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Piquet Senior lobs another hand-grenade into Renault situation
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Piquet Senior lobs another hand-grenade into Renault situation
Posted By: James Allen  |  18 Sep 2009   |  5:24 pm GMT  |  169 comments

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.

Whiting (left) with another ex Brabham man, Herbie Blash (Photo Darren Heath)

Whiting (left) with another ex Brabham man, Herbie Blash (Photo Darren Heath)


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 race in Brazil I called Charlie and I told the whole story to Charlie. I got him and said: ‘Look, what could happen to Nelson if I bring this up?’ and I was afraid to screw up the career of Nelson. At the race in Brazil, I called Charlie and I told the whole story to Charlie.”

This does not tally with the version of events I understand from the FIA. They contend that, although there were rumours and insinuations about the incident at the end of last season, they only got involved when Piquet came to them on 26th July 2009 with the information and FIA president Max Mosley asked him to get his son to make a sworn statement, on the basis of which they would launch an enquiry.

This latest development is not helpful from an FIA point of view because it begs the question, if what Piquet says is true, why did they not launch the enquiry last November? And, as with the double diffuser row early this season, it puts Charlie Whiting in an awkward position.

Piquet and Whiting go back a long way, to the Brabham team in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The team was then run by Bernie Ecclestone and Piquet was the driver and Whiting a senior mechanic.

Piquet also alleged that Fernando Alonso was in on the plot, something which Alonso himself denies and for which the FIA investigators can find no evidence.

“Look, if, if you wanna ask me if Alonso knew what was gonna happen, of course he knew. Of course he knew.”

What’s interesting about this is that in their summing up of the case against Renault, leaked yesterday, the FIA stewards conclude that Alonso was not involved. To reach that conclusion they must be discounting Piquet’s suggestion that he was. Piquet has no evidence to back up his claims.

Incidentally, Spanish colleagues I spoke to today say that they put Piquet’s comments to Alonso and he said, “No, I knew nothing of that.”

Alonso has said to investigators that he knew nothing of the alleged plan and has said publicly that he will speak about it only after the world council hearing.

Other drivers I have spoken to lately find it hard to believe that he knew nothing of this and wasn’t at least more inquisitive about why he was being put on such an aggressive strategy with little hope of gain from it.

Other teams I have spoken to say that the whole way the crash plot was originated and executed, with only one person in on it from the strategy/engineering side, would be impossible in their teams. Other operational and race engineers would have to know because the system for evolving strategy is more collective.

In other words, the set up at Renault, with Pat Symonds in a position to decide strategy in advance and dictate operations with no recourse to other junior engineers, was possibly unique in F1, creating the circumstances for something like this to happen.

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1

Oh wake up! Of COURSE Alonso knew. It’s ALONSO for heaven’s sake. Do you think he wouldn’t know EVERYTHING that was happening in that team?

2

Re: Piquet Snr’s comment about Alonso – and Piquet Jnr’s excuse for his behaviour (that he was young, effectively):

I think it is important to place Piquet Snr’s comment about Alonso in context and understand the clear spirit in which it was made. He made it clear that it was an ‘opinion’ he was giving on Alonso rather than a fact as such; having dealt with the ‘facts’ which are those relating to the things to do with Briatore, symonds and his son. After all, Piquet Snr said ‘Look, if you ask me, he knew.’ – the spirit is that he was giving an ‘opinion’ at this point, not that he was stating a ‘fact’ when it came to Alonso.

Therefore, it is incorrect to interpret this bit of what Piquet Snr has said in the way james has done here – which is a way a few others have also done. There is no ‘reversal’ in Piquet Snr’s position in respect of Alonso – he has only given his ‘opinion’ about whether Alonso would have known about the ‘plot’ scenario or not; and his opinion is that he most likely would have known, or to put it another way, as Piquet Snr has now clarified, he (Piquet Snr) with his experience of F1, finds it hard to imagine Alonso could not have known.

People should take more care when reading someone’s comments.

We should also be grateful for Piquet Snr bringing this stuff out in to the open – we can see that obviously this has taken some b-lls on his part to do this, he has been strong and direct in his actions.

