Nelson Piquet Jnr, 2009

Piquet Jnr reveals how ‘Crashgate’ was planned

2008 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Nelson Piquet Jnr, 2009
Nelson Piquet Jnr, 2009

Nelson Piquet Jnr has broken his silence over the conspiracy to cause a crash in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

In an interview with The Times the team’s former driver explained how Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds devised the idea to help Fernando Alonso win the race.

Piquet said:

I could see they were nervous. The room was hot and very tense. I was quite surprised because Flavio is a very assured guy and I had not seen him like that.

Symonds started talking first. “Look, both cars are at the back of the grid,” he told me. “We are in a situation where we are not going to get anywhere in this race unless something extraordinary happens.”

Flavio agreed with him. “It would be a disaster for the team unless something extraordinary happened.”

I just sat there listening because I couldn?t figure out where this was going. They were both very fidgety and the situation was incredibly tense. I don?t think I had said a word by this point.

It was only after five minutes that Flavio made his pitch. “Look, the only way we can benefit in any way out here is by getting a safety car on the course at the right moment.” he said.

I just sat there, looking at them. They both reminded me of what had happened in Germany when someone [Timo Glock] had crashed just after I had pitted and I came second in the race. “Do you want to help the team?” Flavio said. “If you crash at the right moment, it could change everything.”
Nelson Piquet Jnr

He admitted: “I did not even consider the morality of it.”

Piquet also claimed that a few days before the race Briatore urged him to sign a contract for 2009 which gave Renault the right to terminate the deal but prevented him from negotiating with other teams.

Piquet remained silent about the conspiracy until August 2009, after he had been dropped by the team. He settled a libel claim with the team earlier this week.

Renault Singapore crash controversy