Nelson Piquet Jnr, Renault, Singapore, 2008

Fernando Alonso should renounce his Singapore Grand Prix ‘win’

CommentPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Nelson Piquet Jnr, Renault, Singapore, 2008F1 has been dogged by scandal after scandal in recent years.

In 2005 we had the Indianapolis farce, two years later brought the ‘spygate’ row, last year was dominated by Mosley’s sadomasochism scandal, and the first half of this year was taken up with the budget cap crisis.

But F1’s latest row, over Renault ordering Nelson Piquet Jnr to crash during the Singapore Grand Prix, is surely the worst yet. Indeed one writer has already called it the worst act of cheating in any sport.

I won’t claim a sufficiently encyclopaedic knowledge of sport to make that claim, although it’s gained some favourable responses on Twitter. But it’s hard to think of a worse example from F1’s history.

There have, of course, been other occasions where drivers have crashed or spun on purpose. Alain Prost hit Ayrton Senna in 1989, and Senna hit Prost back in 1990. Michael Schumacher hit Damon Hill in 1994 and Jacques Villeneuve in 1997.

Like Piquet’s crash, these all involved drivers risking the lives of themselves and others, though admittedly to varying degrees – Senna piled into Prost at around 150mph, Schumacher was doing rather less when he took out Hill.

But what sets the Renault case apart is the offensive cynicism of a team ordering one driver to risk injury or worse in a crash to benefit his team mate.

It was not just Piquet at risk – but spectators, marshals and other drivers. The impact showered debris across the track – and recent accidents have left us in no doubt of the terrible risks that presents.

It’s one thing to have a team like McLaren being caught using a rival team’s confidential information. That’s obviously wrong and must be punished – but it doesn’t put anyone’s life at risk.

The FIA may have offered Piquet immunity from punishment but he should not be immune from criticism. Renault’s plan was disgusting but his willingness to go along with it in the hope of promoting his career was cowardly.

It raises all sorts of questions. Was anyone besides Briatore, Symonds and Piquet involved? Had Renault, or any other team, tried this sort of thing before? Have they done since?

And given the manner in which he scored this ‘victory’, should Fernando Alonso now publicly deny the credit for it? I think he should – regardless of whether he knew about it or not (and so far there is no evidence that indicates he was aware of it).

A two-times world champion has no need of tainted triumphs handed to him in a corrupt fashion. He proved that well enough with his victory at Fuji in the very next race.

In 2006 he told the world he no longer considered F1 a sport after being handed a joke of a penalty by the Monza stewards. Now it’s time for Alonso to tell us his no longer considers Singapore 2008 one of his Grand Prix wins.

Renault Singapore crash controversy

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286 comments on “Fernando Alonso should renounce his Singapore Grand Prix ‘win’”

  1. Alonso knew! He must be also penalized. It was not posibily that he did not knew. Before or after he must knew about it and many people think hi was ho told Briatore to make the crash happen.
    Remember his role in McLaren case.

    1. Seriously I am getting sick of reading this stuff from people about Alonso “knowing”.

      if there is evidence and SUBSTANTIAL evidence and not assumptions and theories then post it otherwise keep the drivel out of here.

      1. tEQUILLA sLAMMER
        17th September 2009, 9:22

        well said Rabi…Alonso was just lucky to be the 1 to benefit and he had to then drive 47 laps to the end of the race!!!! I dont think he would have been told if he didnt need to know……and Hamilton was a clown for blowing 6 points for the team attempting to try and get 2nd or even the race win!!!! What an idiot seeing as he doesnt even need the points for the drivers table as he had very little chance of closing the gap to Jens anyway!!! #:)

        1. What does this article have to do with Lewis Hamilton stacking it into the wall?

          1. Actually, the only good thing about this whole shameful episode is that no-one can pin any of it on Lewis Hamilton for a change. But even so, we have someone entering his name into the debate for some strange reason.

        2. That was random… lol

      2. No concrete proof, but if he didn’t put 2 and 2 together to make 4, he must be really dim. He knew, no doubt in my mind, but instead he tried to take the credit for the “aggressive” strategy, which was, as we all know, a lie. We also don’t know if he discussed it with Flavio but was kept out of the proof-loop. We are entitled to speculate.

      3. Mike "the bike" Schumacher
        17th September 2009, 22:29

        Alonso said the safety car was lucky for him after the race, on live tv, to briatore, I dont think he would have risk saying this if he knew it was deliberate.

      4. Really true. I think those who aren’t fans of Alonso use this as an opportunity to taint his reputation. If Alonso never knew about it (the lack of any evidence suggests that), he’s just like the other drivers out there. I don’t think Alonso needs to forfeit that win. If he does, so should the other podium and points finishers.

        Why should Alonso be held responsible for a strategy in which he wasn’t involved at all, even if it was designed by his own team leaders for his apparent benefit? Okay, he benefitted the most, scoring a win, but it was also benefitted the other podium and points finishers. Let them all denounce the positions. Let the race itself be badged a farce. That’s the right thing to do, rather than just allow some Alonso-haters to vent their rage. Alonso denouncing the win won’t solve the matter. The whole race must be canceled (if it’s possible to do that, which isn’t the case). In other words there’s nothing we can do. The FIA should have investigated this earlier. Let’s hope it is promt in these things in the future.

        1. Alonso (and Schumie) is a great driver, if only he can win not at the expense of his partner and some other dirty tricks. There might not be evidence to say Alonso was aware of the bizzare strategy but I think, if Nelson was called in to discuss the crash alone, then Alonso also had a private meeting with Briatore. That means Alonso, Briatore and Symmonds were on the same side and whatever they discussed remained secret up to today.

          I think Alonso was involved in the strategy and the investigators just failed to gather evidence on his involvement. If he is renounce his win, that wont affect other drivers who benefited from this. In soccer, if a player screws and gets a red card, it affects that player and his team, but the opponents benefit from it, so why should other drivers be punished for Renault’s problem?? The whole race can’t be cancelled just because of one team, F1 is a multi-team sport, therefore punishment can only be given to erpetrators. Alonso is a good driver but really doesn’t like it if his partner is better than him and has the lucky of having team bosses rally behind all the time. If one is Alonso’s partner, that means they are in trouble but his luck failed him at McLaren when Hamilton was clearly the faster driver and Alonso was caught by suprise. Massa is another victim now, he already has given Alonso a win that he didn’t deserve, how many more to come?

    2. If you have any proof – go to FIA with such news. If you don’t know that he was aware, don’t tell this because FIA has 0 evidence that Alonso did know.

      1. I don’t think it’s about proof or something like that. It’s about honor. I don’t know how a professional sportsman looks at his success and victories, but surely Alonso most feel that this victory now leaves a really bad taste in his mouth when his own team has cheated. Being in his shoes I would probably felt I have been robbed of a true victory. He has nothing more to prove in my eye. Like him or not, he is very good driver with two solid championships. So renouncing this win should not harm him in any way (finically, ego, prestige…). But it would do a heck of a lot for the sport and his sportsmanship.

      2. Until Renault are found guilty of race fixing by the WMSC, Alonso should not say anything.

        At the moment we all have read the leaked documents, but no verdict has been cast.
        Yes, it looks very much like Renault are guilty of race fixing, but we still have to wait for Monday.

        If Renault are found guilty, then he can stand up and say what he wants.

        1. Renault are not going to defend. What else can they be besides guilty?

      3. There may not be anything in those documents than incriminates that implicates Alonso, but if this whole mess reminds us one thing about F1 it is to question everything we see. For all we know, the FIA could prove Alonso was involved, but they’re trying to safeguard one of F1’s greatest assets. Who knows how much influence Bernie Ecclestone has in these decisions…

        (but obviously Alonso is innocent until proven guilty)

    3. Alonso would have known but there will be no evidence to suggest that so and he won’t admit so he won’t get punished.

    4. Ok I admit that I completely dislike Alonso! But unfortunately at present there is no way of proving he was involved. Anybody can speculate, if he was involved I hope some evidence emerges soon. In the mean time, lets just be glad that flavio is out, and about time too!

  2. If I remember rightly after the race he said something like, ‘the win was due to strategy and a bit of luck’. To me this doesn’t sound 100% innocent. I’m not saying he had anything to do with ‘Crashgate’ but maybe he knew something. I don’t know but can he hear Piquet’s radio?

    Anyway, I think he should be DQed and the win granted to Nico Rosberg (2nd) if that’s what he wants. He may feel that he doesn’t want his first win to come courtesy of someone being DQed. Obviously he wouldn’t have won if none of it had happened but he was the best of the drivers not in some way delibaretely helped by the Piquet crash.

    This would also push Hamilton up and win the title by 3 points instead of 1. However this slightly loses the drama of the last few laps of Brazil! Which were TERRIFYING, yet exhilarating, and many words that have yet to be invented. I can watch that and still get terrified that the replay might end up different! I’ve never been so close to a TV before!

    1. rubers could have said the same about his monza win.

      bit of luck getting past kovi and strategy.

      no he cant hear piquet over the radio.

      if it was stripped or whatever, 2nd doesnt become first and what not. nothing changes, just no winner.

    2. FIA has stated that race results won’t change. And how Alonso hearing Piquet radio would change the situation? There is a full transcript of team radio – and it looks completely the same like ones from other races.

    3. Drivers cannot hear their team-mates’ radio transmissions, to the best of my knowledge. They have enough trouble establishing a clear link between car and pit without worrying about car to car as well (even on a listen-only basis).

      The win was such that if cheating hadn’t been involved, an substantial amount of luck in both strategy and circumstances was the only explanation, so Fernando’s comments after the race don’t shed any light on the situation.

  3. I think i had to know something… he is very smart and he wouldn’t accept that strategy if he didn’t have any guarantees… he had to know!

    1. Alonso was on a compromised strategy because he had a fuel pump problem in qualifying and was 15th on the grid. Sorry to pee on that bonfire :P

  4. I am so angry, I am from London and went to Singapore last year for the first night race, had an amazing time, the race was exciting and interesting, got amazing photos, and most of all have a great memory of running down the pit straight at the end, climbing the fence opposite the podium and seeing the podium ceremony complete with FLAVIO on the podium…..

    now, i feel cheated!!!

    i am heading to singapore again on monday, if i hadn’t already paid for everything I wouldn’t go!!! i am actually shocked about this!!

    1. Don´t worry David, even if Flavio is not there, another team will provide a deliberate crash. You can go with the confidence that it will be fun

    2. No don’t feel cheated. What you experienced was real. Just as WWF is real, tv’s books, movies are real. You paid to be entertained and were rewarded in spades. Just ask the Indian government they know the score!!!!!!

  5. The fact that Alonso was at the centre of the McLaren spy scandal and this dreadful example of cheating doesn’t sit right with me. His management must be awfully good tacticians to have him walk out of both incidents looking innocent.

    1. I believe his management firm is run by one F. Briatore.

      1. Yep, as is half the pit lane :(

      2. I may be wrong, but I believe that Alonso left Briatore’s management company when he defected to Mclaren back in 2005. If not, I imagine he’ll be looking for a new manager right now!

    2. So you are stating that Alonso benefited from Ferrari papers? Was he making McLaren of his own according to Ferrari plans?

      1. No he benefitted from specific questions on setup, weight distribution, brake balance, tyre gas etc, that he had asked to the Ferrari mole.

    3. Alonso wasn’t centre of the spygate scandal. The guy at Ferrari who provided the information (Nigel Stepney) and the guy at McLaren who took it (Mike Coughlan) were at the centre of it.

