F1 links: Alonso will be at WMSC hearing

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

It’s been a quiet weekend for news so far, but there have been some small developments in the ‘Crashgate’ saga. Fernando Alonso will be appearing at Renault’s WMSC hearing on Monday.

Meanwhile the boss of the Spansh motor sport federation has strongly criticised both Piquet and condemned the FIA for offering Piquet Jnr immunity.

FIA summons Alonso to appear before the World Council (James Allen)

"Fernando Alonso, the driver who benefited most from Nelson Piquet’s deliberate accident in Singapore last year, has been summoned by the FIA to give evidence to the World Council on Monday."

Gracia: Piquet should not have immunity (Autosport)

"This kid, if it was up to me, wouldn't be allowed to walk blind people on the sidewalk. It's such yobbish behaviour from which he has also benefited, because, like he says in his sworn statement, he did it so he would get a contract renewal for 2009, and he will be paid until the end of the year. […] He is a silly kid who doesn't know if he has pushed the throttle or not, because it's no coincidence that he's had 17 accidents since he's been at Renault." Why is Carlos Gracia, the boss of the Spanish motor sport federation, slating Nelson Piquet Jnr?

Ferrari move for Fernando Alonso will have to wait for FIA verdict (The Guardian)

"If Alonso is implicated in the extraordinary deed that led to the departure of the team principal, Flavio Briatore, and his chief engineer, Pat Symonds, the former world champion will be less attractive to Ferrari despite his reputation as one of the best drivers in Formula One. That, and Renault's possible ban from F1, is the here-and-now implication of the case."

Interviews with Jonathan Legard, Lee McKenze, Ted Kravitz and Jake Humphry (F1 Badger)

"At the Italian grand prix last weekend the “Goodnight Horse!” podcast team bumped into Lee McKenzie, Jake Humphrey, Jonathan Legard and (super) Ted Kravitz around the circuit and had the pleasure of talking to them about the 2009 season so far."

Soucek eyeing F1 shot after F2 title (Autosport)

"Andy Soucek believes he has done all he can in Formula 2 this season to prove that he is worthy of an opportunity in Formula 1."

David Coulthard: Renault scandal sparks debate over ‘bending the rules’ in motorsport (Daily Telegraph)

"At least in F1 we hit the culprits hard. I know it's easy to stick the boot in just now but I would say that as a sport we deal with these things. The Renault thing happened and the FIA reacted. Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds have paid with their heads. You look at football and Eduardo has just been let off the hook for what seemed to me to be a blatant case of diving. Where is the integrity there?"

These are links I’ve bookmarked using Delicious. You can see my Delicious profile here.

55 comments on “F1 links: Alonso will be at WMSC hearing”

  1. Why is Carlos Gracia, the boss of the Spanish motor sport federation, slating Nelson Piquet Jnr?

    The question for me would be a bit different: why he (GRACIA) wasn´t so vocal when De la Rosa and Alonso were given the same immunity for chatting about Ferrari data delivered by Nigel Stepney to Coughlan?

    So, this is just nonsense!

    1. would you say somewhat ironic that he has taken this position.
      Face it, Alonso walks on water in spain, that is the only position they will take.

    2. Very good point!!!

    3. Well said, Becken.

    4. Well, to be fair, Alonso and De La Rosa weren’t really at fault in the ‘Spygate’ episode, other than being members of the team. Piquet played a much more central role in this episode than the two Spaniards did in theirs.

  2. Is there a point at all in calling Alonso before the WMSC ? Even if he was involved in plotting the conspiracy, there is no one to testify that. Max’s ultimate goal has been achieved. He wanted Flav’s head & he’s got it. What is Pat Symonds doing in spain? Is this the time to be holidaying? The man has just brought disgrace not only to himself but the sport, yet he goes on a holiday to spain. I dunno how he could possibly show his face in the public. If I were in his position, I would lock my self in my room & retrospect. The situation is very grim. I say that because I come from a country where the media coverage for F1 is minimal, but unbelievably the CRASHGATE scandal news is being flashed on all leading dailies on the front page. The sport is getting unbelievable negative publicity. But publicity nevertheless.