Re: Piquet Jnr and whether he should ‘suffer’ as one or two have said…I agree it is very

much a case of him being young and this beign the reason for what he did. – I think we need to remember that it was not just a case of something wrong being suggested to him (so he could calmly stand back and say no…), it was something wrong being suggested to him by two of the most powerful men in f1, who he worked with on a daily basis. They were no doubt making out it could easily be done and without consequences. They were manipulating a young mind. That makes it understandable to me – it is certainly going too far to suggest Piquet should be punished as well. For me also, a key thing is I think not that he was ‘seeking to gain an extended contract’ from this action; I suspect that is twisting the reality of it a lot. I think if his employers were suggesting he should do this thing, it was more the case that they, in their position of power and manipulation, were suggesting that otherwise Piquet Jnr would not be fitting in with *them*. So it is not the case that Piquet was seeking to get them to do something by his actions; he was not in a powerful position, he was made to feel he needed to go along with them in order to keep them happy. If you see what I mean. He is being made out to be a cynical person trying to leverage his contractual position in the team through his action (the crash). I suspect he was probably a weak pawn in the scenario, who was effectively being blackmailed into trying to keep in with these people or he would be out of favour. I can imagine a young person being manipulated by very powerful people into doing something stupid that he regrets afterwards, in a high pressure scenario, in this way; it adds up to me. What Piquet jnr did is not defensible but i think it is understandable – and that when he talks about it more later, we will see more of how this is the case.

re: Piquet Snr ‘dropping hand grenades’ – there is a cynical aspect to describing him in this way. We really should be grateful to him for being so upfront and honest about what is going on, which would not have been an easy thing to do (after all, you get lawsuits thrown at you for this kind of thing – as initially happened!!). In a short space of time, Piquet Snr has done the right thing on various fronts. It is not his problem that the F1 board did not act on earlier information from him – far from it. If there are issues to be answered by the FI bosses regarding why this stuff was not acted on earlier, that is for them to deal with.

James would do well to remove his rosy spectacles on a lot of things – it is in F1’s interest to face up to the s–t it has been dealing in, on all fronts (from the sports’ ‘management’ or regulators, to the team managements, to the drivers) in order to remove such stuff and then the sport can be in a position to thrive in future. hundreds of millions of fans and spectators are being continually let down by all this cr-p – and put off – and casual attempts to pretend people are not so bad as they get proved to be do not help the situation.

3

Jake, with regard to post 7, started by Dan.

Re your first para, “I too am suspicious of Alonso….etc”. Yes indeed, we would all like to know what Alonso’s position in this is/was.

End of your second para, “Whether Piquet Sr told the FIA last year or this year will be irrelevant to them.”

It seems to me, and a lot of other participants in this blog, highly relevant whether the FIA knew last year or this. If it was indeed last year, as alleged by Piquet snr, why didn’t the FIA act sooner?

1) Has Whiting confirmed/denied Piquet snr’s claim about last year yet?

2) Have Quest asked him?

1) and 2) are still relevant questions. 3) might be, if Quest haven’t asked the question of Whiting yet, when are they, or someone at/on behalf of the FIA, going to do so?

Your 3rd para,”I really hope we do get to see all the evidence as it will help end all our endless speculation. A big YES to that.

4
Opposite Lock (Ken)

James,

Correct me if I am wrong, but several years ago didn’t the FIA investigate rumors that drugs were being smuggled in team shipping containers? I seem to recall they issued a statement saying there was no truth to the matter. Doesn’t that put the lie to Max’s statement about not being able to investigate a rumor until someone makes a statement of accusation?

5

How is that a valid point? You assume that soldiers always DO act responsibly and handle the pressure. Clearly if you read only a fraction of the news you know that is not always the case. Plus I should imagine every soldier in battle is scared stiff, despite their training. Besides, many soldiers follow orders and do things they may not agree with, so by that logic NPJ was actually being very ‘professional’. Your point proves nothing.

6

What are you saying…. No top driver would do that? Try Senna, Prost, Schumacher… Do you not follow F1?

7

Why ppl keep blaming Nelson sr? What do you expect him to do? He told someone important last year and was turned down,he is not his son’s manager to push him to tell the truth and he was not the one that started everything a month ago,it was his son who decided to get a vendetta.I think Nelson sr here is behaving like every father would.