    4. The fact that Alonso was at the centre of the McLaren spy scandal
      Hmm let me recollect, He&PDLR were employees testing what their team had asked them to test. They had not taken any initiative to get documents from Nigel Stepney, Had they??

      Ron Dennis on initial discovery of document leakage scandal, Lied under oath that documents and its contents had not made past to Couglan and as soon as Couglan shared the docs with Senior Management, Management took measures that document will not be accessed/used by rest of the team. Which as it turned out was blatant lie, the team was infact using the contents and validating what could be used from it as proved by Alonso testimony down the line.

      Hmmm so I wonder how a employee, performing his testing duties “As asked by employer” is responsible for Spy Gate :-?

      1. @Williams4ever
        Mostly it was Nigel Stepney, Mike Coughlan, Martin Whitmarsh and Ron Dennis (and some other staff of McLaren). Thanks for shedding some light on it…

        By account of people actually saying that Alonso should renounce his win. Well, McLaren shouldn’t have participated at all in the competition last year in the spirit of fairness and sportsmanship. We all know how sincere Ron Dennis was when he was caught just plain lying under oath. The fact that Whitmarsh is still there, leaves me wondering with what to say. Especially since Coughlan named him in some of the statements made.

        1. Well, in that case neither should Renault, seen as many of the documents pertaining to McLaren intellectual property where found on Renaults computer system, where they had resided for over a year.
          Hell, Renault even had the balls to question the validity of the ‘J-Damper’ (with the FIA) after not being able to understand it’s purpose from the plans they aquirred.
          It took until Spain 2008 before they were able to piece together how it worked (you remember, when Renault went from qualifying back 2 rows to pole?)
          But, as we’ve seen, the spirit of fair play doesn’t reside in the house of F1. Never has. Colin Chapman anyone?

          1. @bernification
            Right on bernification!

            What makes me sick is selective targeting of media… Yeah well, something’s wrong. FIX THE DAMN THING!!!

            I don’t care which driver/ team it is. Someone flouts a rule, they need to be delivered a swift kick on their derriere. I miss good ol’ days when people used to live and die for honour. A word much thrown around and little understood these days!

          2. sorry, i meant to say “by media”, instead of “of media”.

  6. also, rosberg and kubica were heading the field prior to the SC far as i know, then got drive thrus for pitting while the pit closed, where would they have ended up if no SC??

    Also Massa….he stopped under the safety car right, therefore ferrari may have been rushing more than usual….possibly the cause of the fuel rig issue therefore this ruined massa’s race….if none of this happened maybe felipe would be champion???

    all this has totally tainted a great season last year and is a real insult to loyal fans.

    1. Kubica would have finished in podum, but SC and a drive-through penalty ruined his race. He lost extremely valuable points – rememeber he missed 3rd place in WDC by one point!

      1. But your also discounting the fact that;

        1. Had Piquet not crashed, a meteorite, that burned up in the upper atmosphere, would not have been deflected by everyone getting up and turning on the kettle when the safety car came out, and would now be able to hit smack bang in the middle of Bernies head. The cranes used to remove cars would have to be used to extricate this foreign body from said govners head, and the race would have to be red flagged. No point in the Gladiators fighting if the Emperor is not present, to coin a phrase.

        2. I have it on good authority that a marble laid down by Piquets rear tyre, was made of sticky anti-matter, and Kubica would have run over it on lap 20. When Kubicas car then accelerated past 88 miles an hour, he would travel back in time to become the first Polish WDC, in 1969, pipping Sir Jackie by 1 point in an exciting climax race on Everest. Or was it explode if he went slower than 50 mph? Little matter.

        The point is, what happened, happened. Yes, it’s been made farcical by these events, that’s the tragedy. NO-ONE WILL EVER KNOW.

        1. Brilliant! And everyone else just went on posting their silliness, leaving this masterpiece to dwindle like a fogetten candle…. sigh. Keep up the sublime work.

  7. imagine now if Hamo didnt pass Glock in Brazil…….

  8. Re Calibrating last years results….. Now that is sad.

    1. waste of time. stop right now. deal with the reality not silly fairytales.

  9. Massa is the one I feel for, events and inept team work conspired against him more than once last year and this one was critical although it was more down to management persisting with that failed rig set up. As for Piquet I think many have trouble putting themselves in his shoes, most them the same that slammed in for his ineptness as a driver following those same events and continually claim he had the same car and opportunities as Alonso. As far as I can see Piquet is a very talented racer and needs only to improve his qualifying. That said I think Grosjean is showing promise even if he is not yet up to Piquet’s level. No.2’s and drivers with poor equipment get too rough a time on this site.

    1. Piquet Jnr is a very “nice boy” but not a good racing driver according to his last manager and now ex-team principle.

  10. dont forget the beginning of this year, hamilton cheating and the diffuser issues…

    1. Hamilton didn’t cheat.

      He lied to cover up a mistake and to keep his rightful position in the race.

      1. Surely if you make a mistake it’s not your ‘rightful’ place?

        1. Looking down this thread, I’d just like to say that’s a respectful question to a respectful contributer – not an anti-Hamilton rant :D

        2. Well he held the position rightfully (after Trulli spun into the grass) and it was a mistake that he gave it back to Trulli :)

          1. exactly, hamilton had the right to third place because of Trulli being s**t, (behind the safety car too! lol). Hamilton was just passionate about getting that 3rd place which should have been his.

      2. Once again I’m getting the ‘in-bred’ moron alert as i read the thinly veiled attacks on Lewis.
        Do you guys think that if you get enough ppl buying into the lie then it becomes fact.. “Massa is the one i feel for”, “Hamilton Cheating” and the phony benevolent defense of ” He didn’t cheat… he lied to cover up a mistake…”

        … this sport is rotten to the core at the moment and its so called ‘fans’ are reflecting this as well…

        F1 and and a certain ‘breed’ of Hurra Henrys that call themselves ‘fans’, panicked themselves into a state of frenzy around the entrance of Lewis into what they perceived as their own private club, got nasty, got found out and ever since we’ve had a merry go round of concocted bits of circumstance and team order errors being spun and counter spun in order to discredit Lewis and justify all the hate thrown his way….

        What this latest bit of F1 sleaze shows is that in 2008 Lewis, despite having a race win taken away and other dubious penalties, wouldn’t have even needed to be in 5th place for the Brazilian GP to be World Champion…

        Whats wrong with you creeps, don’t you know when to give it a rest… Today Lewis Hamilton is the best F1 driver on that grid…..BY MILES and you know it….he proved it in 2007 against Alonso in the same car and Raikkonen in the Ferrari….

        What ever Lewis does, he sticks down your throats because your TV education tells you that ppl that look like him aren’t meant to be so good and so you have to go to extraordinary lengths to demonize him, so i guess we just have to accept that he will always have a hard time with a certain ‘class’ of ‘fan’ here, but for goodness sakes trying to spin the Singapore scandal as an opportunity to farther mud sling crap at Lewis is a bit tasteless to say the least…get a life

        1. @SYM
          Today Lewis Hamilton is the best F1 driver on that grid….

          I do not mind whatever you had to say with people spreading mindless hate. However, is Lewis the best driver on the grid, i’ll suggest not. This is not about it, so i’ll end it here.

          1. He would appear to be the most spirited racer, but still a little rash with some of his on track (and off-track) decisions. He will never earn the nickname “Le Professeur” but then of course he’s not French so that would be silly.

            Seriously though some drivers are really smart and some are really fast. Some are both. There is a certain ammount of snobbery in F1 when rating the two. I think Lewis is not currently the best but he may be one day. And good luck to him. Don’t change a thing, just develop and learn… and engage brain before opening mouth in front of the stewards.

          2. How do we get such a heated debate on Hamilton when the article is about Alonso and the worst thing I’ve ever seen in the history of motorsport? This is pathetic.

            By the way, no doubt both Hamilton and Alonso have acted regretfully this year at one stage or another. Hamilton was deceitful in the beginning of the year (a nice way to comment on his shameful lack of honesty), but at least he didn’t put everyone else’s lives in danger.

        2. SYM, you’re my new hero and what you say here is 100% the truth. It is essentially because he is black that he attracts such unprecedented hatred. Well said.

          1. @ S Hughes

            Well, it was a little uncalled for since i observed nobody brought in to question his race, caste, colour, creed, sex etc. What we do question is his and media’s overestimation of his abilities and the state of affairs of his mental faculties. You’re a reigning world champion, with millions in your country looking up to you, why’d you lie?

            @richard s

            “… and engage brain before opening mouth in front of the stewards.”

            EXCELLENT!!! I really lol’d my **** off… kudos… i couldn’t have said it better.

          2. S Hughes,

            Stop embarassing yourself with such stupidity.

        3. Get a grip. Hamilton DID lie even a real fan can acknowledge that.

          Keith maybe it’s a good idea to remove the posts of this racist? I mean people who say that other people are racists because they are of a different race are racists in and of themselves.

          1. I don’t agree. Although I do think there’s a tendency on the part of some people to assume that just because someone doesn’t like or doesn’t like Hamilton it must be because they’re racist. Obviously that isn’t necessarily the case.

          2. @Patrickl: don’t be ridiculous!

            @SYM: if you hadn’t written that, I certainly would! thank you.

          3. I can understand Patrickl’s frustration. This kid is an embarassment to the Lewis Hamilton fan base. Very amusing.

          4. The sad thing is, I’m a Hamilton fan (also Raikkonen and Alonso fan) and I get accused of being a racist, a sleaze, an “in bred” moron and a creep, simply because I acknowledge the fact that Hamilton lied.

            Still that is not enough for SYM’s posts to be removed?

  11. Very Good article Keith. I liked you Point(s) very valid and justifying.

    The Sport has turned into some sort of political drama and scandal. As far as Alonso is concerned he is finding himself always in the middle of the storm.

    For once lets imagine that there was no issue for Alonso with Ron Dennis and Hamilton did not come out so good in his debut as he actually did will this have come out. Alonso would have been using the Ferrari Secrets with Mclaren and got away with the Championship. Is this really fair ? Just because he felt offended the truth came out.

    In a similar manner here Alonso has nothing to say because everything was done for him he was never at the receiving end this time. Now Piquet was at the receiving end.

    So Piquet is only as much as guilty as Alonso in the Spygate. If Alonso was not punished for his crime then let the same treatment be meated to Piquet.

    After all Piquet is a young racer starting his carrer who is under terrible pressure from hard mouths like Flavio who had kept on disgracing him all along.

    In that sense Ron was a very fair person he never ever bad mouthed Alonso.

    1. carl (@clwydian)
      17th September 2009, 9:26

      Alonso should express abhorrence (if no leaks appear then he is as innocent as i suspect). There is no point in rewriting last years results- referees make mistakes in football and things stand (remember the hand of God?).
      However Piquet seems to have displayed a disappointing level of ..is it ..professionalism? What happened to sportsmanship. Oh yes.. money happened lol

  12. Its the controversies that makes F1 what it is and not GP2 or something else, but its not so good when you put spectators at risk though, so I guess he could’ve put it into the outside wall where there is nobody standing.. but ****($ hell he isn’t a driver !! Anyway Alonso could do his reputation a world of good if he did renouce the win, especially when the FIA already said results won’t be changed, so nothing to lose. Anyway it wasn’t this one incident that put him into the lead, but it did move him up.

    1. yeah but I don’t subscribe to the “putting people in danger” sanctimonius line.

      Sorry I know it is an opinion widely supported across the web, but I don’t believe that it should be given so much weight. Of course it will be the biggest whip used by the FIA (and hence perhaps my aversion) but it was an accident innvolving one car and the circuit has huge safety fences.