    I dunno what kind of an engineer Pat Symonds is? I also dunno where he did his engineering from. But its standard for all Universities to include a subject called Engineering ethics in their syllabus & its a compulsory subject. My question is whether has he studied this subject or not. If he has, then what’s that he learn from it??

    Usually in the medical field when a doctor is found to be doing things that are against the moral code of conduct,he/she is usually expelled from the medical practitioners association or in severe cases his/her medical degree is immediately canceled.

    What Pat has done is unpardonable, not only has be brought shame to himself, the team, the sport, his country etc .He has also let down hundreds of aspiring engineers who want to get into the sport. Young engineers usually idolize some one, just like drivers. Now see what sort of an example he’s set to the future.
    Pat is a disgrace to the engineering community. What use is his engineering degree, master’s degree & his doctoral thesis in aerodynamics or whatever if he doesn’t abide by his teachings. Flav doing this is quite understandable, he has been a spoilt guy since his childhood & has no formal education, but Pat? I really fail to understand his actions. Some may say he did it for financial gains etc but look where its landed him.

    I think the just punishment for Pat would be to strip him of his engineering degree. This will serve as a lesson to all engineers who have “plans” to indulge in wrong doings.

    1. Unfortunatley he has walked away, which means the FIA don’t even have the power to strip him of his hat. And what Pat Symonds done was inexcusable. But what worries me is how they came to the decision that to do this was even plausable.
      Has there been so much cheating in F1 over the years (As Eddie Irvine hinted at) that this latest scandal is just the pinnacle of the evolution in cheating. It seems so appalling because we are not aware of what people have got away with before. Maybe there are a lot of people desensatized to the nature of what they are doing.
      When McLaren got caught in the spygate affair, it was widely accepted that stealing engineering data had been goin on for years its just that McLaren had stepped over the line. Well I have a feeling that this is the same, drivers and teams have been employing all sorts of dodgy tactics and strategies over the years, but this time Pat Symonds and Flavio have stepped over the line.
      That is why I think a 2 year ban is enough to reset the moral compass of these people, I don’t think these are fundamentally bad people, I think the environment of F1 has contributed to this and it’s kind of enivitable that this sort of thing would happen eventually. When you consider that Piquet jr, Piquet snr, Flavio and Pat Symmonds (So Far) were all compliant in this, then you have to consider that cheating must be still an accepted but of F1 that perhaps only those involved really accept.

      1. When McLaren got caught in the spygate affair, it was widely accepted that stealing engineering data had been goin on for years its just that McLaren had stepped over the line.

        Remember Ron Dennis Assured WMSC in first hearing that the Ferrari Dossier had not been circulated across ranks and files of McLaren team and they had not Used any data. WMSC believed Ron and Let McLaren go scott free first time, only to realise that Ron had lied under oath, everyone in McLaren was aware of the content and were possibly evaluating the information. It was lying under oath that got them in trouble. Ron could have come clean in front of WMSC and nobody would have been in trouble.

        Compare that with Symonds situation, the guy preferred to suffer rather than take immunity and Rat out on his team and his long time friend Flavio and same goes true for Flavio. Based on circumstantial evidence the transcripts provide, no court of law can prove that the two men were trying to fix the race outcome.

        McLaren Fans please realise, comparing the two situations, doesn’t really tell anything great about Ron. Ron could throw others under bus to save his skin. Atleast the two guys have shown some honesty in dishonesty ( Not that I am approving it). The Point is McLaren/Ron were not saints and were punished only because they lied under oath, not because they used Ferrari Data..

        1. I wasn’t defending Ron Dennis or trying to directly compare their “crimes”. What I am saying is that cheating in one form or another has become institutionalised throughout the sport and many of those working within it have become desensasized to it. These two offences are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of cheating and are the highlighted offences. I am not specifically a McLaren fan, I am an F1 fan.

    2. Engineering Ethics isn’t a compulsory subject. You might get it in Robotics or Computer Science/Engineering but I fail to see the need for it in Mech Eng, Aeronautics/Aerodynamics etc.

      1. Pat Symonds got his degree in engineering before corporate ethics courses of any kind were in vogue, so he probably hadn’t done any ethics course in his degree on the grounds that no such module existed.

