was a direct slap at Max’s contructor enemies (doh!).

      But the horrible truth is, it’s a lot more plausible than Piquet taking a dive for a drive in Singapore.

  56. Antonio Pizzonia Tweeted this a while ago:

    E a bomba na F1 começa a estourar.. Aguardem pq isso, é apenas o começo..

    Which Google Translate turns into:

    And the bomb in F1 begins to blow .. Pq wait it is just the beginning ..

    But I’m sure someone who knows Portuguese can do a better job!

    1. That’s pretty much correct, Keith. The only thing I have to add is that “pq” is internet short for “porque” [nothing to do with Piquet, if anyone thought of that], so the tweet says: And the bomb in F1 begins to blow… wait, cos’ it’s just the beginning…”

      Very strange, indeed…

    2. Your right Keith, good job!

      “A bomb in F1 starts to blow.. just wait, because this is just the beginning..

  57. Mike "the bike" Schumacher
    30th August 2009, 22:33

    What a load of nonsense, even if it were true I think I’d be disgusted with renault and flavio but even more disgusted with piquet for doing it. Its one thing letting your teammate pass for a win but quite another crashing out for him.Piquet surely would have mentioned this in his rant anyway.

  58. A story with little credence in my mind until i read a few of the posts and links here.
    A few questions
    1. What is the origin of the story in terms of Lemes source?
    2 Has Nelson jr given a quote yet?

    The FIA love a good investigation and a conspiracy even more! And they are in a damned if they do and damned if they don’t scenario, so their investigation on it’s own means nothing.

    I think the fact remains that the truth will prove irrelavent in the end. What will emerge will be the best publicity for F1. With the Concorde now signed, the future of several factories in doubt (Inc Renault), Venue and promotion issues and the new teams having problems with cash and equipment, the future is currently too fragile for F1, the only conspiracy I believe is that the FIA, WMSC and FOTA will do almost anything to protect the image and percieved integrity of the sport at the moment.
    FOR SURE!!!!

  59. Having read all of the points above (some interesting, some the results of wonderful imaginations out there) I’m very sceptical of this alleged event.

    1) Why would Piquet junior harm his already poor reputation?

    2) Why would he risk his own mortality to keep his race seat?

    3) Who would be stupid enough, following the massive fine that McLaren received in 2007, to try anything akin to cheating this way?

    4) Unlike Mercedes, who were able to distance themselves from McLaren when details of ‘Spygate’ emerged, Renault aren’t in the same position – this will reflect on the brand.

    I personally think that someone from the Piquet camp is trying to rock the Renault boat, just while they’re working hard to convince their greatest asset (Alonso) to stay with them.

  60. Autosport is headlining it. It seems pretty outlandish but there is some serious smoke here. If this were true, Alonso’s reputation would be again under a serious cloud. I still don’t know how came out of spy-gate smelling like a rose when he and DeLaRosa were busted in heaps of texts/emails knowingly using the stolen data in simulations. etc, both to cheat and, apparently get an advantage of his teammate, who was not privy to his special tire-gas simulation sessions with his countryman.

    1. It’s the old “one rule for one, another rule for another” syndrome in F1. Some drivers just get away with murder and others are leapt on from a great height for the slightest thing.

      If this were true, there is no way Alonso would not have been in on it. It would damage his reputation irreparably.

  61. Mike "the bike" Schumacher
    30th August 2009, 23:12

    All these scandals are getting tiresome and what a shame we can only watch amateur footage of recent grands prix because of F.O.M. tv rights

  62. lol, they also shot jfk

  63. Every lie has a spark of truth. If this all some big ploy to get back at Renault, then there must be some truth to it. And by that, maybe some one joked around about before race when Picket was around, then when that situation arried he recalled it in his mind, giggled, lost concentration and spun, allowing the joke to become a reality.
    Man, I would hate to by the guy that said the joke in the team lunch room.

    1. Cockney James Hunt
      1st September 2009, 10:49

      “Every lie has a spark of truth”?

      Uh huh, ok, man…whatever you say. How about this…

      “Last night I had a spectacular threesome with Bernie Ecclestone and Dame Judy Dench.”

  64. Prisoner Monkeys
    31st August 2009, 0:05

    I find it very difficult to believe that a driver could knowingly and willingly plant his car in the barriers.

