SEPTEMBER 9, 2009
More ugliness in F1
Stories are now emerging about the defence being planned by Renault F1 against the claims that the team conspired to fix the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. The information, clearly from a leak, suggest that the team will blame Nelson Piquet for coming up with the idea. The claims have been published by Autosport and suggest that there was a meeting between team boss Flavio Briatore, engineering executive Pat Symonds and Piquet on the Sunday in Singapore, at which the idea was discusssed. Symonds apparently claims that it was Piquet's idea, but Briatore is reported to have said that nothing of the kind was discussed. The story also suggests that Nelson Piquet Sr contacted the FIA President Max Mosley on the day of the Hungarian GP to inform him of the alleged conspiracy. Piquet Jr went to Paris a few days later and made a statement about events to FIA consultant Alan Donnelly and investigators from Quest. After that the three Singapore stewards and two investigators from Quest went to the Belgium GP and interviewed Renault staff.
The magazine says that Briatore is claiming that he is "a victim of extortion by the Piquet Family". Extortion is a criminal offense which occurs when a person unlawfully obtains either money, property or services through coercion. It is not clear what Briatore thinks that the Piquets have gained, but the suggestion is a further indication of the ugliness that surrounds the claims.