    3. If I were in his position, I would lock my self in my room & retrospect.

      Thats the reason, you are not rubbing shoulders with Ron,Jean, Flavio and Ross
      Or should I say spanking the rear end of Max in F1 :P

      As I have written in different response, @least Symonds and Flavio didn’t save their skin by ratting others out. They could have fought tooth to nail, after all the transcripts no where demonstrates that they were involved in fixing the outcome of the race. They are genuinely ****** off @ Piquet on the crash and genuinely demonstrate concern for his safety.

  3. I was wondering: suppose Alonso is cleared of blame, but Renault is banned and Ferrari don’t call Fernando up – then what? He will have to look for a new team and it would most likely not be a front runner…

    1. There are a lot of contracts up for renewal this year, and as Martin Whitmarsh has said, the merry-go round will only start when Ferrari confirm their driver line-up. Alonso commands so much respect as a driver that even at this stage he would still have a fairly decent set of drives to pick from.

  4. Ferrari will keep Kimi and Massa for 2010. If they sack Kimi it’ll cost them 40 million and the same amount to hire Alonso and Kimi will probably go to McLaren and earn points (and money) for them, a few million Ferrari doens’t get again.
    So they’re better off keeping Kimi and let him earn money for them.

  5. HounslowBusGarage
    20th September 2009, 9:29

    According to this article in the Telegraph, the matter of Renault’s cheating will be discussed by the WMSC which is made up of-

    The 26 members of the World Motor Sport Council, which includes FIA president Max Mosley, F1 commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone and a representative from Ferrari, most likely company president Luca di Montezemolo. Renault F1 will be represented by their president Bernard Rey, and head of communications Jean-Francois Corbet, as well as team lawyers.

    Why on earth is Benrie and Luca part of this body? Why are Ferrari (who may have lost the 2008 Championship through this event, and who may be about to employ one of the lesser players) allowed to sit in judgement of Renault. What’s it got to do with Bernie? He’s only the rights holder.
    I really do not think that this is the way that mtorsports should be administered. There is simply too much at stake for a body (which appears to include one of the victims) to sit and deliberate in private.
    Keith, this is where we need the transparency you looked for.
    The public – ultimately it is we who pay – need to be assured that the right decisions are made for the right reasons. The WSMC should be in open session, and without Bernie and Luca.
    Here’s the whole article http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/motorsport/formulaone/6209830/Vested-interests-will-keep-full-truth-of-Renault-race-fixing-scandal-hidden.html
    I do not think the truth will be revealed tomorrow.

    1. Completely agree with you, if you see my post above. I think that the reason we are having these problems in recent seasons is all bought about by the suspect governance where it really is a case of “who you know not what you know”. How is Bernie part of any decision making regarding the governance of the sport. It’s ludicrous, Bernies interests are in actually playing down this kind of thing, not exposing it and punishing it!
      As you say we will not know the truth, but we’d be niave to believe that we ever did about anything F1.
      Our calls for transparency will fall on deaf ears once again.

      1. Why is loony Luca attending? Whats he upto? maybe he wants his share of loot.

        1. Luca is not taking his seat, he is concerned about conflicts with FOTA.

    2. To clear up this point:

      The WMSC is made up of the FIA President, the Deputy President for Sport, the seven Vice-Presidents and 17 Members who, with the exception of the FIA President, must represent a National Sporting Authority with at least one event entered on the International Sporting Calendar. Of those, 21 Members, with the exception of the President, the Deputy President and the three Members by right, are of different nationalities.

      The Members by right are the President of the International Karting Commission (CIK), the President of the Promotional Entity for the Formula One Championship and the President of the FIA Manufacturers’ Commission.

      That is the structure of the WMSC, per FiA statutes. And this LINK shows who the current members are. (Although, the information on the FiA Manufacturers Commission representative is a bit out of date.)

      As I recall(if memory fails me, please correct me), the Ferrari representative would step in if for any reason the Mfg Assoc head could not be there, as Ferrari are the senior team in Formula 1. (Yes, I know, politics, politics.) At this point, it would be either Domenicalli or di Montezemolo, rather than Todt.