    1. agree. maybe if they’re having a terrible race and their concentration slips but that is a totally different scenario.

    2. Did’nt Senna do Exactly that in Quali one year, to save precious 100ths of a second?

  65. Hang on, all this is alleged, until such time as Piquet states that he did it (& what a fool he was for his involvement) I will continue to file this story with other “grassy knoll” moments found in the F1 blogosphere. A Brazilian journalist posting a story on Globo does not make it true. Let’s wait & see what emerges in coming days.

    BTW, if Piquet was involved, he would destroy any hope of a F1 return with one of the new F1 teams by making such a claim.

  66. I would not even imagine that Leme would bring this up just because he did some “investigative” work on his own. There has to be a Deep Throat in the story and all fingers point to Piquet Sr more than Jr

  67. I’m in two minds on this, Salty’s comment on Max’s death throes, definately adds another relevent school of thought.

    On this and other blogs/forums i’ve also read lots of different ideas, a common couple of points seem to be, why would Nelson trash the car compromising his own safety & should we trust his word.

    On the issue of safety, anyone capable of consistently hitting the marks at pit stops is obviously capable of parking the car safely in pretty well any situation. He was coming out of a slowish corner at a fairly slow speed.

    As to the question as to whether we should trust him, from what i’ve seen so far it hasn’t come from his own mouth (apologies if i’ve missed it).

    However apart from the Brazilian journo who seems to have broken the story, theres also the comments of Mike Doodson & Antonio Pizzonia, who have absolutely no reason (that i can see) to stir things & risk their own credibility/ paddock credentials.

  68. Zakty, Now you’ve done it. Every sons mother in the Seychelles will now have to walk her son to and from school’ Are you happy.
    Just kidding you.
    Great comment

  69. Hello there, I’m Brazilian and I’ve heard exactly what Reginaldo Leme said about that case.

    Most of you are being very unfair with Piquet Jr., he DIDN’T say anything about it – he only complained against Briatore which is perfectly understandable given the moment.

    I think it is just an investigation as it should be in cases like this. Whether true or not, we’ll see.

    Personally, I believe where there’s so much money and power those kind of things are not impossible to happen as some of you are arguing.


  70. This really doesn’t look good for Piquet, Alonso or Renaults Image, and also for Formula 1 in general, this sesason has literually been overshadowed by politics, but hey. I love a good conspiracy! ;)

  71. If either Piquet is behind the release of this scandalous allegation they should both be banished from the sport!

    More importantly the FIA should immediately discard the allegation and not bother lending even a whiff of legitimacy by declining to investigate.

    What a bunch of crapola!

    1. I’m sure the FIA would only investigate if there was some credible evidence.

      1. Well, you are so sure about FIA management style…

  72. this is being blown completly out off proportion, we all know that piquet aint that good…

  73. Last year an old and very good friend of mine who is working in the F1 “circus” (for segurity reasons I can not say in wich part of it) for many, many years spoke with me via internet on saturday after classification of Singapore race and told me that watch with atention the race because he/she (I do not tell also his sex) heard accidentally a conversation between Briattore, Alonso and another Renault Team member discussing Piquet crashing in the first 10 laps!
    Since I am a big fan of F1 I do not want to believe what my ol friend told that saturday but now I believe that!!!
    It is very sad for me as F1 lover for many years.

    1. “I do not tell also HIS sex…”

      Think you just gave the game up on that one mate

      1. roflmao!!

      2. Hahaha, then again it’s not like knowing it’s a guy narrows it down much within the world of F1. :)

  74. Piquet Jr. does ballet in a dry race. God knows how many envelopes Piquet Sr. slipped into Flav’s hand. Without Sr. Jr. will not be in F1. If Jr. is telling the truth than he’s an IDIOT, to allow it to happen, but spinning comes naturally to Jr. – Sr. basically is a very BITTER man, dunno why, only God knows. To be honest Jr. is just an average, not above average driver. Well he can be a model, at worst. Now, no teams will call Jr…..unless Sr. prepares more envolopes. For sure Jr. can say GOODBYE to F1 or is it the other way around.