People dislike him,true,but they speak like he was always a cheat and is not the case,as a driver he was AWESOME,and the two times he was into an accident with his main rival while fighting for a title was not his fault:Jones took him out of the track at Canada 80 because the australian knew Nelson was much faster that weekend and in Zandvoort 83 Prost did it.

He was not a cheat guys.

8

To add to that, a brazilian journalist have just posted in his blog that, according to very good sources, Piquet SR and JR fought when SR knew about it and they spent 3 months not speaking with each other. (for portuguese speakers:http://blogs.band.com.br/barbaragancia/index.php/2009/09/20/e-agora-dona-fia/)

I can see why Piquet is so furious with briatore now. He not only dismissed his son, he also helped the same son to make one of the biggest mistakes in his life. For a father, that’s probably one of the hardest things to cope with.

9

I do not believe that Alonso knew of the plan for a crash. I suspect though after the race he had a few private thoughts on the matter..

I also think james is a little askew with his analysis of Alonso’s strategy going nowhere.

The reason I think Alonso knew nothing was that he would have stopped it if he had known. A double world champion who was looking to go to Ferrari, what had he to gain from one more grand prix win on his record against the risk of putting his reputation through the wringer? (especially after the McLaren fiasco). If it was to stop Reanult pulling out of F1, then as far as alonso was concerned he had other real options at Red Bull and Honda/BrawnGP, both of which ironically would have put him in a position of having a shot at the 2009 title.

Alonso’s strategy actually was quite clever when you look at the factors. They qualified bottom of the midfield due to unreliability with a car that had the pace to be at the front of the midfield.

If he started 15th with the same strategy as thise ahead of him he would have gone nowhere.. Instead, try an early stop and drop to the back but crucially, then run in clear air with afaster car than the midfield runners ahead of him. We all know how important clear air is to lap times so it would have been possible for him to haul himself up if possible by gaining track position on some of the midfield runners ahead.

I thought it was worth a try and his pace in the race suggested he would have done it because after the second sarefty car in clear air he destroyed Rosberg and Hamilton behind him in a matter of laps.

So, James, why can’t you see how his strategy would have worked..?

I do believe Alonso knew nothing at outset but probably was suspicious after the race but what could he do then..?

Remember, the rest of the team also knew nothing and there were plenty of engineers in that team that didn’t run to the FIA to suggest foul play..

No, I think Alonso was no in on the plan but like many others strtaed to wonder about the crash after the rcae had finished as it all looked so suspicious….

10

I’ve seen every race since 1991 and even practice and qualifying when it started to be shown. So all the scandals over the last couple of years have not changed my love of F1. It still was sport enough and of course I love the technology and speed and it’s become a habit to get up at 8am for every race. I look forward to it. Hoping that this was a crazy plot by two or three guys, I was still hanging on. But now I am starting to realize as well that more people must have know. I’m just been following along fat, dumb, and happy all this time when the sport is just full of the same corporate greed that plagues the rest of the world. Maybe I should just find something else to do during the races because it’s all getting out of hand.

11

Nelson himself should be banned from all forms of racing for life. This is inexcusable. Had he not lost his ride with Renault he was not going to come forward with this?

What does this say about him, his ability in F1 that he had to do such an act to gain another contract because he could not simply do it on merit. That is what I read into the situation. He was not good enough for the sport and so had to resort to other means to get a new contract. He should have rather won a contract by demonstrating his ability in the sport and being competitive but instead he was weak and too slow.

I think F1 and Renault are bigger than him and the FIA will find Renault innocent of the charges so as to not damage global reputation, and chase them out of F1. Even if evidence points to guilt there will have to be politics involved in Renault’s favor. After BMW announced they are pulling out, the sport cannot afford a big hitter like Renault to leave and the sport is bigger than Nelson.

12

James,

Do you think Ari is going to comment on this after Monday’s findings are announced? He is, after all, running as a reform candidate and it now appears that the FIA isn’t lily white in this whole matter either.