  6. Did Alonso know ? I think the question is rather stupid, as everyone knows that he knew.

    The question is more about Alonso’s moral. Can he deny it looking one in the eyes – if, then he should take a look in the mirror, not a mirror in a F1 car but in the closet.

  7. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/formulaone/article-1214668/FORMULA-ONE-Alain-Prost-man-repair-Renaults-shattered-image-Ex-world-champion-keen-bring-needed-morality-Formula-One.html

    Interesting peice by Malcolm Folley

    Looks like Prost is favourite, should Renault be allowed to continue competing. But I think we are going to find out a lot more about Briatories involvement in the sport over the years.
    An lets hope that team managers are made to get licenses from F1, that way they can always be held accountable.

    1. An lets hope that team managers are made to get licenses from F1, that way they can always be held accountable.

      Absolutely! The need of the hour is accountability. I’m hoping against hope that Flav & Pat are punished. They’ve let down each & everyone who loves this sport.

      I’m just baffled by Flav’s behavior. All along he must have known that it was HE who ordered PK jr to crash. I dunno how he wrote this Daring official letter to Piquet Sr, threatening him to sue him in Paris for criminal intimidation 7 stuff. Didn’t Flav know the fact that “TRUTH ALWAYS PREVAILS”? He’s a man of very low moral caliber. He must face the consequences. Now what will happen to that criminal proceedings initiated by Flav against the Piquet’s in Paris?

      And yes I think Prost is the correct person to take charge of Renault.

    2. HounslowBusGarage
      20th September 2009, 11:37

      Yes, I think that would be a very good idea. I’d also suggest that a Team Manager should not be elligible to manage any drivers – conflict of interest again.

    3. Get a licence from the FIA? Absolute rubbish. If you have a mad man like Max..who will be the managers allowed there? Probably all his old buddies.
      Lets not get carried away. Indeed some bad stuff has happened, but do we now need the FIA to tell us who can manage us? Besides this has nothing to do with driver management.

  8. Did Alonso know ? I think the question is rather stupid, as everyone knows that he knew.

    I don’t know it, I’d prefer to wait and see what happens at the hearing.
    Flav, Symonds and Piquet should be punished. Forget immunity offers, this is becoming a show trial so as to say ‘we are acting we won’t stand for thisa’ but doing nothing for fear of losing Renault from the sport. I’m not sure what punishment Renault as a whole should suffer, certainly they should be punished but this was mainly driven by 3 men, one of whom is immune, another offered immunity and has walked away from the job and the head of affairs and therefore accountable for his team’s actions (even if it was Piquet’s idea or not) has also walked away and so it seems they will not be punished. How can they be when they have already gave their heads?

    1. McLaren had all their constructors points stripped off them and a $100m fine for espionage – espionage that only a few of the technical team knew about (and Alonso of course). Therefore, for crashgate, which in my view makes spygate pale into insignificance, they must get a harsher penalty. If they don’t, it will be an injustice and a complete joke. As for Alonso, just imagine if Lewis was in his position now. Assumed to have complete knowledge of crashgate, won the race because of it, no hard proof that he was involved in the decision making but many suspicions that he was – I am convinced that he would be metaphorically hunted down and shot. What will happen to Alonso – zilch that’s what!

      1. Why on earth you can’t stop writing this piece As for Alonso, just imagine if Lewis was in his position now !!!
        We have heard that milions of times now from you!

      2. McLaren had all their constructors points stripped off them and a $100m fine for espionage – espionage that only a few of the technical team knew about (and Alonso of course).

        Public Memory is very short. McLaren Team Boss Ron Dennis Lied under oath, gave assurance to WMSC that the Ferrari document was not circulated beyond Coughlan and as soon as he had shared the information with Senior Management, they pervented him to use the information.

        McLaren were let go scotfree after first WMSC hearing. As it turns out Ron lied under oath ( Lying was natural to Ron, so very like him) all the while team were getting the data validated and tested from their Drivers.