      I don’t believe the conspiritors would have arranged the crash without understanding the consequences of the move. And Piquet wouldn’t have done it if he didn’t think he could control the situation. He wasn’t that desperate.

      Actually I don’t understand all the fuss over this issue of cheating, both for this and Hamilton’s previous problems. And references to Alonso’s innvolvments (Crashgate and Spygate).

      Sometimes good people make poor decisions it doesn’t make them evil.

      I look forward to hearing a statement from Alonso sometime in the future, but if it doesn’t satisfy my taste for public outpourings of contrition then perhaps I should blame the press officer or the contractual obligations and not Alonso himself.

      1. I don’t believe the conspiritors would have arranged the crash without understanding the consequences of the move.

        When you put a car into a wall at 100mph+ on a confined stretch of track with other cars passing by and spectators and marshals in the vicinity, you cannot possibly predict the consequences.

        We all know how relatively small the piece of debris Massa hit was. If something similar had happened here the consequences would have been appalling.

        1. Yes ok it is impossible to predict with complete certainty, but you can have a fair idea of what is likely to happen. And you can bet all innvolved considered the scenario very carefully. (OK at a minimum Piquet but I hope all as it was a conspiracy and so needed planning)

          Piquet was travelling at about 80mph, coming off a slow series of bends and onto the start of the straight, when he used his throttle to rotate his car off the racing line into a wall. The impact was taken by the (tethered) rear tire and suspension, and there he stopped. There was no tumbling trail of carnage rolling down the track into the paths of the other cars.

          Massa was hit by debris, dropped from a car travelling at more than 150mph. That was a most horrific and emotionally charged incident, but it is off the scale as compared to what actually happened to Piquet and I think what most probably could have happened in Singapore.

          The case for the prosecution and the moral high-ground is that he (they) endangered the people around him and that is certainly true. But I see there being a low probability of having any collateral damage.

          The main point is that they manipulated the result of a race. For me the safety aspect is a distant second.

          cheers

  13. The thing that upsets me the most is that the guilty conspirators are going to go unpunished :( & Alonso somehow manages to wriggle his way out of tight situations. Jamez Allen said on his blog that Flav & Pat will not be present at the hearing on Monday, can you please confirm this Keith? Isn’t that contempt of court?

    1. This isn’t a real court, with power to compel or imprison. It’s a pretendy FIA court in which the F1 teams have agreed to accept rulings. It’s only real power relates to the championships, such as F1, which it controls.

    2. I’m not sure – were Nigel Stepney and Mike Coughlan present when they got their bans? I don’t think they were.

  14. Alonso can’t openly renounce the win yet, it will just further sink Renault.

    1. If he’s genuinely innocent then why should he care about protecting them? They’ve jeopardised his reputation, as I think many of the responses here make clear.

  15. Who cares what the `FIA Record Book` says, my book says Hamilton Won the Belgium 2008 GP.

    1. And should of Won in Valancia when a 25 second penalty turned into a 10000 Euro fine…. Oh No I`am recalibrating last years results… doesn`t matter though…tell that to Bruno Senna.

    2. im with you on that one completely!, I think the first two rules in the f1 rule book should be

      1) All position changes (for a car gaining a position) has to be done within the white lines i.e. on track.

      2) A driver can only be win a race if he leads at some point during the race.

      1. Concerning the “some point” of rule #2: shouldn’t it be specified as the finish line of the last lap? And with a caveat: As long as you raced withing the rules – otherwise the next guy takes the honours.
        hey wait a minute….

        1. I know what you are refering to, but what were McLaren meant to do at that piont, charlie whiting and race control cleared hamiltons move and said it was alright, then Hamilton was punished under a rule that was created after the race finished!

          Thats what my “Rule 2” is about.

  16. should rename this place Planet F1…

    Some of the comments and stories are complete juvenile illiterate rubbish.

    Waiting for the next LH is the great driver ever born thread / comment…..

    1. I was thinking exactly the same thing. After LH was champion, this place got filled with ignorant babbling.

      1. FLIG and AP…

        I’m not sure the problem is with Lewis Hamilton or his supporters, but people like you who are intent on starting a war of words between fans.

        Your comments do nothing to raise the standard of debate (as Keith rightly posted), but insense LH fans to bite.

        F1Fanatic remains the best F1 blog/site on the internet and it’s majority of fans/subscribers offer nothing but informed and educated discussion.

        I put it to you that it’s comments like “juvenile illiterate rubbish” and “ignorant babbling” that clog this blog up with irrelevant posts.

        Go back to PlanetF1 please.

        1. Never been there, really. Been here for a long long time.

          1. Then stay here and stay constructive ;)

            PlanetF1 sucks. Almost as much as Briatore.

    2. And you thought that by posting a comment labelling people ‘juvenile’ you might raise the standard of debate?

      This article isn’t even relevant to Lewis Hamilton so why are you dragging him into this?

      Why don’t you say why you don’t agree with me and then we can have a proper discussion.

      1. I’m sorry Keith, my apologies, your right in pointing out my stupid heat of the moment post.

        Mostly becoming really frustrated with F1 more so than anything…!!!
        That is from a long time fan.

        1. Well I can sympathise with that. I am more than a little sick of these scandals.

        2. There’s no need to apologize for the truth AP.
          Keith deliberately writes these rabble rousing stories to stir up the debate and then adopts a holier than thou, above the fray attitude in all his responses.

          1. then perhaps you want to leave this blog then?

          2. Really unfair. I’m continually impressed by Keith’s stance, which encourages open, considered and informed debate here on the site, while expressing his own views when he feels he’s reached a conclusion, but leaving things open when he himself is unsure. That’s really difficult to achieve – try finding this kind of balance elsewhere on the web. I disagree with some of his opinions (though with a fraction of his knowledge!) but I truly admire anyone who’s generous with his time and ideas, and shows a great deal of care in how he uses the admin powers at his disposal. That’s rare on the web and in life in general.

          3. ps. reply to Diogenes, not sato113

          4. David BR

            I agree and usually the debate is intelligent and informed, with a few unfortunate exceptions.

    3. You are so right…. Alonso Should Renounce Singapore GP “win”, Couldn’t there be a ridiculous suggestion than this. I wonder if the author would have applied the same rationale if British(read Hamilton) was in this situation. At one end everyone agrees based on the evidences produced that Alonso is as innocent party in this situation as rest of the 19 drivers on the grid, so why he should be renouncing the result of the race, the result is what it is. If the entire Singapore incidence is so shameful for the sport, by the same rationale the author should request all the drivers, teams, sponsors, fans to RENOUNCE from the event.
      Similar Article written by Author last week about Karun Chandok makes me feel that more than healthy discussion on F1, intention of author is to stir the pot, just like what PlanetF1 and crash doh net do elsewhere.

      1. I wonder if the author would have applied the same rationale if British(read Hamilton) was in this situation.

        Yes I would.

        Similar Article written by Author last week about Karun Chandok makes me feel that more than healthy discussion on F1, intention of author is to stir the pot, just like what PlanetF1 and crash doh net do elsewhere.

        And yet you never bothered to mention it at the time. Why not post a comment on there explain why you don’t like it and I’ll get back to you?

        1. And yet you never bothered to mention it at the time. Why not post a comment on there explain why you don’t like it and I’ll get back to you?

          If you revisit the post there were posters, who had pointed that out, that the post was Non-Subject just like this one, this article is exactly having same effect, there it was ethnic slander here its Alonso-Vs-Non Alonso Fans.

          What Alonso should do is his business and not ours to tell him. If you agree that he is innocent in this incident “based on the evidences” he has every right to accept FIA decision of not altering the race results (If FIA does so decide).

          Your expectation from Alonso is like asking Kim Clisters to renounce her recent win in US Open because Other Participant (Serena Williams) defaulted the Semi-final match. Because now the Win has become tainted because of someone else’s wrong doing

          1. i get what you’re saying Williams4ever- that if Alonso never knew about the race fix, then he should deserve that win. But as it stands, his team cheated (behind his back?) to make him win. and as a double world champion he should have the courage to say ‘I won’t accept this win’ now.

            I think it is Renault (more specifically Flavio) who should renounce this win.

            but of course if Alonso knew, then shame on him.

          2. Williams4ever, you wrote:

            “Your expectation from Alonso is like asking Kim Clisters to renounce her recent win in US Open because Other Participant (Serena Williams) defaulted the Semi-final match”.

            No, Williams4ever, it’s not like that at all, because Serena Williams and Kim Clisters are not part of a team. It’s more like asking Kim Clisters to renounce her recent win in the US Open because her trainer sneaked into Serena William’s changing room and drugged her water bottle.

          3. @JamesG – Its subjective interpretation on Track “All Drivers” are Competitors from that perspective if other participants stupid action is “Tarnishing” who incidentally is in his team as well.. why should a innocent victim give his hard earned (assuming he didn’t slack as he wasn’t aware of this sub-plot)victory.

            His situation is tricky if he takes that higher ground extends a olive branch, his detractors would rile him on that as well.

            E.G – Remember how the detractors responded to Hamilton’s Special Conference in Sepang.
            Remember how people responded to embarassed Shumacher’s attempt to push the trophy in Barichello’s hands in Austria. I am personally biggest detractor on Schumi but now Schumi can claim the same thing, Team conspired the “Switch” he was unaware of it. So Does Ross Brawn put on Chopping block for the Austria’02 in-discretion which was again case of manipulating outcome of race???

      2. This isn’t a question of indirectly accusing Alonso of being involved in the crash plot; it’s a question of him acknowledging that he gained a race win because other people in his team (or any other people: it wouldn’t matter) cheated (and risked lives) to help him achieve this win.

        The only thing I’d say is that altering the result now isn’t justified or sensible (and has been ruled out by MM). So Alonso renouncing the Singapore 2008 win would or should be symbolic. But it would go some way to making sure his own name isn’t sullied by this story and showing his support for the integrity of F1. Maybe he will make a statement after a decision is reached by FIA. To be honest, if he’s indeed innocent and had no idea of the crash plot, then it would be the correct thing to do, since he – theoretically – knows as little of any of the rest of us concerning what happened until FIA’s investigation is concluded and the verdict reached.

  17. Alonso should keep the win. Alonso still had to drive the car really fast to win.
    I´m tired of all this finger – pointing. Worse things are done and said behind closed doors between Bernie, Todt Newman and others

  18. Id be shocked if this is the first nor the last time something like this happens. The teams are too close. The fact that they share just about everything right down to team orders is just a bit much. If they did a better job of separating the two cars into two distinct teams with nothing but shared information and ownership this is less likely to happen. Id love to see Dale Jr crash intentionally to give Jimmie Johnson a win. The dynamic of the teams in NASCAR or Indycar would never allow that to happen. The bottom line is Barry Bonds still hit all of those HGH aided Homeruns and Fernando Alonso crossed the finish line first in Singapore. Fine the hell out of Renault and move on.

  19. Prisoner Monkeys
    17th September 2009, 4:55

    Alonso should only renounce his win if he were in on it. If the plot was limited only to Piquet, Briatore and Symonds, it wouldn’t have been too difficult to keep Alonso in the dark.

  20. if alonso was disqualified, then why would there be no winner? you can have a race with no winner.

    some people have been comenting that if alonso was disqualified rosberg would stay 2nd and singapore would say “no winner”, that would be obsurd! who has ever herd of a race where no one wins but someone comes second?

    if alonso does get disqualified then rosberg should inherit the win but not gain anymore points (8 points), same with hamilton, move him up 1 place but he keeps 6 point and so on and so on…

    if alonso had finished 2nd then he would have been stripped of his possition by now, because of his position (1st) that he finished it will be harder (politically) to strip it from him.

