Did Piquet crash on purpose? (Poll)

Nelson Piquet Jnr's crash helped Fernando Alonso win in Singapore

Nelson Piquet Jnr's crash helped Fernando Alonso win in Singapore

After the Singapore Grand Prix last year there were some people who asked if Nelson Piquet Jnr crashed deliberately but many others – myself included – who rubbished the idea.

But the FIA believes it is worth investigating and has launched a World Motor Sports Council hearing into the affair. So how many people believe Renault are guilty?

Do you believe Nelson Piquet Jnr was told to crash by Renault?

  • Yes (39%)
  • No (40%)
  • Don't know (21%)

Total Voters: 3,343

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I didn’t believe the claims about Piquet straight after the race because they just seemed too incredible. But it’s hard to imagine a WMSC hearing being called without some evidence being presented.

I would be very surprised if this evidence hasn’t come from the Piquet camp. As F1 Fanatic reader Paolo Verri pointed out to me in an email recently, Piquet hinted at strange goings-on when he blasted Briatore after being dorpped by Renault:

The conditions I have had to deal with during the last two years have been very strange to say the least ?óÔéĽÔÇŁ there are incidents that I can hardly believe occurred myself.

Renault has said it will not comment on the matter before the hearing on September 21st. It wouldn’t be a surprise if bits of information started to appear in the Brazilian press between now and then.

Until we see some evidence it’s still too much for me to believe (a) that Renault would do something like this, (b) they left some kind of incriminating evidence and (c) Piquet was able to crash an F1 car on purpose more convincingly than Michael Schumacher did at Monte-Carlo in 2006.

That’s my take. What’s yours?

Who was involved? Did Fernando Alonso know? And what do we make of Piquet spinning on the warm-up lap before the race?

The Renault Singapore controversy

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208 comments on Did Piquet crash on purpose? (Poll)

  1. I don’t think the FIA would even call for such a hearing unless they already have some proof. And if the FIA have already decided that Renault are guilty then no fancy lawyer can save them.
    Even if Renault are innocent it won’t matter in the FIA’s kangaroo court of law.

    What will most likely happen is that Flav will step down ala Ron Dennis and Renault will be found not guilty. Mosley gets his revenge against FOTA once more.

  2. Gerdoner said on 5th September 2009, 12:16

    Just to lighten up the discussion a bit, I wonder what the radio communication was?
    Maybe sth like this?

    Race Engineer: Nelson how are your tyres
    Piquet: Slight graining on fronts, but ok. Car feels very good. I can push for position.
    Briatore: She sells seashells
    Piquet: By the seashore?
    Briatore: The shells she sells are surely seashells.
    Piquet: Oh **** I’ve lost it.
    Briatore: Never mind is bad luck

    Copied from another forum ;)
    Ofc, there are some who say McLaren did the same thing when Hamilton crashed Kimi in the pit lane: ;)

  3. (c) Piquet was able to crash an F1 car on purpose more convincingly than Michael Schumacher did at Monte-Carlo in 2006.

    C’mon, Piquet crashed and spun more than any other driver last season.It would be extremely easy for him to do it.
    Also, I feel there is also another important point to be seen. Why would Renault be desperate to do something like this? After all, they were able to be consistent since then(atleast Alonso was).I still think it is unlikely that Renault would risk this just for a win which would have no impact at all for either of the championships. The FIA should find the motive for this if it is true.

  4. I find this whole affair very interesting, even if it does ‘bring the sport into disrepute’. The main questions which grab me are, 1) what real evidence does the FIA have which warrants such investigation, an allegation is one thing but I can’t imagine them going on just that, and 2) What does Piquet hope to gain? Obviously, to stick the boot in, but I can’t see it helping his long term F1 career, even if his allegations are founded.

  5. mp4-19b said on 5th September 2009, 12:42

    Could the Renault personnel be booked under Singaporean law for :-

    1) Risking the safety of own driver & others in the vicinity, including the other drivers, marshalls spectators.

    2) Nelson Piquet Jr for crashing deliberately, endangering his own life, which can be treated as ‘Attempt To Suicide”

    • sato113 said on 5th September 2009, 16:07

      no because it happened in a controlled environment.
      if a football player breaks someone’s leg in a dirty tackle is that attempted murder? nope.

  6. FuriousA83 said on 5th September 2009, 12:49

    Can people forget so quickly? Piquet Jnr was ruuubbbiisssh…

    This was a man that we all got up to sing “he spins right round baby right round” every GP to his mishap

  7. SaloolaS said on 5th September 2009, 12:51

    Keith – what about the predictions championship? It’s saturday and we still don’t have the results for Belgium:)

  8. Aardvark said on 5th September 2009, 13:11

    I wanted to vote “I couldn’t possibly comment”.