  75. Augusto Barreto
    31st August 2009, 3:32

    For those who speaks portuguese here is the link that transcripts Galvao en Reginaldo´s dialogue during the TV transmission. http://www.24horasnews.com.br/index.php?tipo=ler&mat=303411

  76. lol no more conspiracy than T Glock pulling over and letting Hamilton thru…..

    where is the radio chat from that call?

    why now, we all know Jr isn’t the great f1 star, I dont think he needs team orders to crash…LOL otherwise he would still be employed for following orders…

    I am just wondering the team radio communication to get him to crash. I mean you cant say let slow and let Alonso win if you are in that sort of situation so what was the code word for stick it in the wall?
    Go faster Jr?
    Be consistent Jr?
    Try and not crash Jr?

  77. I say having to use a cosworth engine or not be accepted as a new team for 2010 is more a conspiracy and anti competitive behavior..Yer it’s a sport but also a business so that sort of behaviour is funneling $$ towards cosworth with teams (businesses) un able to choose there own supplier…

    If I owned a shop and was forced by the mafia to only sell one brand that they issue then is legal?

  78. Assuming that something terrible comes out of these investigations, then are the results of the Singapore GP going to be removed from the calculations for the WDC and WCC? Since, if that happens, Felipe Massa will become WDC. Which will make things, even more crazier.

    Or, will only Renault? or Fernando+Renault’s points are deducted?

    Is there any precedent for the results of a Grand Prix changed after such a long time after the race.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      31st August 2009, 5:51

      The FIA won’t change it. I believe they would have the power to strip Alonso and Renault of their victory and points, but I don’t think the entire race result would be annulled. And even if the worst came to pass, I think that te status quo would remain the same: Lewis Hamilton would still be champion, and I should think Ferrari would agree with that decision. They’d want one of their drivers to win the championship on merit, not from some investigation into a race a year previously. It would be a very hollow victory.

    2. Moo Point: Like a cow's opinion, it's Moo!!
      2nd September 2009, 16:41

      Why would they discount the entire race result? Surely they’d just disqualify Alonso and give Rosberg the win..!!

  79. Prisoner Monkeys
    31st August 2009, 5:47

    I’ve had sometime to think about this, and all I can really say for certain is that my exact sentiments are difficult to pin down. We simply do not know enough at this point, only that the FIA believes there is some evidence, and that they feel it is worth investigating.

    I think people are putting far too much emphasis on Piquet’s role in all this. While I don’t deny that he was a poor driver and that life experience has told me that when somebody loses something they truly desire through their own fault, they tend to go into denial and seek retibution. It’s difficult to say how Piquet fits into all of this; he denies being the accuser, even if he lashed out Briatore and has a motive for seeing the team run into trouble.

    Likewise, I think people are going on a witch hunt, especially in the way there’s aleady talk that Max Mosley picked up on this and instigated it as a parthian shot at Flavio Briatore, the ringleader of the rogue FOTA faction. Again, Mosley is both devious and has nothing to lose, but it seems somewhat uncharacteristic. He only ever makes a play if he’s sure it’s going to benefit his position, even if it ultimately fails. If this is something as specious as Piquet seeking revenge against Briatore, Mosley wouldn’t do anything about it. It’s not going to end well for him, because it would quickly become apparent that he was bluffing with a low pair.

    No, I think there’s something more going on, something greater at large. It’s very difficult to say precisely how Piquet’s accident came about, largely because the angle that the accident was broadcast at was a long shot; the camera actually had to zoom in on him. While there might be other angles of that corner, I don’t recall any of thm from the race, and they wouldn’t be publically available to begin with, much less now.

    Whatever this evidence is, it’s not something we’re privvy to. Like the Raikkonen-Hamilton incident in Spa last year, the marshalls would have access to a lot more information than we do (during that incident and in the wake of the fallout, they actually released additional footage from alternative angles). It’s evidently something strong; maybe a secure team transmission or something. But for now, I think it would be best to sit and wait, rather than ge ahead of ourselves with wild accusations and conspiracy theories.

    But all I have to ask is this: with all the sex, lies and politics, why hasn’t someone written a Crichton-esque thriller set in the world of Grand Prix racing?

  80. I would rate this conspiracy theory as highly unlikely. Piqet often had spins of this very type. That just one of the (how many tons of spins?) would result in a lucky consequence for the team is not improbable at all, since there has been so many of them.