        It was for this LYING UNDER OATH that McLaren got fined. Make this clear and don’t drag lies (like your favorite team) henceforth

        Now that we have proved that Ron could lie on the fly we can conclude two things

        a) Ron was exposing the least favored drivers (Alonso/PDLR) to the risk while covering his favorite driver from the risk. He was purposefully tarnishing reputation of drivers he didn’t like

        b) Maybe Ron was aware that his favorite rookie was useless as test driver :D

        1. That was how it appeared, but actually a trap had been set for Mclaren, so they didn’t get off the first time.

  9. Mp4 with that letter I think we would all say he was bluffing, the idea of truth coming out may mean little to Flav who seems to have forgotten just what the truth is, and what the right thing to do is. It’s a good job the rest of us remember.

  10. Sorry for the continuous posts but mp4 the mirror reports kimi already has signed deal with mclaren. Though it is the Mirror…

    1. Thanx for the update. But can we really trust the mirror? The article says:

      Paddock sources say the Finn, 29, has signed an outline agreement to return to the car he won the world title with in 2007.

      But first he has to settle a dispute with his current employers. He is refusing to step down unless he is paid all of his 2010 £30m salary.

      I thought he won the 2007 WDC with ferrari ;) The article is sounding as though ferrari are pushing him out. If true, its very sad. This is not the way to treat “The most talented driver of this decade”. Good that ferrari have signed santander as their title sponsors. They are going to need a lot of money for the next “Alonso-gate” ;)

  11. Tin Foil Hat Time…..But……

    I gather that many think Max wants to hurt the FOTA teams. Got rid of RD, got rid of Flavio, but he has had to way to get back at the red cars………

    So….how about getting their new driver, Alonso.

    Is Max so angry and vengeful, that this hearing on Monday will see Alonso found guilty of “something”, thus destroying his move to Ferarri? and hurting Fararri in the process?

    Maxs last act of vengance?

    1. As Bugs Bunny has been known to say, “mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, could be”

    2. Is Max so angry and vengeful, that this hearing on Monday will see Alonso found guilty of “something”, thus destroying his move to Ferarri? and hurting Fararri in the process?

      I doubt it has anything to do with that. There is no way to hurt FOTA. Max has already tried and used all of his fuel in the process.

      Maybe Alonso is guilty , but i very much doubt there is any way they can prove it. I can also tell you that Ferrari are not really worried if they get Alonso or not. It is Alonso who wants Ferrari rather then the other way around. But I have my doubt on whether Alonso will fit in the team especially if Massa is still there. In fact I am expecting Alonso to start complaining about something…

      But in saying that, Max indeed always has some vengeance to sort out, he loves power and having the ability to do whatever he wants. But I doubt he can destroy FOTA as long as McLaren and Ferrari are still there.

  12. Is there a point at all in calling Alonso before the WMSC ?

    Here’s my take on it. It may be that Renault engaged in some damage control, by urging Symonds & Briatore to resign. They may even have been “allowed” to resign, in lieu of being dismissed. They may even have been given some monetary token to keep out of the press and just let the thing die. Renault was concerned about the damage to their image. Renault the auto manufacturer, that is, not Renault Team F1.

    In any case. Briatore & Symonds have departed F1 and therefor FiA nor the WMSC have any jurisdiction over them. Can’t subpoena them to appear and testify on Monday, can’t even ban them now. That’s the way FiA statutes read, no leverage over people not actually active in F1. And so, WMSC is left with no one really to question about this. Or are they …. ?

    Now, we come to it. Alonso IS currently active in F1. FiA can question him til the cows come home and demand that he answer under penalty of sanction or ban if he refuses. Alonso is still a very competent & successful driver. I’m sure he is not ready for his driving career to end quite yet.

    If there is anything the WMSC wants to know, anything at all, I’m sure Alonso will be happy to tell them, if he has knowledge. Wouldn’t you? Or would you stonewall it and possibly scupper what promises to be several years remaining in a career?

    At this point, it’s agreed that there was a conspiracy, so no one can say Alonso is a tattletale simply for answering questions after the fact. I think everyone probably realizes this, and that no one would hold it against him for telling what he knows, if anything.

    So, yes, there IS a point in calling Alonso to testify.