  21. “It is the worst single piece of cheating in the history of sport.”

    I guess the guy who wrote this article, has never heard of Mara-bleeding-dona at the World Cup 1986? Wait, what am I to expect from Simon Barnes, this is the kind of pompous rubbish he puts out regularly……

    I don’t really care that Renault stole this race. If it was me, I would just let it slide. But then, “if it was me”, I would never have come up with such a ridiculous safety car rule that we had last year! It’s the FIA’s fault that this ridiculous scandal happened. It’s the FIA’s fault that F1 a laughing stock yet again. Careless, poorly thought out rulemaking is what leads to rubbish like this!

  22. But F1’s latest row, over Renault ordering Nelson Piquet Jnr to crash during the Singapore Grand Prix, is surely the worst yet. Indeed one writer has already called it the worst act of cheating in any sport.

    I agree this is the worst because is the first time we have been able to see the evidence of 2 Top Managers planning, in cold blood, to put one driver life at risk just for a bunch of points, not even a win not to say a Championship.

    Prost, Senna, Schumacher incidents, despite are very much regrettable, were made by drivers fighting for a championship in the heat of the moment.

    It’s the first time we have seen most of the evidence of one affair, so at the end, it’s quite similar to the effect of those photos that make history transmitting a crude reality that everybody “knew” but nobody had seen (or felt).

  23. Frankly im surprised Keith is just going to assume quilt before the hearing. Im sure Flav and Pat were forced to resign by Renault for getting into this public relations nightmare and the handling of piquet jnr. They made him extremly bitter.
    I still dont see the motive in all this. The season was long lost. They made the car competative ok but knowing how radicaly different the cars would be in 2009 it was no indicator of future success. Also they had no way to know Alonso would get into 1st position. Your not going to cheat just to gain a few positions or get a point or two.
    Piquet jnr is so bitter as is his father, it just looks like emotional lashing out. Remember Max was very angry after Flav’s comments about him. Mosley could be looking for pay back. The telemetry is circumstanial evidence, its Piquets word against Flav no way to prove for sure.
    As for Alonso, would he chance his two titles and his whole career and legacy for one possible win? Why wait till last races of the season? Unless the FIA has some yet to be revealed hard evidence i just cant how it all fits together.

    1. Keith assumed nothing, Renault admitted. And there is motivation – keeping Alonso, convincing management to continue with f1 program and the publicity from winning 1st night race in F1.

      Telemetry is hard physical evidence and we got admission of guilt from Renault. Safety car gave Alonso chance to get on top of order, he wouldn’t be there on merit if not for safety car period at exact time it happend.

    2. Frankly im surprised Keith is just going to assume quilt before the hearing.

      I’m not assuming any guilt on Alonso’s part.

      1. It’s not even about guilt on Alonsos part, it’s simply about doing the right thing and retaining some credability for himself from this mess. I personally don’t believe that Alonso was aware of a “Crash Plan” but he made had his own suspicions, but why raise them? Why would he discuss them? He had won the race, and what need would there be for Flav and Pat to discuss it with Alonso, they needed the win for the team and themselves, and in a way Alonso may have been a pawn in their game. But even though he may be unaware, it would still be right to make a public statement and renounce the victory IMHO. For Sure

      2. Keith, just to calm people down i think you should change the title of this article to a question rather than a statement.

        1. No, because I stand by my opinion. I have not said that Alonso is responsible for what happened or that he knew about it. But I do feel it’s in his best interests to publicly distance himself from what happened.

          Besides, do you really think it would change people’s opinions if I changed the title to a question? I don’t see how.

          1. i agree that he should renounce his win, but i can see alot of people are getting angry at you for stating your opinion, (which is great i think!). just a suggestion, keep up the good work. B)

          2. i agree that he should renounce his win, but i can see alot of people are getting angry at you for stating your opinion, (which is great i think!). just a suggestion. neway keep up the good work. B)

          3. sorry for the double post! p.s i obviously mean i think its great to see ur opinion. I don’t mean to say i think it’s great people are getting angry. lol

  24. At the people saying how can there be no winner if alonso gets DQ’d etc.

    Someone in another post linked to a rule whereby ( and something along the lines of

    ” the results from a previous race or season cannot be altered after that season is finished ”

    So I don’t think Alonso’s win will be stripped and no-one get moved up. If they could do that, then it could mean a team would have more points at the end of it, but no get any extra money etc.

    Oh to all those over the numerous news articles bleating on about how if there was no crash, then Lewis would not be champion, the entire would would have been different and would by now have life on Mars……give it rest will ya?

    1. That would be a start, but renouncing that win means selling out his team.

      Fernando might be stuck in a tight place. selling out the team that gave him a chance and 2 titles because of two sleazy cheats?

      as much as i hate what is happening, my feelings about Fernando’s involvement are mixed, if he is involved he has to be kicked out, if not, he should be banned with the team for the rest of this season, and then let on his own device for next season….

  25. What a way to win your first GP, have a trophy handed over to you. (For Nico). Alosno should keep it or give it in to the FIA or whoever…Out of interest how did you work that one out Jorge?

    1. happened to Fisichella for his first win don’t forget!

  26. Trying to establish a baseline for how sensational this event is is a interesting question.

    While risking ones life and the lives of others is clearly bad there is some amount of difficulty with this in the context of F1. Should the racing stop because there is a risk of injuring somebody? No. So the drivers know that, for example, overtaking has a risk of injury to themselves and the other drivers and yet we want to encourage that. However deliberately crashing does contain intent in it.

    On the other hand we have a wide collection of examples in F1 where one team mate who is clearly about to win the race has handed over the win to another driver. Why didn’t the FIA defend gamblers in those cases? Why only now. In some ways (ignoring the danger to peoples lives temporarily) I find the blatant team play of a driver being forced to sacrifice their win for a team mate sticks in the craw more than what amounts (ignoring the danger to peoples lives temporarily) to quite a clever strategy of vastly improving one of your driver’s positions.

    I’ll say this baldly so as to not be confusing. Both of these things are wrong, both of them are cheating, but both of them are similar. One is more dangerous than the other, but pulling over before the line has always highlighted that to some the team is more important than their win.

    In other sports we have seen doping which has often been very dangerous for Athlete’s.

    And we have seen in many sports for the sake of betting that people such as boxers have deliberately lost so that somebody can make money on them. Surely from a sporting perspective that is worse?

    Finally of course we have the tragic example of Tonya Harding http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonya_Harding#The_Kerrigan_attack and many others. Even the milder form in F1 of deliberately downing a competitor by crashing into them seems to me worse. You have more danger, all the cheating and yes in some cases (not F1) you have injuries to competitors.

    I would say that there have been worse cases of cheating in other sports for sure, and in the case of F1 this is certainly up there, but may not even be the worst.

    1. The Tonya Harding one is an interesting example (although it means classifying figure skating as a sport, not sure about that one…).

      In other sports we have seen doping which has often been very dangerous for Athlete’s.

      Yes but only for the athletes – Piquet;s crash put marshals, spectators and other competitors at risk.

      1. Well yes… I can see the argument… I guess the Olympics committee say it is. But seriously these things happen more often than we’d like.

        Yes but only for the athletes – Piquet;s crash put marshals, spectators and other competitors at risk.

        And a driver crashing into another one?

      2. If I remember well, we were able to definilety classify F1 as a sport because it is “an activity, pastime, competition, etc that usually involves a degree of physical exertion”. Not that I am really wanting to defend figure skating but we can’t deny that the argument we often use to justify F1 is a sport, can apply there.

        http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2009/08/27/f1-not-just-a-sport/

        1. On that point I concede, albeit grudgingly and with ill-grace :-)

  27. This is like the Hamilton case – “I was told to do so, so I did it.” Then the bosses got sacked.

    1. I agree.

      It’s just that what Piquet did affected the whole race and could have led to injuries.

  28. This by no means is the worst act of cheating. It’s certainly unsportsmanlike, but you could even say it has been tactics similar to the good-old Schumi days.

    Sold matches are much worse. The Harlequins-gate in rugby is much worse. Intentionally hurting an opponent is much worse.

    That said, the involved parties still need to be heavily fined and stripped of the win. The Alonso bashing is only valid if he is indeed involved, so far that has not been proven.

    1. Unless you’re referring to another incident, how is the Harlequins-gate scandal much worst? Asking a player to fake a blood injury is hardly dangerous as opposed to asking a driver to crash a car into a brick wall at high speed.

      But cheating is cheating, whether it’s faking a blood injury, deliberately crashing a car, diving in the penalty area or taking performance enhancing drugs. It is a sad reflection of the current state of sport with huge amounts of money at stake and pressures place on sports people to perform; resulting in unsportsmanlike risks being taken. At the end of the day there are very few winners and many losers. The biggest loser being the fan as the sport stops being a sport.

  29. I agree that Alonso should renounce his win only if he was involved in the planning of the whole thing.

    Even if he suspected something afterwards and even if he might have found out the truth about it, I don’t think it’s easy to come out and say “Look people, MY TEAMMATE followed the orders of MY MANAGER so MY TEAM could get a victory for ME. It was all fixed, so, now you can start to BAN MY TEAM from the sport and leave ME jobless for the rest of the year, ok?”

    If he was not involved in the planning, he shouldn’t be stripped of his win and trophy. I’ll use a “what if” to make my point, even though “if’s” are something I usually hate. Let’s say Alonso was fighting for the title against Hamilton and Massa. Let’s say Alonso had a gearbox problem and abandoned the race in the early stages. Then, Briatore, knowing the pit-stop strategies of the adversaries tells Piquet to crash, in order to bring the safety car in and ruin Hamilton’s and Massa’s race, and handing a maiden win to an innocent Rosberg. Would you say Rosberg should renounce his win because Flavio Briatore is retarded?

    1. Regarding your hypothetical situation, I would say no, because Renault’s plan was not designed to help Rosberg win.

      I think the smart thing for Alonso to do right now, assuming he is innocent, is to come forward and say “I knew nothing about what was going on, I am appalled that the team behaved in this way, I don’t need to cheat to win races and so I no longer consider this a race I won.”

      It would be a show of integrity and sportsmanship, two things F1 badly needs to rediscover after this latest incident.

      1. I think the smart thing for Alonso to do right now, assuming he is innocent, is to come forward and say “I knew nothing about what was going on, I am appalled that the team behaved in this way, I don’t need to cheat to win races and so I no longer consider this a race I won.”

        Totally agree.

      2. Lets not fool ourselves, F1 fans secretly (or openly in some cases) love the controversy and conspiracies that now form an integral part of the “sport”.

        If F1 was 100% integrity and sportsmanship and lacked the scandals, cheating, arrogance, foul-play, and all the front-page headlines, gossip and rumours these bring, then I suspect your viewership would decrease substantially.

      3. Ok, you make perfect sense here. That’s exactly the what I want to hear him say, but the problem is he doesn’t have much choice – he’s either a cheat or an idiot. If he took part in the scheme, he was cheating, if he didn’t suspect anything, he’s an idiot. The only thing I might have a little hope of is that maybe he is so, so so arrogant that Briatore and Symonds actually convinced him that he could make a lot of overtaking and get in at lap 12, not for winning the race, but for drawing the cameras for 12 laps and making the sponsors happy. Then he won after a “very lucky” 12 laps because he’s Alonso and god is with him. But I don’t think even he is so self centered and blindly arrogant to pull this story off.