    People often makes mistakes when thinking about improbabilities. Let’s say that there’s a 2% chance something will occur. If only done once, it’s surely very unlikely for the outcome to be the 2% one. But if done hundreds of times, people still fail to take into account that it is then [b]unlikely[/b] for it not to be in those 2% at some point. Instead they think “wow, what an outrageously improbable thing! Something is fishy. Fate/god/conspiracy” as if the real odds should be 0%.

  81. After some thought, and experience in Conspiracy theories since i live in the middle east, here’s my theory.

    Flavio is Nelsinho’s manager, Nelsinho got kicked out of Renault, but Flavio is still his manager, and after that executioner letter, Flavio would not be very happy, and would care less if Piquet has a drive.

    Now Piquet Senior has other plans, he possibly secured a drive for his son, but Flavio being hurt by the letter will not agree to release Piquet junior from his managing contract.

    so Piquet plays his card, he is carrying nearly lethat information, and since he’s burnt he’ll take the whole team including Flavio down with him since he has nothing to loose.

    i imagine the rumor has some credibility to it, enough credibility to blackmail Flavio into releasing Piquet from his managerial contract. when that is done, Piquet can claim that it was a misunderstanding when he explained it to his fellow Journalist friend who made a sensational headline out of it….

    because lets face it, if the claim is actually true, it wont be the Renault team that would only be reprimanded, it would also be Piquet himself, and i doubt Piquet would burn himself like that.

    fixing a race goes beyond cheating, so in the spy gate, Mcmerc got a $100 million penalty. With something like this, Renault and the men responsible for such a decision will be banned by the FIA/WMSC and never allowed on a race track for a long long time. The repercussions are immense for a company like Renault that is hoping to stay in F1 through several engine supply deals, not to mention the cheat reputation that will filter down to their showrooms.

    Carlos Ghosn will be very very upset, i wouldn’t want to be his assistant now…. Yaykes!!!

  82. Bigbadderboom
    31st August 2009, 8:45

    Having slept on it, my thoughts are still the same (unlikely but possible). However as I read the recently posted comments, TALKsport radio have just started reporting the investigation in their half hour news reports. The story (an old one i know) now seems to be gaining some momentum.
    More negative PR for F1, although Bernie loves all PR, and recent news coverage seems to have given the sport plenty of airtime, I can’t help thinking that the sporting element of the F1 circus is becoming irreparably damaged. Too many times I hear casual followers or non F1 fans say “Its all fixed anyway” maybe they have a point after all.
    If (and it’s a big if) there turns out to be truth in all this, some people have asked what punishment should be applied. Well simple, all implicated individuals should serve a 5 year ban from all motorsport, I know Nelson snr runs his own team, but he should be excluded from attending all venues, as should Flavio and anybody else.
    I hope it’s all hot air and sour grapes, I really do, F1 does not need this.

  83. If this is true, then like most other fans I will be shocked and deeply sadened.

    If it turns out to be fictious then the instigators of the theory could find themselves the recipient of a multi-million law suit for deformation. Renault, Flav, Alonso, Piquet all would have some claim against the instigators.

    Conspiracies/secrets require all involved or who know about the truth to remain silent. I really don’t think people of such integrity as Pat Symmonds and the rest of the Renault team would knowingly allow this to happen or remain quiet if it had happened.

  84. singapore
    completely unexpected driver wins F1 race

    possible connection – no waaiii

  85. “nando” ( meaning short in spanish) has really stooped to the lowest possible level a human can go.He’s not only short in his stature but also in character. Teams have to realize this fact. This “short” man is dangerous for the sport. He tried to blackmail a great team that existed since before he was born.He is just trying to appease stefano dommenicalli & ferrari thats all.He always wants to be in the limelight. Wants to make the front page of every spanish news paper.Nando is making a serious mistake. He is losing respect among the elders of the sport.

    1. to alonso haters
      31st August 2009, 9:41

      “nando” does not mean short in Spanish. Please, be serious.

      1. “nando” ( meaning short in spanish) has really stooped to the lowest possible level a human can go.

        There is no a lowest possible level a human can go, so take care.

        1. …so take care, mp4-19b. I wanted to say

  86. I must admit when I swa it live I thought it might have been pre-planned. I mean think about it – when was the last time any F1 driver was seriously injured in a crash? Kubica survived (and only missed 1 race) a MASSIVE shunt in Canada 2007 so a light-ish hit into the wall by Nelson would be nothing.