    1. The WMSC need to fill in the gaps in this mess and that is why Alonso is being called, but I can’t help feeling it’s more a PR move than to apply any real pressure on him.
      As for Flavio and Pats resignations, the cynic in me feels that this was part of a deal cut with Renault to settle the matter to everybodys satisfaction. Renault may want out of F1 anyway, but F1 needs Renault as an engine supplier, at the rate things are going we are in danger of ending up with Ferrari, Cosworth and Mercedes as sole suppliers.
      I agree with you though dsob, Alonso has nothing to lose but answering honestly and concisely when he can, he shouldn’t worry about Flavio, Flavio has used Alonso for years, and now Flavio can do nothing for Alonso. He should look after himself and the sport for once.

  13. Can you hear the drums Fernando? (Sorry, I stole that from another website.)

    1. Actually ABBA

  14. To be honest, I don’t know why people are surprised at this development. I did say in one of my post, that it would be all about Alonso. Did he know? when? What, if any was his part? Questions, Questions. Some how I don’t think we will know the answers. Too much to lose.

    1. But once again Alonso will be in the thick of some awful shennanigans. Teflon man is what he should be called. What a disgrace.

      1. That should be “shenanigans”.

      2. that’s good “Teflonman”

    2. the thing is he’s the only person left to question, I would be astounded if they sanction him at all. Max has already given clear indication that there is no investigation into his part in it. I would think that they are just trying to understand what was going on in Renault F1, and waht was happening under the Flavio “Umbrella” of management.
      I think the direction of punishment is likely to extend to greatly restricting Flavios ability to continue in the management of drivers, and maybe his part in any motorsport.

  15. It seems a widely held view now on all the forums that I’ve seen, that Alonso must have known what happened, or guessed or was given the nod, or worked it out for himself because a dolt would have done, and yet, and yet … what did he say in Monza when he was asked about crashgate: “I’m very surprised. I cannot imagine this situation”.

    Oh really?

    1. I have just taken a resolution.
      I will never ever post any comment replying yours…..i am sick of it

    2. It seems a widely held view now on all the forums that I’ve seen, that Alonso must have known what happened, or guessed or was given the nod, or worked it out for himself because a dolt would have done

      And I’m sure you agree that does not matter one jot without any evidence. Plenty of people on forums believe Lewis Hamilton knew about McLaren’s spying.

      1. I must say that’s one thing I’ve never seen on forums, that people believed that Lewis knew about the spying. Maybe I just missed it.

        I am intrigued to know why Alonso has been called to the WMSC as it wasn’t on the cards before. Not long to wait now for the answer.

        Is it true that this hearing will be behind closed doors away from the media? If so, F1 should really revise its procedures because it is hardly justice being seen to be done.

        1. People say alonso msut have knownabout singapore. Well by that logic lewis must have known about Ferrari data. Ron knew, Alonso knew, De la Rosa Knew, engineer after engineer knew… hmmm, a pattern perhaps?

          1. Lewis had no experience with F1 cars, what was he supposed to relate any data that came from Ferarri with? The reason why Alonso and De la Rosa got the data was because they had years of experience driving cars, and they could relate with the information.
            That in itself wasn’t cheating, cause drivers have always had access to such information and routinely testeda such.
            Neither Alonso nor Pedro had any Ferrari design information and that was the true case against Mclaren.
            FIA went overboard offering the drivers immunity in the Mclaren case, because they didn’t need it. There was no case against them.

  16. Isn’t it possible that the WMSC simply wants to settle the matter wether Alonso knew or not?

    They have no evidence he did, Alonso will not say so, therefore he will be officially cleared by the WMSC. That should stop the rumours and the bad publicity.

  17. The FIA have to call Alonso up to give evidence even if it is just so he can say on record he knew nothing, otherwise they would be accused of not conducting a proper investigation.

  18. Lets not forget, this is Mosley’s last stand. He will make as much noise out of this as possible. He will call everyone he likes even the sweeper. Lets not forget the sensation it will create if Alonso is called at the last minute. It will also add more salt to the woulds of Renault.
    Alonso had no fault even if he knew about it, although I doubt he did. Alonso didn’t cheat. He drove his car like he was supposed to. He may have later suspected but what was he to do. Probably thats one of the reasons he is moving to Ferrari.

  19. 2 years banned !
    its 2 soft for the cheaters

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