Piquet Jnr and Alonso in Renault conspiracy claim

2008 Singapore Grand Prix

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!

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218 comments on Piquet Jnr and Alonso in Renault conspiracy claim

  1. 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.

    • S Hughes said on 31st August 2009, 3:20

      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.

  2. Mike "the bike" Schumacher said on 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

  3. lol, they also shot jfk

  4. Brian said on 30th August 2009, 23:55

    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.

    • Cockney James Hunt said on 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.”

  5. Prisoner Monkeys said on 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.

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

    • GP4 Carl said on 31st August 2009, 10:46

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

  6. peterg said on 31st August 2009, 0:36

    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.

  7. nelore said on 31st August 2009, 0:51

    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

  8. Ian D said on 31st August 2009, 0:57

    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.

  9. 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

  10. Cassio said on 31st August 2009, 1:13

    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.


  11. 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! ;)

  12. 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!

  13. Harv's said on 31st August 2009, 2:21

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

  14. Leandro said on 31st August 2009, 2:33

    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.

  15. JohnBt said on 31st August 2009, 2:50

    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.

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