        1. Damn I had that line I wrote in the article in an earlier draft but then took it out. Should’ve left it in. Ah well..

      4. Totally agree Keith, but Nando may not have the acting skills Brando to pull that off.

      5. I think the smart thing for Alonso to do right now, assuming he is innocent, is to come forward and say “I …..

        It would be the smart thing for Alonso to do, but only if assuming he is innocent, which I don’t think is the case.

        Starting 15th on a street-track with just 14 laps worth of fuel, why would Alonso agree to such a strategy in the first place?

        Unless he received a wink from Flavio and / or Symonds while finalizing the strategy, I can’t see him taking up this strategy.

        And if he is indeed involved, he needs to come out in the open and accept his responsibility, and apologize, like Hamilton did at Malaysia.

        In my opinion, Alonso should not keep his mouth shut AT ALL. He needs to come out with his side of the story ASAP. Since, his silence would be interpreted in a myriad different ways by the paddock which could harm his chances of securing a race seat elsewhere in the future, assuming Renault withdraws from the sport, which is very very likely now.

        1. I can only conclude that Alonso must be a bit thick if he didn’t work out what had happened (unless he was in on it of course).

          1. A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.
            That pretty much describes all your responses when two names Hamilton and Alonso come into any discussion.
            If good to be fan of a driver, but evaluation of any situation must be balanced. The Logic if it is driver A everything is right and if it is driver B everything is wrong and vice-versa is flawed logic, which you seem to apply in all your posts related to these two drivers….

        2. His team had tried aggressive strategies before and after Singapore and sometimes they did stick… Everyone has harped on this possibility zillion times on this and many many other forums. So enough of that He must have known theory.

      6. you must mean wasn’t, right?

    2. I agree that would be lovely… but until we reassign heaven knows how many wins and podiums attained on a dubious basis, Alonso would be setting himself up for a metaphorical kicking. It would certainly be taken by many as an admission of complicity.

      I’m afraid in the real world, Bismark’s maxim of ‘Never apologise, never explain’ will get you further, and in the cut-throat world of F1, further still. Renouncing the win would be seen as a sign of weakness, and much of Alonso’s edge is, like Schumacher’s and Senna’s, built on an aura of non-compromise. At a sports psychology level, it would be harmful to his own performance. Once you start to question the morality of a situation, you extend that to future events and lose the ruthless focus required to win.

      1. That’s also very very true.

      2. Lewis apologised and I think that was the right thing to do. But you just cannot compare the two – Lewis is in a different class.

        1. 3rd Class :-?

  30. I think, if Alonso was in on it or not, his image is Noe finally damaged, probably beyon repair.
    If it is true that Ferrari were working out a deal with him, then I doubt that they would still want such a tarnished name in the team. Even if they have a signed deal, I’m sure there’s a clause somewhere about what happens if it is bad for their brand.
    In a way Alonso might already be heavily punished – his carreer may suffer greatly due to this.

    1. Alosnso’s image is certainly in a bad spot.
      He either knew about it or didn’t know about it. In both cases we are likely to never really know.
      If he was in the plot, surely there are no records, no meetings, no radio conversations, nothing to prove it.
      If he wasn’t, then of course there is nothing to prove that he was in it, but also there is nothing to prove that he wasn’t.
      Either way, most likely he can’t be proved either innocent or guilty, and a “maybe” will stick to most people’s heads.

  31. Frankly I am sick of hearing all these Alonso bashing staff. Without any sort of evidence whatsoever we have almost conclulded that he knew all these and definitely he was part of it. How absurd! I am an Alonso fan, but if it is proved that he knew all, I will be the first one to give him a bash. Till then can we please stop making all these random assumptions?

    1. I haven’t made any assumption that Alonso was guilty:

      Given the manner in which he scored this ‘victory’, should Fernando Alonso now publicly deny the credit for it? I think he should – regardless of whether he knew about it or not (and so far there is no evidence that indicates he was aware of it).

      1. Don’t always agree with you Keith but got to say, why are people so defensive of Alonso when he is not being attacked. ITS NOT ABOUT GUILT PEOPLE. It’s about doing the right thing, Alonso actually has an opportunity to score some points for himself and Renault with the public. For tyhe record I don’t think he is guilty in terms of planning or even being compliant.

      2. Hi Keith,

        I haven’t made any assumption that Alonso was guilty:

        you did not, but so many others did! In fact the comments section starts with one such assummption. All what I want to say is we do prefer one driver or another. But only because I don’t like certain driver, I should not post biased comments.

        1. But only because I don’t like certain driver, I should not post biased comments.
          Very well said Nirupam.

          1. Eh ? what did you post 4 minutes before that one ?

  32. Firstly, Alonso has done nothing wrong. If your going to point fingers at Alonso simply because he is under Renault pay roll, then you need to point them at the entire team as well as any one who had links to the team.

    Really, this whole “Alonso also knew” stuff is utter crap. You sound like a bunch of kids.

    Until the council has released their verdict, Renault are still innocent. Just because the two people at the heart of the whole thing have been fired, does not mean the team is guilty.

    And really, why on earth would Flav go and tell Alonso of his plans? He probably did it to keep Alonso in the team more than anything, and if Alonso knew the result was staged, it would not have been a reason to stay.

    1. It’s not about doing something wrong, it’s about doing the right thing.

      The win is tainted and he should expres his disgust over the situation and say that that is not how he wants to win.

    2. How are they innocent when they accepted guilt? The hearing will now only have to determine the punishment for this conspiracy.

  33. tEQUILLA sLAMMER
    17th September 2009, 9:29

    I wish all these journos would stop the sensationalism and insistence that someone could have been injured or killed in this pretty lame crash!!! Piquet just full throttled it when he was turning left and spun it backwards into the wall!!! All the ****** about “Spectators or other drivers could have been injured or killed” is a load of *****!! #:) Flashio may have wanted to influence the race but he sure as hell wasnt looking to get anyone killed!!! #:)

  34. Argue as much as you all want friends; but it just isn’t earthly & heavenly possible that Alonso doesn’t know an inch about this grande plan! There is not an absolute coincedence to the pit, refill, crash, win strategy that Renault took!

  35. I can certainly go along with the argument that Alonso didn’t know anything about the incident before the race. I don’t for one second think any driver would allow another driver to risk their life so he could win a race. He would have told everyone not to be so damn stupid.
    What I do think is possible, though, is that he was made aware after the race of what had been done. Surely all these people talk to each on a regular basis. Wouldn’t Piquet want Alonso to know what a massive favour he had done for him and get credit for it. When Alonso said how lucky he was to win that race, wouldn’t Piquet have said “Well, actually …” After all, the reason he did it, we assume, was to try and gain favour with the team.
    If that was the case, it raises the question as to what Alonso should have done about it. Would he have had a resposibility to report the matter or would it have been enough for him to express his disgust (which I am sure he would have felt). Presumably it would have affected his relationship with the team. My mind doesn’t stretch back far enough to remember if I saw any signs of Alonso disaffaction with the team following Singapore.
    To me, if Alonso did know it would have been after the event in which case the only question he would have to answer is what did he do about it.

    1. That’s the whole problem… I am a BIG BIG Alonso fan, I’ve been cheering for him since his Minardi days, but I just can’t go along with the idea that he didn’t know anything until a couple of weeks ago. He’d have to be really stupid. He probably found out after the race, after the joy of winning a “lucky” race was over. Then what could he do? He could have been a very proud and elegant man and told everyone about his suspicions, but… how would he ever PROVE it? I mean, Piquet was the guy DOING it and he has a lawsuit against him going on. Alonso would be making “false allegations” based on something he only suspected, and had no way to prove. Against his team-mate, manager and team. Isn’t that a BIT difficult to decide on?

      1. And that’s probably also the reason why he hasn’t said anything yet. If he says “I didn’t know anything up until now” he’ll be lying. If he says the truth, it would be something like “I didn’t know when I won, but aftewards I suspected something was fishy, but I just didn’t say anything because it was too much trouble and I don’t take honesty and truth seriously enough to jeopardize my career.”

        I think the BEST thing he can do is to shut his mouth about this forever, but not because he’s in the wrong, but because it’s a very very complex situation.

        1. Actually Alonso DID say that he didn’t know about it until now.

          I’m exactly like you BTW. Have been admiring Alonso since his Minardi days. His esteem in my eyes got a huge dent after his McLaren episode (being beaten by a rookie, “divo” behavior, betraying the team).

          In this case I cannot believe that Alonso knew nothing. The idea that he just hears what his strategy is and doesn’t care at all just doesn’t sound right. In any case he should have realized afterwards what happened.

          Not sure how he should have dealt with that though. I guess the right thing to do would be to go to the FIA, but that would mean to betray the team.

          On the other hand Ecclestone also stated that he knew about this. I find it utterly bizarre that he wouldn’t have gone to Mosley with that and/or that not more came from that.

          1. I personally don’t have a position on Alonso’s culpability here, but here’s an interesting piece by The Times where it is reported that Alonso claimed that it was his idea to do the short fuel strategy in Singapore 08:
            http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/formula_1/article6837681.ece

            Alonso explained that his early pitstop was his idea, something contradicted by the transcript of the Renault pitwall tapes leaked this week, which suggest the call was made by Symonds.

            “I did think about running a one-stop strategy,” Alonso said, “but all that fuel weight would have been too punishing for the brakes because there are no long straights here to keep them cool. Instead I chose a short, aggressive first stint and just waited to see what would happen.”

          2. So first he says he doesn’t want anything to do with strategy and then he claims it’s his idea all along and there was a good reason for it.

            Sounds like someone trying to cover up a lie …

  36. Lets not assume Alonso is guilty of being part of this nasty plot for now.

    If that is the case, he really does not need to get involved in anything, including making statements about renouncing wins. That is the job of the F1 governing body, not Alonso. What Alonso needs to do is focus on the remainder of the season and try to ignore the circus going on around him.

    1. Why can’t Alonso say that he doesn’t like that his team cheated to hand him that win?

      That has nothing to do with wether he was involved in the crash or not.

      1. Most probably it is Renault contract that instructs him not to do so. May be we will have something after the hearing is over.

        1. you mean a clause in the lines “in case we decide to cheat and let you know, you cannot tell”? And in what Mickey Mouse juridic system such a clause wouldn’t be null and void?

  37. I think thats one of the reasons why Alonso got kicked out of Mclaren. Hamilton didn’t want to crash for him! He is so dominant, and now he can probably blame everything on Renault. I am sure he knows about it, and probably the one who initiated the idea too. I seriously think that FIA should investigate him too.

    1. I am sure he knows about it

      Looks like you certainly do have something which can prove Alonso knew it all. Why don’t you help FIA by giving them the informations? (Or else you surely can make a lot of money by providing those to any of the news channels/websites!) :D

      1. LOL… I complete agree with you Nirupam :D

      2. Looks like you certainly do have something which can prove Alonso knew it all. Why don’t you help FIA by giving them the informations? (Or else you surely can make a lot of money by providing those to any of the news channels/websites!)

        Weren’t we allow to make comment? I personally think that he knew about it. Thats my opinion, not fact nor evidence you meat head.
        How can you not knew about it, when you were part of the few people who made decision for team? I can let him get away initiating the idea, but as part of the team you must had feel strange about the sudden crash and the win. If massa didnt mess up his pit, I think people would of think twice about the strange crash.

        Can anyone here prove that he didnt know about it? I would like to hear more.

        1. When you are making an aligation then is not it your responsibility to prove it? I would like you to go through this
          You will find all the radio transcripts available from the event as well.

