There is a postscript today to the story of Nelson Piquet and the Singapore crash fixing scandal.
Nelson’s father has spoken to Gazzetta dello Sport’s Pino Allievi about the background to the story and it makes very interesting reading. He has no sympathy for Renault boss Flavio Briatore, who has been banned from motorsport for life,
“He deserved it,” says Piquet. “Admittedly it wasn’t his idea, but to convince a young driver to do something like that is huge. He should stay far away from racing.”
Piquet reveals that he was keen to move his son on from Renault at the end of 2008 and says that he had lined him up a good alternative,
“It was (Flavio) Briatore who wanted an extension (for 2009). I wanted Nelsinho to leave Renault and had found him a seat at Toro Rosso with Gerhard Berger. But Nelsinsho wanted to stay with Renault because there was the chance that Alonso would go to Ferrari.”
Piquet reveals that he spoke to Briatore at the Hungarian Grand Prix about Nelson’s likely sacking and Briatore told him to take him to court if he had a problem “He spoke with the air of superiority which is typical of someone who thinks he cannot be touched,” he said. Piquet became angry and went to see FIA president Max Mosley, who told him to get his son to make a sworn statement.
Mosley would have already known about the Singapore crash because Piquet Sr had told the FIA’s Charlie Whiting about it last November. The FIA was clearly biding its time on this one. Mosley offered Piquet immunity and, according to his father, “I told him it was up to him to decide whether to go ahead with it or not, with the risk that he may never drive in F1 again. He took four days to decide then went to Mosley.”
Piquet again implicated Fernando Alonso in the scandal, “They all knew about it, ” he says. “Do you think Alonso would conceive a race where he starts 15th and makes a pit stop almost straight away? It was a perfect plan.”
After Massa raising it yesterday, you get the feeling that this is not going to go away for Alonso, despite being cleared by the FIA world council of involvement and despite the fact that none of the protagonists in the case has mentioned him in their evidence.
Incidentally, Alonso said that he intends to speak to Massa today in the Interlagos paddock, “Not about this story, but about his health. The most important piece of news this week is that he drove an F1 car at Fiorano and has recovered 100%. I want to ask him how he found Ferrari when he first went there and get some advice from him, to make it easier for me to fit in. He’s been there three or four years and I have to learn everything.”