    There was also a case of something similar claimed to have been done in an Indy 500 race in the late 90’s/early 00’s when just as Paul Tracy – a CART driver who had entered with Penske into the IRL Indy 500 – was about to take the lead with a couple of laps to go when all of a sudden some backmarker crashes, brings out a caution and an IRL driver takes the win.

    Doodson’s article is interesting however, so it shall be interesting to see what comes of it. I was always a bit cynical about how Renault got away with their use of another team’s data in 2007 when for a lesser offense McLaren got smashed, both by the FIA and by the media.

    Very intriguing…

    1. when was the last time any F1 driver was seriously injured in a crash?

      Felipe Massa, qualifying, Hungary 2009.

      1. That wasn’t a crash

        1. what would you call slamming into something at high speed?

          1. An “incident”

  87. i know many people over here disliked James Allen’s commentary, but his blog is very informative, though its not as famous as this one, nevertheless unbiased & informative to an extent. He makes a very intresting point

    There is no doubt however that should there be any proof, this situation offers the opportunity for outgoing FIA president Max Mosley to settle a few scores with Briatore before he leaves office in two months time. Briatore has been in Mosley’s cross-hairs for many years, since writing an open letter of no confidence in the FIA president in 1994.

    His role in the recent FOTA breakaway series is also believed to have been a source of irritation.

    Is this Mad Max’s Final act of madness??

  88. This is absurd. Exactly what would Renault gain by telling a driver to risk his life by purposefully crashing a multi-million euro machine?

    Of course the FIA has to investigate claims like this, even if they guys claiming it are wearing tinfoil hats.

    1. I think the actual car is pretty much a writeoff anyway, a team like renault couldn’t care less about contructing a new car, most of the money is in in R&D and continuously updating the car, which Renault was doing a lot at the time.

      Besides, the financial gain from winning a single Grand Prix, especially an historic first night race on a new track in a season in which they had yet to win a race with their extremely popular driver far outweighs the cost of a single F1 car.

  89. This conspiracy was actually covered in the Official F1 Review of 2008 – can’t find the book right now (I am in the process of moving house) but it mentioned the convenience for Alonso of the timing of Nelson’s crash, and the perhaps coded radio message of ‘push Nelson push’ given just before Nelsinho’s crash…

    1. ‘push Nelson push’

      LOL no need for conspiracy, that’s all they needed to do, Piquet Jr. being in or it or not.

  90. We don’t know if this charge is true. But if it is, Renault should be in serious trouble. What they’re accused of, essentially, is race-fixing. And it’s no minor incident of alleged race-fixing: Alonso went from the back of the pack to the front because of this incident. Think of what happens in other sports, such as horse-riding, athletics or tennis, when race-fixing is proven: the competitors are banned from their sports for a long time. But what Renault are alleged to have done is worse than simple race-fixing. In addition, there are safety concerns. Renault are alleged to have ordered Piquet to deliberately crash his car (Piquet might have agreed so as to secure his threatened seat for 08 and perhaps 09). This endangered the safety of Piquet, the fans, and the other drivers. If this were deliberate, from a safety point of view, the action is much worse than if Piquet had just made a silly mistake: as he often did. Given the seriousness of this charge, I’m amazed that it’s not a hotter topic than it is on the various F1 websites. One wonders whether the situation would be different were McLaren accused instead of Renault. One final point: notice how controversy always seems to follow Alonso; whether it’s the Renault suspension, the possession of Ferrari data (that wasn’t shared with his superior team-mate, Lewis Hamilton) the possession of McLaren data etc……..

  91. Apologies in advance for this long post, but I recalled seeing someone saying that this was mentioned in ‘The Official Formula 1 Season Review 2008’ and I was just sorting through some books and thought I’d glance at my copy. I haven’t read through the entire book but coincidentally, the book opened at this page (I swear – scary!!!). This is what was written:

    Although nobody wanted to be too outspoken on the record, many teams were deeply suspicious that Fernando Alonso’s victory in Singapore, the first of the year for Renault, had been choreographed, with Nelson Piquet Jr crashing at an opportune moment to trigger the safety-car period that swung the race towards Alonso.

    Alonso had been quick from Friday’s first free practice and was deeply unhappy when a fuel-feed problem afflicted him early in Q2, before he’d had a chance to set a time. Starting only 15th on the bumpy Singapore street circuit, where overtaking was doubly difficult, his prospects were not promising. Piquet Jr had not made it out of Q1.