  38. I am not one of Alonso’s biggest fans at all. But I am pretty sure he had no idea, the main thing that makes mr think that is obviously the evidence pointing towards him not knowing. And the fact the way he celebrated afterwards. He looked really happy and proud of him self. Which I think makes him have no knowledge of this, other wise if he did know about this he is a very sad man, and has dripped down my estimations even more.

    I can’t see Alonso as a driver being happy knowing the only way he won, was through cheating, I just can’t see it at all. Mind you, Schumacher is still happy to say he is 7 times world champion after Adelaide 1994.

  39. well alonso was strong on singapore last year and then had that incident to screw up his qualifying but if he didnt have that he probably would of won it. I doubt it very much alonso knew what Flavio was up to and alonso was just lead to believe it was just luck. but alonso isnt stupid i reckon he had thoughts how it happend but couldn’t believe it and was just told by flavio “dont ask” or “the least you know the better” phrases. Alonso wont be affected by this because Piquet jnr was the fallout guy not alonso and Flavio treats Alonso like a son and he wouldnt want to risk destoying his career for 1 win.

  40. He should renounce the win…if Piquet renounces his second place at Hockenheim. If Alonso was unaware of any plot, they’re both just beneficiaries of the timing of a pit stop and a safety car.

    At least Alonso won…I’m still sure Piquet could have put up a better fight against Hamilton.

    1. if Piquet renounces his second place at Hockenheim.

      I don’t believe Glock crashed at Hockenheim to help Piquet. The point is what Renault did at Singapore was deliberate.

      1. How do you know, Keith???
        Ho said that, apart from Piquet?

        1. Telemetry data and Renault…

      2. Again Piquet and Glock! Now I am sure: it was all a big conspiracy to nail Massa.

  41. Keith, I absolutely agree to everything you say here. This is why people read your website so much! Why don’t you stand for FIA president?

    1. But then who would write F1 Fanatic?

      1. Had it been LewisFanatic, there would be so many to run the site! But since it is F1Fanatic, there is not any! [:D]

        1. there was a forum topic here a while ago asking who we support. although there may be a few Brits here, doesn’t mean we all support Lewis. I don’t! (great driver, not aggressive enough! on and off track)

  42. So what if they were cheating, they’re not the first and they definitely won’t be the last. There is simply no real way it will ever be stopped as long it it relies on integrity and trust. But if the odd bit of cheating can generate this much publicity and excitement surely that can’t be all bad can it?

  43. Totally agree Keith. But this is the man who didn’t come out and condemn the Spanish racists who were his fans who disgustingly abused Lewis Hamilton. This is the guy who publicly said he would try and help Massa to win the championship so that his old teammate wouldn’t. This is the man who was in possession of proof of technical espionage and instead of going to the FIA about it, tried to blackmail his own team into giving him preferential treatment over his teammate. This man has no honour, only a win at all costs mindset, who is too arrogant and egotistical to ever apologise or admit he is wrong. So, don’t hold your breath.

    He might be pressured into it, but I’m sure he would do it dragging his feet every inch of the way.

    1. we all know you don’t love him… it is OK, but it is getting boring

    2. Yeah, let’s build a fire and BURN HIM!!!
      Not voicing your opinion about racism and liking one pilot better than another is disgusting!

    3. S Hughes,
      You don’t get sick writing same sort of lines again and again, do you?

    4. As the only defense presented on behalf of Alonso here against a confounding aggregation of nefarious circumstances are his present denials and his purported character, Mr. Hughes’ reference to the clear record of Alonso’s recent mendacity is relevant and compelling. I find each of his recitations both refreshing and cogent.

  44. All this talk of Alonso knowning about the crash is shrouding the fact this is a Renault issue and is bigger than any one man.

    Do you remember seeing Alonso sitting talking with Briatore after the race and Alonso was smiling with joy and saying to Briatore “It was the saftey car that won it for me”. The way he was saying it and his body language was of a man that really did not know anything about the crash DURING the race. Briatore stood there and just nodded to Alonso and didnt really say much (in the back of his mind he was thinking “yeah… sure i caused the crash on purpose”).

    It is very very possible that AFTER the ceremony, Alonso was told about the crash but looking back at his driving and also his attitude after winning the race, he didnt seem to know anything at that point.

  45. There is SO much speculation, I think that Hamilton should hand back his championship due to Glock letting him through……

  46. I can see your point Keith, about Alonso renouncing the win. I’m sure that the race win now leaves a very bad taste in his mouth. But – safety car aside – he still had to race the car for another 40 odd laps, keep it out of the walls, not take off with the fuel rig still attached etc and make it to the chequered flag first with the car still in one peice. He still deserves the credit for that, don’tcha think? Besides, as the result of the race cannot be changed now accordingly to one S&Max Mosely, such a gesture would be entirely symbolic anyway.

    While this whole situation just confuses the heck out of me (Why? WHY?) I remain certain that Alonso knew nothing about it. I just don’t think he would want to win that way. It just doesn’t gel with how he drove last year – wringing the neck out of the car in every race knowing that he was not going to win, but just doing it for the sheer delight of it. Doesn’t sound like someone who would take the easy way out, to me.

    1. But – safety car aside – he still had to race the car for another 40 odd laps, keep it out of the walls, not take off with the fuel rig still attached etc and make it to the chequered flag first with the car still in one peice.

      …this was also achieved by other 15 drivers!!!
      Why not Rosberg or Hamilton or Glock or Vettel or Heidfeld be the winner? They were just 10 seconds behind with a real strategy!
      http://f1-facts.com/results/race/2008/680/classification

      1. They were within 10 seconds behind…

        1. so they were BEHIND :)

          1. without their team cheating

  47. Well, it is only called cheating IF you get caught right?

    Every team is doing everything it can to win this goes without saying, however Briatore and others like him who are powerful men seem to think they can get away with anything at anytime. I hope they not only fine him heavily but they seek legal action to throw the bum behind bars. Too bad they didn’t give Jr. what he wanted- this could have never came out then.

  48. I know I’m going to get royally flamed for saying this, but this whole episode will increase F1’s popularity not harm it.

    That’s because we live in this substanceless, sales driven, X-factor, simulation, ‘get beat up by someone up on a bus for confronting a loud mobile phone user’ culture where cheating is so commonplace it feels like you have to join in or miss out.

    Yes, Senna drove into Prost – but at least he was honest about it.

    1. John H, you are right all of this will indeed increase F1’s popularity. You know what, since this started, at work that’s all people are talking about. And since they know I’m into F1, asking my views and when it will be on again on the TV. If it carries on like this, it will take over from Eastenders. LOL.

    2. Yes, Senna drove into Prost – but at least he was honest about it.

      True, but it took him a year to admit it.

    3. Just to add a bit more irritating spice and conspiracy theories and whatnots,

      it could be Singapore GP’s way of increasing publicity to sell out the final few tickets.

      Negative publicity is still publicity after all.

  49. Quit slamming Alonso, what about Lewis ‘liegate’, there was evidence. Alonso will gladly throw way the Singapore GP win, hey, he’s a 2 times WDC not that he’s not won before and he wasn’t fighting for the 2008 WDC. Vanity has taken Nelson to a different level, cheat just to stay in F1, it’s glamourous you know. No wonder Nelson never mentioned Alonso in the plot, BECAUSE IT”S TRUE he didn’t know. Piquet should stand by the fence and watch F1.

  50. A very strange question has raised in my mind that is this the first time happened in f1.we know all this becuase piquet disclosed it.and this rarely happens in f1.wonder this thing happened before.i would glad to know abt previous races which were won in the similar circumstances..Throw some light on my point.

  51. Piquet Snr also moved to clarify media headlines that suggested he had accused Fernando Alonso of also being involved in the crash conspiracy.
    “All I said was that an intelligent driver like Alonso would ask questions if his team told him to come in to pit after 12 laps from fifteenth on the grid.
    “As a driver I would have suspected something, so I can imagine only with difficulty that Fernando didn’t know anything,” he added.

    Wish could give Piquet snr a good slap and not Mosley style! Honestly, Alonso is unlikely to comment until the hearing anyway, no-one knows if he knew and maybe he didn’t question strategy or accepted it; he needed to make a gamble to get anything out of Singapore.

    1. Where’d you see that, Steph?

  52. people who believe alonso was involved in it are the ones who dont know him.Alonso drove his heart out in that uncompetetive renault.He extracted every tenth out of that car.and the way he celebrated singapore win should put these speculations to end but iam afraid people are blaming alonso.He didnt know abt this.whY Would flavio tell alonso abt this?.wHY would a worlchampion who is one of the most respected driver on the grid wnts to win in this way..
    if he wanted such wins he could have stayed in mclaren but he prefered to go to renualt.recall ur memory”its better to score points in renault than to win in mclaren”….and guys no one can win a race if he knows he is cheating..i bet on it.the way he stood on podium and was talking to flavio after race is the clear demonstration of the fact that he didnt know abt it.
    Reply

    1. Well, I would like to know the radio conversation between Alonso and the team. Was the pit stop scheduled or did they just suddenly call him into the pits and if so, what reason did they give him?

      And if the stop was scheduled, why would Alonso agree to such an idiotic strategy?

      1. And now I’ve read the transcript but it reveals nothing.

        1. The team transcript shows that Alonso’s engineer was debating with Symonds that they should not let Alonso pit yet. Symonds then said “It will be OK”.

  53. Is there a cash prize for wining an F1 race? If so, then if Alonso denounces his race win at Singapore, it would be nice to donate the money prize to a charity.

    I find this whole thing shocking. Shocking that it would be considered and asked, and shocking that a driver would actually go through with it.

    Niki Lauda recently said this about Piquet- “When I drove we were men and would have said no.”
    F1 has become very corporate, and people are afraid of saying no.

    Oh to be a fly on the wall.

    1. Yes there is prize money, plus teams get money depending on their finishing position in the constructors championship.

      1. F Alonso uses to give the prize to his racing engineers, as many other drivers.

        1. :-) and this was not allowed at Mclaren…

  54. Author’s expectation from Alonso is like asking Kim Clisters to renounce her recent win in US Open because Other Participant (Serena Williams) defaulted the Semi-final match.Because now the Win has become tainted because of someone else’s wrong doing.

    1. That’s something completely different. You don’t have to excuse yourself for utter stupidity/cheating of the opponent.

      The case here is that someone did something bad on your behalf.

      Another example that would be Steffi Graph denouncing the win over Monica Seles after the latter got stabbed by a Graph fan.

      Steffi Graph had nothing to do with that either, but still, that’s not how a true champion wants to win.

      1. You don’t have to excuse yourself for utter stupidity/cheating of the opponent.

        All 20 drivers are competitors against each others!!! , Hence the comparison between two incidents is very much valid.

        Steffi Graph had nothing to do with that either

        Steffi( and Her Father) were losing sponsorship monies due to meteoric rise of Seles, and thus indirectly Steffi was benefited (Like Alonso in this case).

        I don’t remember Steffi “Renouncing” Anything :-?, She Denounced the attack and so far it is not proven if anybody (Father) arranged the attack on her behalf ( Looking into financial troubles Peter Graf ended up eventually its quite likely though)

        1. OK, in bold then.

          He should denounce the win because the team CHEATED on his behalf.

          Graph did speak about the stabbing. For instance:
          “It’s not easy for me to live with, knowing that I’m Number 1 because she was attacked.”

    2. Williams that is a rubbish comparison

  55. Keith it was either autosport or newsonf1 they are the only sites I’ve been able 2 check today. At uni right now but that won’t stop me coming on here when there’s such a big scandal lol.
    Lauda’s interview is also on the Dailymail which somewhere on that site there’s about 15 different documents from the FIA.

