Posted on September 21, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 252

Nelson Piquet Jr issued a statement today, after the World Motor Sport Council verdict was announced into the Singapore race fixing case, which again slammed his former team boss Flavio Briatore, much as he had done in the summer after being sacked. I find it incredibly ironic that a season which began with Briatore saying some extremely uncomplimentary things about Jenson Button, referring to him as a ‘concrete post’ has ended up concluding with Briatore himself being derided on all sides and hammered by one of his drivers. Flavio is the classic example of the old saying, “You live by More…

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Posted on September 21, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 252

Flavio Briatore has been banned from motor sport for life and his co-conspirator Pat Symonds for five years, as Renault escape lightly, with a two year suspended ban and no fine for the Singapore crash scandal. The hearing in Paris today took just 90 minutes and was attended by Renault Sport president Bernard Rey, Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet. As expected Briatore came off worst today, the World Motor Sport Council taking a very dim view of the fact that he continued to deny any involvement in the plot, despite the FIA’s and Renault’s investigations concluding that he was involved, More…

Posted on September 21, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 252

The World Motor Sport Council meets today to consider what punishment to hand out to Renault for asking its driver Nelson Piquet Jr to deliberately crash his car in Singapore last year. Renault’s deputation is headed by Renault Sport president Bernard Rey and Fernando Alonso has also answered the summons to give evidence. He has not had a lot of time to prepare and it will be interesting to see what line the WMSC takes with him. The FIA investigators concluded that Alonso didn’t know anything and it appears he was surprised to be called. One wonders whether the FIA More…

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Posted on September 20, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 252

Fernando Alonso, the driver who benefitted 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. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, former team principal Flavio Briatore has also been summoned, but not Pat Symonds, whom the FIA investigators found to be centrally involved in the conspiracy. Symonds is believed to be on holiday in Spain. Both men have left the team and Briatore is thus under no compulsion to attend and is unlikely to do so. Whether he does or he doesn’t there is a More…

Posted on September 19, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 252

Amid all the furore over the Renault race fixing scandal, this week has seen another important development in shaping the next generation of F1. I posted last week on the news that Mercedes was set to take a controlling interest in the Brawn team. It appears that the deal has been worked with the backing of the Abu Dhabi investment vehicle Aabar, which bought 9.1% of Mercedes’ parent company Daimler earlier this year. It is the company’s largest shareholder. Aabar is an interesting company with a wide range of investments in many different sectors. They bought a 32% stake in More…

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Posted on September 18, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 252

Nelson Piquet Senior has said that he informed the FIA late last season, that there was something fishy about his son’s crash in Singapore. He alleges that he told FIA race director Charlie Whiting about it a few weeks later at the season finale Brazilian Grand Prix. According to a leaked transcript of the interview done by a Quest investigator on behalf of the FIA, the three times world champion says that he first learned of the plot, “I think the next day or maybe two days after the race… I was glad that he didn’t hurt himself..but in the More…

Posted on September 17, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 252

The dust has not settled on yesterday’s announcement that Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds have left the Renault F1 team. In fact that was merely a turn of the wheel, albeit an important one. There is a lot more still to happen. Inevitably there is a lot of speculation about whether the pair quit or were fired. Ross Brawn said yesterday, “Flavio told me he had done this to save the team. He’s done the right thing.” Clearly if they did act themselves it was as a result of a fait accompli from Renault. It amounts to the same thing More…

Posted on September 16, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 252

It got lost in the wake of Renault’s announcement today, but according to further leaked material from the prosecution’s dossier into the events surrounding Nelson Piquet’s accident in Singapore last year, the FIA believes that Fernando Alonso knew nothing of the alleged conspiracy. Alonso won the race thanks to a safety car triggered by Nelson Piquet’s accident, which he alleges was a conspiracy involving senior Renault management. In summing up a lengthy document detailing the interview and investigations carried out by stewards at the recent Belgian Grand Prix, assisted by the FIA’s Herbie Blash, Lars Osterlind says, “As regards Mr More…

Posted on September 16, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 252

Both Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds have resigned their positions at the Renault F1 team over the scandal of Nelson Piquet’s deliberate crash in Singapore last year. A brief statement from the team at midday today said, “The ING Renault F1 Team will not dispute the recent allegations made by the FIA concerning the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. It also wishes to state that its managing director, Flavio Briatore and its executive director of engineering, Pat Symonds, have left the team.” With the main architects of the ‘plot’ no longer in position and Piquet granted immunity from prosecution, the way More…

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Posted on September 15, 2009
James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1 | Formula 1 / F1 | Page 252

I’m interested in the rights and wrongs of the FIA offering immunity from prosecution to Nelson Piquet and Pat Symonds – but not to Flavio Briatore – in the Singapore crash investigation. I spoke to a London litigation lawyer this evening and he said that the key points here are that 1) this is not a case in the criminal courts, where, in the UK at least, plea bargaining is not really done. It is subject to the rules of the FIA. I don’t know what it says in the rules on disciplinary hearings and whether it says in there More…

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