To me he can make a bunch of political hay about it. The FIA knew but willingly did not pursue the matter last year at Brazil. Why not have the Quest guys interrogate NP Jr. right away? You don’t need him to be willing to sign any statement or “come forward”. That is a lie. A BIG FAT LIE. Hostile witnesses are interviewed everyday in crime investigations.

It could be that Max and the FIA sat on this saving it for political capital to be used at a more opportune time or for personal retribution when the time was ripe.

It is also possible that FOM wanted it to go away for commercial reasons affecting the 2008 WDC nail biter and popular champion as well as further sullying the sport after the world economy crashed in Sept ’08. Certainly BCE found out mere seconds after Whiting conferred with Max in Brazil. Perhaps FOM knew Honda was already on the ropes and leaving but they didn’t want to shake things up and lose any more teams with a messy WDC title being settled in court.

And possibly the FIA wanted the whole matter to disappear for reasons of their own. Max was still suffering from his S&M-gate stature issues and if one remembers well it was the Brazilian federation who were among his strongest supporters going into his June “Extraordinary Meeting” concerning his fitness to continue as FIA President. Forcing NP Jr. to an interrogation which would certainly end his career is no way to repay the Brazilian federation for their support during the S&M-gate scandal. Also they couldn’t offer giving Massa the WDC title in court to pacify the Brazilian federation because he wold have been one more point behind LH if the results were recalculated. And even I think that the FIA wouldn’t stoop to this level of ugliness.

All this points to even the FIA being dragged kicking and screaming to the table. One could be excused for suspecting that NP Sr. called Max and Charlie this July and said the FIA needs to give NP Jr. immunity and take a statement from him or the Piquets were going to go public with it.

Either way, the FIA compromised itself by not unilaterally pursuing the matter as soon as they got wind of it. Such may or may not be the price Max had to repay them for past political favors but in any event it is certainly no way to run an organization with integrity.

I want to repeat, why not have the Quest guys interrogate NP Jr. right away? Any assertion that the FIA needs NP Jr. to be willing to sign any statement or “come forward” is a BIG FAT LIE. Put him on the record right away. It is a serious allegation and it demands serious pursuit. Hostile witnesses are interviewed everyday in crime investigations.

Ari already is challenging the status quo solely by his candidacy and he will certainly feel the wrath of the entrenched corrupted parties just for that. It isn’t easy to be a reform candidate. The daggers are going to come out no matter what you do. I think he needs to make the cover-up/non-investigation matter an issue and as another reason why a massive turnover in people is needed. He should assert that only his reform candidacy can provide the kind of fresh new leadership that is needed. What other secrets could the FIA be sitting on?

13
Opposite Lock (Ken)

At the very least, the FIA should have immediately interviewed to determine if Nelson’s allegations were credible. Was there anything to his story. To call the revelation of one of the three conspirators a “rumor” is to distort the meaning of the word and to cast the FIA’s integrity, one again, into a harsh and unfavorable light. FIA’s lack of action makes their oversight to seem more a tool of vengeance and retaliation rather than objective enforcement.

14

James,

Now would be a great time for the 2 candidates for the FIA presedency to stand up and be counted! Amidst all this chaos, this is a perfect time to show who is a leader.

The same way Obama got elected using the credit crisis in his electoral campaign.

15

I would also like to add that if NP Snr knew about it in Brazil and only confesses now, he then has admitted and is guilty of blackmail and extortion.

16

What hurts most for me is the fact that people I regarded as ‘good blokes’ have turned out to be anything but. I have no problems with feet of clay, none of us is perfect, but all we seem to be getting is a list of people for whom expediency is a guiding principle.

A few good men, eh?

Charlie Whiting, Pat Symonds: where will it end?

I agree with Opposite Lock. At Piquet jnr’s age most of us would have experienced a number of ‘tests’ as to one’s integrity. Fair enough, most of us would have failed a few. But as tests go, not crashing is, I would suggest, one of the easier ones that a GP driver will be faced with, fragile or not.

What is motivating Piquet senior? Personal animosity against Flav? If so then what more does he want? The bloke is out and will not return. His attitude will presumably ensure the same fate will befall his son.