    Normally, faced with Alonso’s situation, a team will fuel up and run a long first stint one stopper in an attempt to make up track position on some of the two-stopping cars and those one-stoppers with shorter stints. To go aggressive on strategy will only work on a circuit where overtaking is particularly easy and you have good top-end engine performance. Neither applied to Renault at Singapore’s spectacular Marina Bay circuit and Alonso said they did it because the brakes were running hot all weekend and would not cope with a heavy one-stop fuel load.

    Alonso’s first stop, on lap 12 of the 61, was very early. On the next lap, team-mate Piquet Jr, who had already spun on the warm-up lap, received a radio instruction: “Push, Nelson!” At the time, he was going nowhere fast, stuck down in 16th position behind Barrichello’s Honda from the start. Was this a coded instruction? On the very next lap, Piquet Jr gyrated into the wall and brought out the safety car.

    Rosberg and Kubica were forced to pit under the safety car, as they would otherwise have run out of fuel, attracting driver-through penalties as a result of this year’s safety-car regulations. It proved that the first scheduled stints by anyone other than Alonso had been to pit on laps 14 and 15. Most teams have a very good handle on when the opposition are going to stop, so Alonso’s lap-12 stop was both as early as it legitimately could be and as late as possible if any ‘plan’ was to work.

    “Looking at it from a purely statistical point-of-view,” said a rival team strategist, “on a track like Singapore, stopping on lap 12 is not aggressive, it’s stupid, It’s something that cannot work. Your grandmother wouldn’t do it… Then, it’s true that stopping on lap 12 is the only way to open up a two-lap gap when the safety car will benefit only one car – the one that has stopped. And then, when you create this two-lap window and in it your team-mate crashes… If you add up the probability, you end up with a figure that is very close to zero.”

    In light of the above, I’m surprised an investigation wasn’t carried out sooner.

    1. Compelling but still circumstantial, but as you say, why wasn’t it investigated before, from a spectators point of view it looked convenient at worst, but reading this passage clarifies how “coincidental” events were. Thanks for posting that, I was fairly pessemistc before but not so sure now.

  92. re-thinking of this..why would Jr put him self in possible danger of being banned from the sport -for ever- ???

    As JA says maybe Mad Max is on the war path pre falling on his sword.

    1. Piquet was probably finished in F1 already

  93. It’s hard to believe but if it is really true, and if the leme’source is piquet sr, so I only know of one way this play, piquet jr will race in US and will make a career in a place that your dad tried and failed , ‘cos his F1 adventure is ended.

  94. If the new evidence which has started this investigation did come from Piquet, he must really want to bring down Renault and Briatore, because unless he had some sort of deal with the FIA he would be just as likely to receive a big punishment for his part in it.

  95. I think the big star here is Piquet Sr. not Piquet Jr.

    Piquet Sr. has a reputation of being mean and vindictive. He is also a friend to Reginaldo Leme, the Globo reporter who unlid this can of worms.

    Let me explain my theory here.

    Back in the Singapore GP, Briatori convinced Piquet Jr. to crash the car. Later Piquet Jr. told Daddy what happened. Daddy then turned lemons into lemonade by blackmailing Briatori into renewing Piquet Jr. for 2009. Then recently Briatori broke the deal by firing Piquet Jr, whose career in Formula 1 is clearly over anyway. The Piquet family doesn’t take crap from no one and is simply exercising revenge.

    BTW, Piquet Sr. made more money as a businessman after his F1 career than as a race driver, this might as well improve his reputation – is his eyes – as a “though man, somebody you don’t cross”.

    1. nail on the head Mauro.

      This news has been brewing for some time though. Numerous commentators mentioned Piquet Snr’s presence at GP’s this year and made it very clear that he knew where the bodies were buried and was prolonging his son’s career.

      After Piquet Jnr’s sacking, again numerous commentators told us that this wasn’t the end of the affair.

      What we shouldn’t underestimate however is that Flavio Braitore is also a very sucessful and hard nosed businessman – not one you should cross lightly. He wouldnt have sacked the boy unless he felt confident he could ride out the storm that followed.

      All in all this is going to be very interesting.

