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Renault Told Piquet's Son to Crash

From: andrew cooke <andrew@...>

Date: Wed, 16 Sep 2009 08:27:06 -0400

Nelson Piquet's son, Nelson Piquet Jr, had been driving for Renault's
Formula 1 team until last month.  Soon after he was dropped
(presumably no coincidence) the FIA (the "governing body" for Formula
1) announced that it was investigating whether Renault had ordered
Piquet Jr to crash.

In the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix Piquet Jr's crash allowed Fernando
Alonso to win the race (after the crash a "safety car" drives round
the track, with all the racing cars queued up behind; the timing of
the crash was such that Alonso was immediately behind the safety car,
which gave him an advantage (I don't know the details, but it is
likely that the amount of fuel he had would also ave been important)).

This sounded pretty incredible, because the crash was quite early in
the race.  But when the recording of the conversations between team
and driver were released -
http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2009/sep/15/flavio-briatore-renault-singapore-nelson-piquet-transcript
- there was an odd and suspicious detail - Piquet Jr was asking what
lap he was on.  Not only should he have known this from other sources,
but that early in the race it is not the kind of thing a driver needs
to know.

Anyway, today the breaking news is that Flavio Briatore, the team
boss, has left Renault.  Perhaps more surprisingly, so has the
director of engineering, Pat Symonds. And Renault will not be
contesting the allegation -
http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2009/sep/16/flavio-briatore-pat-symonds-renault-quit-crash-singapore

Briatore is more of a business man/fixer than someone connected with
Formula 1.  But Symonds has been a major technical player.

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