    Is there still a suspended ban hanging over Renault after the wheel came off in Hungary? If so, could it affect (or be adapted by the FIA to affect) the severity of any punishment for Piquet’s crash?

  9. William Wilgus said on 5th September 2009, 13:35

    Piquet’s warm-up lap incident looked more like a donut than a spin. I didn’t see any attempt on his part to correct `a spin’. That said, it’s got to be the easiest thing in world to allow a car to drive just a bit wide on a corner and have the rear wheels contact the wall—which is what appears to have happened. I voted a DEFINITE YES that he crashed the car on purpose . . . or that something was done to the car to make it do so.

    • Patrickl said on 5th September 2009, 22:04

      Yeah, it looks more like he went little wide, hit the wall and then overcorrected and spun into the opposite wall.

      If it was on purpose I’d guess he tried to put a rear wheel in the wall rather than a front wheel and risk injury. It then went horribly wrong and he lost the car totalling it across the track in the other wall.

  10. Bernard said on 5th September 2009, 14:52

    As insane as it sounds, I think he may well have crashed intentionally.

  11. Bigbadderboom said on 5th September 2009, 15:01

    Talk about split opinions.
    3.00pm Saturday
    785 Votes casted 39% say YES, 39% say NO, 22% say Don’t Know.

    Very interesting.

  12. ABOUT EVIDENCES: When Reginaldo Leme told about Renault case on TV last Sunday, there was something that was lost in translation and in all this mess: The man said that FIA ALREADY collected strong testimonies from Renault´s engineers that incriminates Flavio Briatore.

    Because of that, the mood inside the team is like a witch hunt…

    So, I don’t think that FIA will conduct their investigations backed only in telemetry data. Could be have another people (supposing that was our Piquetzinho the main source!) inside the team that opened its mouth…

    • Bigbadderboom said on 5th September 2009, 15:19

      Does this indicate that perhaps the FIA were looking to brush this under the carpet and give it very low level media. But it is being reported that the initial source was Nelsons “People”!

  13. The irony is that Alonso won Fuji also. With a heap of luck but without any apparent skulduggery. So his contract clause was probably fixed up there ensuring his return for this year.

    I’m not sure I believe a driver would do this. But Whatever happened Piquet will NEVER admit to such a thing— if he ever wants to drive so much as a tuk tuk again. If he does he’ll have to testify that he reasonably believed Flavio had his girlfriend tied up in a basement somewhere. Whatever the data say, he’s the one with his foot on the pedal so he can just deny everything or offer other explanations. Or he can say he didn’t know where Alonso was (didn’t ask, wasnt told). He’s already said the car was so heavy it was bottoming on straights and wouldnt even go in a straight line. It will be hard to bring down the full ton of bricks on Renault without a complete conspiracy.

    • Alonso won Fuji because of Hamiltons Kamikaze bomb at the first corner.

    • I totally agree. I have no idea whether or not this conspiracy is true but I never got why everybody was so quick to pick Piquet, at least Junior, as the undisputed spreader of the rumour. It’s career suicide and he’s said numerous times he’s still looking for a drive.

      On the other hand I can see why he could have done it, people have done far crazier and far more dangerous stuff for much less gain. We’ll see what the FIA comes up with the 21st. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were true, like many the thought crossed my mind more than once during the signapore grand prix.

  14. Lady Snowcat said on 5th September 2009, 15:16

    Someone said to me soon after Nelsinho got the boot from Flav that Flav shouldn’t upset the Piquets…

    I initially thought that was a little odd as Piquet Senior didn’t appear to have the pull in the paddock that Flav has but now I wonder… not necessarily about the pull with the FIA but about Daddy Piquet not being a man to cross…

    (And as to Junior being a rubbish driver that is a little wide of the mark… he wasn’t the top of the tops but I bet he’d do pretty well in most other formulae… indeed he had a couple of days where he out-performed Alfonso who is rated as being pretty decent…. and he did that whilst being treated as a second class citizen in the team….)

    • Bigbadderboom said on 5th September 2009, 15:31

      Your right Lady Snowcat, we all love to joke about young Nelson but like you say in any other class he would do well, he seemed to have issues concentrating over race distance but he always seemed to have good single lap speed. And poor old Luca has shown us what a driver who is really off the pace looks like :).

  15. BrawnFan said on 5th September 2009, 15:45

    Going to shut down all the big heads in F1. Ron and Now Flavio. who can face Max now?

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