  56. Alonso’s [alleged] involvement in ‘crashgate’ must be investigated. For, anyone who was involved or knew about this incident has committed wrong. If someone were involved in this incident’s coming to be, clearly, that person has committed a very serious wrong. But, if someone just knew what occurred and failed to report it, that person has also committed a serious wrong. As we saw in Australia, the drivers, et al, have a duty to be truthful and wholly forthcoming. To fail to comment (or, worse, to lie) when one knows that there has been a wrong committed is to (a) be dishonest in nature; (b) fail to conform to the FIA requirement of total disclosure and transparency; (c) to be(explicitly or implicitly)involved in a cover-up.

    If Alonso did not know about Piquet’s crash before it happened, why did he, a clever, experienced and talent driver, agree to a pit-stop strategy where he was to refuel after just 12 laps, on a track at which overtaking is extremely difficult (to say the least), when he was back down in 15th position on the grid. The logically choice, here, it seems, would have been for Alonso to carry a heavy fuel load and hope for others’ misfortune and, more importantly, the odd safety car. It is alleged that Alonso did more than just hope for a safety car. We’re frequently told that it is Alonso himself, not simply his engineers, who choose Alonso’s fuel strategy. Alonso’s odd fuel choice is, then, at the very least, suspicious. Alonso’s odd fuel strategy, combined with his status and influence in the team, and the fact that he was the chief benefactor from Piquet’s deliberate crash, could suggest that Alonso at least knows more than he’s currently admitting. We should also use a person’s past actions, his past history, as a guide to his actions. And Alonso has a history of being ruthless (recall his threatening to blackmail Big Ron if Ron didn’t make Lewis Alonso’s No: 2, since Lewis was too good for Alonso on the track. Moreover, Alonso has been involved, in some way, with every major scandal of the last five years.

    One final note. What Renault are alleged to have done is incredibly serious. The Times even calls it the worst single instance of cheating in sporting history. Renault, if found guilty, should face appropriate sanctions. Max has already said that what Renault are alleged to have done is worse than what McLaren allegedly did in ‘Spygate’. The threat of Renault leaving F1 should have no influence in the case.

    1. What you say is all true and logical. What I can’t understand is if Alonso gets off Scott free – that will be completely unjust. But I suspect he will.

      1. Alistair, if you read the full Renault transcript you will find that the Pit stop was scheduled on Lap 15. Then the team decided to bring him on Lap 12 because He was going to be held up by Nakizima (As was comunicated to Alanso from the team).

        Also, if you see the practice timing from that weekend, Alanso was incredibly quick. A 1 stop stategy would mean may be a 2-3 place gain. SO, tacking a gamble on a short first stint was not an absurd idea but a realistic strategy for me.

        Now, whether the manner in which his victory came raised any question or not in his mind is a different Issue. If it would have come into his mind, then it should have come into the mind of the FIA Stewards as well… So, they should have investigated the issue then and there and asked for the telemetry data…

        You can blame Alanso without any proof.

    2. Alistair, I agree his role should be investigated. But it won’t be. Alonso is one of F1’s major assets and none of the parties involved – though busy tearing each other’s heads off – seems to have any personal vendetta to resolve with Alonso (Piquet Sr. has been backtracking on his earlier assertion that Alonso ‘must have known’).

      But I’d ask where in the world would a criminal investigation not investigate the involvement of the main beneficiary of the crime, particularly when he or she was also on the crime scene????

      I realize it’s not a criminal investigation (yet) but the same logic should apply.

  57. If all this is true then its really stupid of Renault to have fired Piquet Jr. Way to stab yourself in the back.

    As for the article, great headline, does wonders for your credibility.

    And why stop at Alonso — let’s get all drivers who ever “cheated” to win to renounce their positions. I suspect we’ll have an illustrious list.

  58. While Piquets at it he might as well say that all his crashes were under orders :D It would definatly explain alot.

    Alonso is no saint but I hope he didnt know about it.

  59. Keith, this is not up to your usual excellent standard. I rather like this site as I feel it provides informed and usually balanced opinion. The opinions seem to have taken over in this piece however. While you raise an important and interesting question over the validity of Alonso’s victory, the personal opinions expressed as fact throughout the piece only serve to weaken your case.

    1. @Psuedohendrix – Well well said

    2. … if you make comments like that, you should explain what you mean, exactly…

  60. Bob Thomas - US
    17th September 2009, 15:50

    Alonso stated after the race that the victory was the result of “strategy and luck”. I believe the strategy was initially a gamble on the part of the team. From their grid position, they had nothing to loose because passing is nearly impossible on the Marina Bay street circuit, even for the best of drivers. They knew a safety car following Alonso’s first fuel stop could give them the lead, which they might even be able to keep. It was worth the gamble considering the alternative. The transcript of the team’s communications clearly shows the early stop was originally part of a three stop fuel plan from the engineers point of view.

    Either Briatore or Symonds came up with the idea of creating an early safty car, either before or after the three stop strategy was planned. I can’t see Piquet hatching this plan himself, although he was, by his own testimony, brought in the morning of the race. There is nothing in any of the released information to show anyone else other than this trio had any idea what was going down.

    This is just my opinion. I don’t think Alonso knew. I think Flavio and Pat kept it between themselves and Nelsino for good reason. They knew Alonso would do his part knowing the plan or not. Telling him or anyone else on the team would only add further risk that the truth would come out one day. Unfortunately for Flavio and Pat, it did.

    Piquet Jr, in my opinion, is just as responsible for this incident as the other two. He had the final say in the execution of the plan. He did a convincingly good job too for the unwilling participant he claims to be. His motive was selfish and from all that’s been said publicly, you could deduce there was blackmail going on before his departure. According to the FIA, they were informed by Piquet Sr in July, Nelsino was not sacked until August. Make your own conclusion there.

    It would be nice if Pat Symonds would one day talk candidly with a respected journalist and explain all the details of this sordid tragedy . That’s probably our best chance of ever knowing what really happened.

    1. Piquet was a young man under incredible pressure to perform in an environment that was anything but fair. Piquet was habitually given inferior equipment, time, and opportunity compared with Alonso, and his seat was under constant pressure. These are the facts: they may be justifiable given Alonso’s superior talent. But Piquet’s alleged agreeing to crash, in these circumstances, would not be as bad as the alleged decision of his superiors to have him do just that. Let’s not forget that Flavio is the team boss and Piquet’s manager. He is a successful, experienced businessman. Symonds is also a mature man and has great experience of F1. The blame, for me, therefore, lies squarely with these two individuals – if it lies with any of the three. Yes. Piquet should have known better. But so too should have Flavio and Symonds. And I think that it should have been more obvious to Flavio and Symonds that they should have known better than it should have been to Piquet that he should have known better. Indeed, this is the view that the FIA took in relation to ‘Liegate’, where the FIA and the team put the blame at the team officials and not Lewis Hamilton, principally, who’s young, inexperienced, and contractually obliged to follow his team’s course of action in these circumstances.

  61. I too do not think Alonso knew about it, assuming it all really transpired as alleged.

    His body language, his delight at winning, seemed genuine and did not strike me as the behavior of a man who knew he had it under the belt due to dubious reason.

    However I wonder if he has subsequently found out the truth, as I find his driving this season less inspired, and he seems to have lost his customary brio. Could it be disillusionment?

  62. This from autosport (apologies if it has already been quoted): http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/78682

    This passage in particular:

    The other intriguing aspect is how much Alonso knew – either before or after the race – about the events that took place. The FIA investigations suggest that he was totally in the dark about what Symonds, Briatore and Piquet had agreed, yet there have to be some doubts as to why he would accept such a radical strategy before the event – and, for someone of his intelligence, would not have quietly questioned the perfect timing of Piquet’s crash afterwards.

    Just what I’ve been saying – I could have written that myself!

    1. I, and many others, have been saying that too. In addition to Autosport, Pitpass.com has a quote in the same vein. They suggest that Ferrari haven’t announced Alonso yet because they want to wait to see how he emerges from ‘Crashgate’.

      1. Thanks for pointing me in the direction of that article – http://www.pitpass.com/fes_php/pitpass_feature_item.php. Very interesting indeed.

        Here is the passage in question:

        I guess that the reason why Ferrari has not announced its drivers for 2010 is that it wants to see how Alonso comes out of the hearing. He went along with a seemingly illogical decision to refuel after only 12 laps. The Spygate affair showed him to be utterly ruthless as did his threat of blackmailing Ron Dennis.

        Alonso was granted immunity over Spygate. There are many whispers and fingers pointed at him over Crashgate. I cannot be the only person who noticed how accessible Fernando was to the media at Monza, and how pleasant and modest he was. Martin Brundle even commented on this during the TV coverage.

        The driver market will not kick in until Alonso’s future is known and it is a fair bet that it will not be known until after the WMSC hearing. … What is under negotiation is not the conditions of [Kimi] leaving, but whether Kimi can be persuaded to stay should Alonso suddenly not look that good a prospect.

  63. I doubt Ferrari would have announced Alonso now anyway but definately this will slow things down and make them more cautious.

  64. Massa potentially partnering a man who may have been involved in a situation which led to the Ferrari mess and him leading the championship. And what would Ferrari think? Interesting
    That said I still don’t think Alonso knew at any point what happened or was involved in any way and from personal opinion can say that without doubt (though it is opinion), I’m just playing out scenarios.

  65. I’m sure Alonso had a good idea of what might have happened on that day. He has been racing in F1 for years and knows whats coincident and what isn’t. Its not his job to police the team. He is hired to drive and keep his scrutiny to himself. It would have been out of place for him to publicly speculate what happened. Now if he was directly in the loop then he should get burned for it as well.

  66. Excellent article Keith!

    I think it would be a great idea for Alonso, and Renault, to renounce the win. It cant actually be taken away from them I don’t think, as last year’s results are set in stone now, but I think it would give both of them some credibility and would show that they don’t accept occurrences like that to just say they don’t count it as a true win. It would be a positive gesture more than anything but I think it would do them both a favour. The whole race result becomes a farce as well, not just Alonso’s win – those behind him would have benefitted/lost out from the safety car being deployed so even if you could, taking Alonso out of the result doesn’t make the classification any more real.

    I don’t believe that Alonso was in on it before the race, and although he may well have had his suspicions after the race, what was he supposed to do? Stand up and hand in his team? They are his employers after all.(I know he may have had a hand in the Mclaren incident the other year by handing them in but that was different – that wasn’t race fixing or endangering other people, plus that was an ongoing issue that could be stopped – this was an isolated incident that couldn’t be changed) If he had found out right after, admitting he had discovered what the team had done would still have created the same uproar we see now, and losing his win wouldn’t have changed the fact that the result was farcical. Alonso was just one of several who gained from the safety car, and as much as I would have loved Rosberg to take the win – he was one of those who gained and it wouldn’t have been a true win, just like Alonso’s wasn’t.

    Alonso may well not have known for sure until a couple of weeks ago – and whether he knew right after, or only this year, I don’t think either makes him guilty as he didn’t have a hand in the decision, nor do I think the Renault team is guilty as a whole – by all accounts it was down to just three people – there is no evidence that anyone else knew beforehand. Noone else had any control over it.

    I think the team should have a hefty fine, as some punishment does need to be handed out – but as the guilty parties are not at the team anymore it makes punishment very difficult to place I think. Fine and suspended sentence or summat as well as lifetime bans for Briatore and Symonds.