      The final word on young Piquet’s career – one which has required a leg-up from his father at every stage – the dream is now over. Unless daddy buys up a team for his little boy he is un-emplyable by any sensible team manager out there. Not to mention his lack of results, nobody is likely to take on one so willing to drop his old employers in the stink. Not to mention someone so lacking in integrity that they would deliberately fix the outcome of a race in order to secure a race contract.

      I, for one wont miss the sulky little git.

  96. Sad but true…

  97. given Piquets form I could believe that it was accidental.

    It looks more and more staged everytime i watch it though. The last couple of times Renault have been in trouble they have been let off due to extraneous circumstances. In the first instance (Spygate II) because Bernie could not afford to lose a team at that time so could not afford to fine Renault and have them leave the sport. In the second instance, (‘wheel-gate’ this year) Valencia could not afford to not have Fernando Alonso missing from the grid, and Bernie made them sign up to a new 5-year deal in return.

    This time however – with Alonso on the way to Ferrari, Bernie can only gain from losing another manufacturer (and important FOTA member) from the sport. I see this one going to the wire and if they are found guilty Renault will remove their backing from Briatore’s team.

  98. I strongly believe that Piquet will continue his racing career in the USA after this “Singapore-gate ” His time in F1 just finished.

  99. So now it needs “-gate” name:
    I’m putting up the following suggestions:

    -Skankgate (play on the spankgate lol)

    I sure everybody else can do better than that, but let the name that sticks and gets used by everybody come off the best f1 site on the web!

    Please, your ideas……

  100. Spingate sounds cool but I prefer “briatore-gate”

  101. You know what, I am not surprised that this story has broke and, if the Piquet family are responsible, I am not surprised either.
    I can remember how Nelson Piquet Snr bahaved back in the 1980’s, and his bahaviour at times was disgusting. Don’t get me wrong, I was never a Nigel Mansell fan, but the way Nelson was at times was way beyond competitive. Everybody forgets the terrible spat between these two men in the mid 1980’s, a fractured partnership soon overshadowed by the Senna/Prost feud. But it was everybit as volatile and still persists to this day!
    Back to the point in hand. In a recent interview in F1 Magazine, Piquet Jnr was asked directly if his Singapore shunt was done to help Fernando Alonso win.
    His response was swift, and decisive, along the lines that he ‘would not risk killing himself’ for Fernando.
    At the time, reading this man’s interview, the amount of poison in his words reminded me of his father. As they say, the apple never falls far from the tree.
    If these accusations are true, they are the final nail in the coffin of Piquet’s short and disastrous F1 career. If they are true, then he is as guilty as those who ‘ordered’ him to carry them out.
    This is the same situation as Lewis Hamilton was in at the beginning of the season. He was told to lie by his team to throw the result of the Melbourne Gp, and was every bit as guilty as McLaren in the process.
    Hamilton’s saving grace, albeit after the scandal had been revealed, was that he admitted his guilt. That I respect, from anybody, as its the most difficult thing to do and thats to admit that you were wrong.
    The fact that this story comes from a Brazilian source stinks! If this story has weight, why has it taken one year to become public knowledge. Non of these F1 teams are good at keeping secrets.
    Ferrari had a guy walk out carrying the design papers to their 2007 car, and McLaren had a guy so stupid as to take them to a Sussex printers to have them photocopied. Does this sound like an enviroment derived on keeping secrets?
    No, if this were true, someone would have ‘leaked’ this by now. The F1 paddock is the Albert Square of the motorsport industry, its impossible to avoid scandal and to keep secrets. This is just the last throw of the dice by a family affronted by the treatment of their son, by a man well known for making enemies as fast as he changes dollybirds.

  102. Moo Point: Like a cow's opinion, it's Moo!!
    2nd September 2009, 17:05

    How about “Singagate” or “Fixagate”, actually that last one sounds more like the name of a handy-man company!!

  103. just a small note:for that spin out to happen the left side cvj or drive shaft would have to fail…looks like it’s intac ,from the video above .

  104. well well once again alonso caught up in a cheating scandal but isn’t it funny this time he is not the one blowing the whistle like he did at mclaren but the one on the reciving end i belive nelson and belive alonso knew all about it he is one big spoilt spaniard and when he carn’t get what he want throws his toy’s out of his cockpit hope this time he is penalized and kicked out for a few races if not the whole season lets just say it’s carma what comes around goe’s around this guy needs to retire so we dont have to put up with his crap no more………………….

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