    I’m not sure what should be done with regards to Piquet though – yes he shouldn’t have done it, but part of me wonders what on earth kind of pressure was he under at the team to feel that he had to do that!! I kinda feel sorry for him in all this, because he isn’t going to come out of it with a good name at all, and you wouldn’t just drive into a wall if you weren’t seriously under pressure. It’s not a decision anyone would just accept for no reason. He must have really had a bad time at Renault, no wonder he kinda exploded with all these criticisms once he left, such a huge weight must have been lifted. That said he probably should get some kind of punishment, even if he was under pressure he should have just refused and taken the consequences. Although that’s easy for me to say, it wasn’t the job that I have worked my entire life to get that was on the line. Tis a confusing situation!

    1. Yes, I feel sorry for Piquet as well. He must be a broken man now. Where does he go from here? I hope his dad has enough cash to keep him going because he won’t be touched with a barge pole now.

      1. You feels sorry for a rubbish driver, and atempted blackmailer?????

  67. I Think Alonso is a member of Al-qaida

    1. that is funny on many levels

    2. Yes but i dont think he knows about it..

  68. Renault should renounce the win, Alonso has no need to. If Alonso is to renounce this win, then Massa has to renounce his win in Spa, and maybe even Kovalainen should renounce his win in Hungary.

    Alonso can do no more than say he’s sorry for the fans and feels let down, unless he was in on it, in which case he should recieve a life ban from motorsport.

  69. massa might have won the race and championship.did anybody thought about that guys.i really feel.

  70. yes I know ryan so it is a shame all this wasn’t sorted out at the time esp when plenty were suspicious back then!

  71. Just observe Piquet’s reaction in this video at 0.45 sec.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZrCVbU6pWQ

  72. Yep thanks mp4, I saw it live and watched it again on the DVD review, it made me think for a second but I just didn’t believe anyone would go to such extremes…

  73. Obviously alonso knew all about this, or are people under the very false impression he´s mr. clean?

    Forgotten his lively chatter with pedro de la rosa about the “stolen” information from ferrari, did we? Of course he knew, and hes exactly the sort of chap that fits right along briatore.

  74. I think Alonso knew, and he was part of this plan, Otherwise how the hell he accepted that ridiculous strategy ??
    Briatore, Symonds, Piquet and Alonso should be punished !!

  75. Alonso im not sure he will see it like that “just letting the win go” because he knows he would of won the race if not for the incident to put him down the grid so his idea will be: “i had bad luck but i was the best on the circuit.” There will be 2 choices going though Alonso’s head “why should i give up my win that i worked just as hard as everyone else?” or “I didn’t deserve to win i will let it go but what about the other drivers in the past/present who have cheated but didnt do the same” but if he doesn’t let the win go he will look a bigger cheat then Micheal schumacher Ramming Damon Hill off and have a bad rep like Piquet jnr either way Alonso will have a finger pointed at him for something he probably never knew.

  76. It has happened before with Senna and Schumaker.I’m talking about ths greed in the minds of these drivers in that they HAVE to win at all costs. Now it is te turn of the Teams.
    All that is left to say is that Alonso should himself declare his win at Singapore null and void and the FIA should then declare the whole race as void.
    It is a dreaful venue for a GP anyway – thanks to Mr Ecclestone.
    Alonso delaring his win as tainted and therefore not counting should not affect the outcome of the Championship. You cannot reverse history but you can, in the light of events cancel results.
    Then we should get Jackie Stewart to replace Mosley as JS has a reputation second to no one. Perhaps he would bring some sense back into what is becoming a very unedifying spectacle of a “sport”

  77. tell me how is this different from team orders by brawn this year (pulling rubens to pits from the front to allow jense to win)?

    thats also race fixing and no one is shouting criminal charges in that case??

      1. How is it different? Dude, get serious.

  78. Exxo mainly because many don’t think that example was race fixing and Brawn didn’t ask Rubens to crash potentially injure/kill himself or others.
    Alonso may have accepeted the strategy because he needed a gamble, he couldn’t possibly have won if he ahd same strategy as the ones in front. He had nothing to lose.

    1. i as a fan feel cheated exactly in the same way when brawn keeps handing out team orders over the course of his entire career

  79. Keith i didnt feel you think Alonso is quilty just Renault. Also i want to be clear. If theres hard evidence Renault should be thrown out of F1 and fined for cheating and Alonso suspened at least till end of the year.
    I just think we all should wait till the hearing. What is your position on how daming the telemetry evidence is? Without proof that Piquet jnr was asked to crash how can the FIA strongly penalize Renault or anyone. With “spygate” actual documents were found(hard evidence). Like you said lives come into play here. Shouldnt the FIA apply court of law standards?
    Politically yes Renault is not going to be treated without skeptisism for a very long time. No other teams will trust them. In the court of public opinion their quilty just by the allegations but legally there must be more.
    Your right Alonso clearly has to do soemthing to seperate himself from the ordeal.

  80. A quick statement from Alonso saying he will donate his prize money to charity would do wonders.

    But he has said he won’t say anything until after the hearing, so I think your request Keith is a couple of weeks too early.

    I’d be suprised if he doesn’t do something, otherwise as you say, it’s double standards after the monza ‘not a sport’ episode.

  81. Just my opinion but on the balance of probability Alonso knew what was going to happen. I would say the plan was hatched days before they even arrived at the circuit. there would be no evidence. NPJ has no axe to grind with Alonso so was not going to drop him in it. But I reckon Alonso knew about it all.

    I wonder whether NPJ will ever get to drive at a decent level again? I mean lets not forget he was the one that actually drove his car into the wall, and has only spoken beacuse he has immunity and also knows no team will ever have him back in F1 because he wasn’t good enough.
    Even if it was all Symonds’ idea, any proper sportsman would tell him where to go and with the backing of his team could easily get Symonds sacked for blackmail. That’s why I think the drivers were LEADING the crash idea days before the race.

    1. So Renault knew days beforehand that Alonso would have fuel pump issues in Q2 & therefore have to start from 15th on the grid? Or did they plan the fuel pump failure as well, solely in order to instigate plan B?

      Sheesh. If that is the standard of your ‘evidence’ that Alonso knew, then no wonder people remain unconvinced.

  82. I was just thinking about 1994. Why the hell didn’t the FIA strip Schumacher of the crown? that crash was disgusting. he was never a hero or a true sportsman. Racing incident, my ****.

  83. Is Alonso guilty of anything? We don’t know

    If it’s proved that he is or was involved in a conspiracy or a cover up will he be (heavily) punished? No

    Will he emerge from this mess covered in roses? Yes

    In Scottish Law there is not just guilty or innocent – there is also a “Not Proven” verdict – perhaps this is how it will all end.

  84. If FIA has no intention to change the outcome of the race, ALO may not even have the possibility to renounce to it. Instead, he should state loud and clear that he didn’t deserve that win and that he feels gutted.

    Talking about knowing, in the radio transcripts ALO’s engineer is complaining about pitting so early (he got fuel for another two laps), then P.Symon went with something like “I am worried about his mechanical problem, let pit him now”, the engineer complaint again and P.Simon said “it will be OK” To me either the engineer is a good actor and this is a broadway play or he knew nothing, and probably the same goes for ALO

  85. I think If Alonso speaks wether is apologising or whatever, all the people that are wanting him to be “ban forever” from F1…, will say that they were right and obviously because he spoke, he was guilty. If he decided not to speak (I think that’ll work better for him) he won’t deserve the win because he is a cheat and he knew everything about the piquet-gate and the spy-gate (which I want to remember that was Mc-Laren the team involved, and LH could have had information about this as well, but that doesn’t make neither of them guilty) So to me is clear, if you don’t like Alonso make him guilty of everything bad in your life (same for the hammy bashers) if you like him, he is the most amazing guy on earth.

  86. How can the FIA allow any person to have total control of an F1 team…ie, the teams manager…and also allow that person to manage the racing affairs of an individual driver as that driver’s personal manager ?

    Surely there is here a clear conflict of interest ?

    Briatore controlled the interests of drivers for other teams whilst at the same time had yet other drivers working for the team he was supposed to be leading and giving all his attention to. Am I missing something here ?

  87. I agree. Schumacher’s was surely one of the worst acts in sporting history. That didn’t change the events of one race. It changed the events of an entire season. Also what he did ensured it would go right for him. The Renault thing could have backfired, unlikely but it wasn’t a certainty.

  88. If there wasn´t the Singapura incident, that first pit stop wasn´t to be done under yellow flag.
    That yellow caused a crowded pitlane that was the principal cause of Ferrari-Massa problem that make him lost the race, or, at least several points. (Of course I´m Braziliam).

    Its impossible now to recover the Singapura result and even championship result. A Brazilian make the worst act off cheating (like loosing a box fight on purpose) and another brazilian take the consequences.(sorry for the english)

  89. How would that impact the drivers championship and mfgrs. championship from 2008? Do you feel the final standings of both WC should be re-shuffled as well depending on the impact of Alonso renouncing his victory?

  90. Alonso should hand the trophey over to Rosberg, its the right thing to do. I dont believe that he knew of the crash deal, but we will all find out early next week.
    If it turns out he knew, he will be shamed as what happened to Hamilton in Melbourne. If he didnt know, there will be FIA conspiracy theories from the whacko’s

  91. Come on guys, this stuff happens all the time. Go back to the last F1 race in 1996…JV rear wheel comes off , to make sure that Hill wins WDC.

  92. Matthew Syed puts the ‘was it the worst act of cheating ever’ into perspective:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/formula_1/article6839134.ece

    I never knew the East German doping stuff was so highly organised. I’ll have to do some more reading on that.

  93. HounslowBusGarage
    18th September 2009, 11:42

    I read Matthew Syed’s piece with interest, but I was a little surprised that he did not mention the Festina case of doping in professional cycling. This was organised and institutionalised cheating which also risked the short-term and long-term health of participants. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Festina_affair
    The GDR state sponsorship of chemical development of athletes is not unique. It seems to have occured all across Eastern Europe and the former SU in order to build national sporting success. The Festina Affair was for the benefit of nothing more substantial than a cycling team.

  94. Alonso knew about it for sure.Rennault couldnt have gone through it without discussing it with Alonso.

  95. The thought of Alonso giving back the trophy is ludicrous. Unless it can be proven that Alonso played a _direct role_ in the matter, he is also an “innocent” victim just like Piquet (who has been granted immunity even though he’s the one who actually crashed the car).

    Either the entire race is tainted or it isn’t. All the results were affected by Piquet’s accident. If you truly believe that Alonso should give up the trophy, the logical course would be to nullify the results altogether. Then Hamilton loses 6 points and hands to WC trophy to Felipe Massa.

    Ridiculous, right???

  96. Alonso, always a cheat. he’s always in big scandals. Let his place be taken by a younger driver, fresh blood on the grid. He shld give up the trophy he got from cheating, making Nico 1st and Lewis 2nd. Alonso cheat cheat, cheat!! i wldnt be suprised if they had said he came up with the idea! what a shame!

  97. Surely it is irrelevent if alonso knew or not, if the stewardd had finnd something illegal about a car the driver can get disqualified even though he didn’t know about it. Also, just because Alonso said he was lucky doesn’t prove anything, he isn’t going to say that he won because his team cheated!!!

  98. If you recall a quote from Alonso when he won his first champoinship. [I will be a better world champion than tha german Schumacher] well in under half the time in F1 he is already embroilded in 3 cheating scandals and still claims he knew nothing about them and is innocent, is treating all F1 fans as idiots and with contempt. So my words to the cheating spaniard are { hand in your super licenceand be a honorable man for a change….

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