So Whiting and Mosley were aware of the allegations yet chose to do nothing. The excuse of no statement is, I would suggest, weaker than that of being fragile. It is the function of the regulator to regulate.

A few years ago we had Norberto Fontana allege in a statement to an Argentinean reporter that he was threatened by Todt before the European GP in 1997 to facilitate Schuey overtaking him but to block Villeneuve. The implication being that the Petronas badges would be all alone at the back of the Saubers the following season. Certainly there is video evidence to back this up, as well as Brundle’s typically uncompromising contemporary commentary. And nothing was done.

In the end, of course, it had no effect on the outcome.

Fontana was very bitter as he seemed to suggest it was this that stopped him getting any further drives in F1. Mind you, as with Piquet jnr, I feel no sympathy for Fontana. He chose: he chose badly. At least he didn’t suggest fragility as an excuse.

Leaking material to the press was a very poor tactic. We now have every fan, participant, sponsor and hanger on with an opinion. And the only common one would appear to be that F1 is wallowing in corruption, with each headline reinforcing it. It seems that Todt and Ari are fighting over a vacancy for mortician.

The sport needs to rally, but around what or whom? It is an indictment of the sport that there are too few who seem to be trustworthy. The unblemished FW and PH of Williams are the best candidates I can think of but they have shown themselves in the past not to be willing to make a stand. It appears to have been expediency rather than principle that made them opt out of the FOTA stand against Mosley.

Who else? Exactly!

The scarcity of contenders makes you wonder if the sport is worth saving.

17

Piquet Sr talking to Whiting last year in an ‘off the record’ way is just hearsay. They must hear hundreds of all kinds of rumours throughout the year. They can’t be expected to investigate them all. They are non-profit organisation and their income comes from FIA members and they have to justify their expenditure. If they got Quest involved for each informal rumour and accusation made, they would be bankrupt! (and yes, before someone else says it, I know quite a few people who read this blog would think the FIA going bankrupt would be a good thing)

In this instance, Piquet Sr spoke to Charlie Whiting last year and ultimately he was advised that for something to be done, if there was any truth to what Sr was saying, he would need Jr to come forward and present evidence or make a statement. I think this is perfectly reasonable.

If the FIA acted on all rumours then the teams would start making all sorts of claims all the time just to see if the FIA investigation uncovered some dirt or to damage the reputation or focus of the other teams. For the FIA to investigate it is only fair and proper that they have some solid circumstantial evidence to begin with first. Piquet’s rather unofficial chat with Whiting last year does not constitute this.

18

Jake, this was a rumour about race-fixing, it’s also about safety of marshals and other competitors, spectators in the worst instance.

The FIA have told us they view this as far more serious than the 2007 Stepney/Coughlan/McLaren/Ferrari/100 million dollars row.

Why didn’t they act sooner?

Hearsay and off-record chats are meaningless in this context.

“For the FIA to investigate it is only fair and proper that they have some solid circumstantial evidence to begin with first”.

NO

The FIA should have gone looking for evidence, given the nature of the off-record chat between Piquet snr and Whiting. Renault’s telemetry would have been a good place to start, easy and cheap too.

19

I think Harveyeight and Martin here have highlighted that the ‘chat’ Piquet Snr had with Charlie Whiting can be looked upon differently and in so doing, the consequences of the non-action afterwards can be differently interpreted.

I have speculated (as we don’t know) that this was an off the record type chat and I don’t think this is enough for the FIA to act upon. Piquet Snr, although a triple world champion, is, in this context to the FIA, just a Dad of a F1 driver and so they cannot take anything he says as just fact without further proof or statements from someone actually involved.

For example, pretend I am Jenson Button’s best mate (I’m not … not since the restraining order anyway) and I hear from him that Ross Brawn and Barrichello have been cheating in some way but Button doesn’t want to say anything and get the team in trouble. If I go to Charlie and talk to him about it, should he launch some sort of investigation into Brawn just on what I’ve said?

Oh, and I was joking about the restraining order, just in case someone thought I was being serious! 🙂

20

Jake,

Yes, I take your point. The bit:

“If the FIA acted on all rumours then the teams would start making all sorts of claims all the time . .” could be policed effectively although one would expect the ‘reasonable’ test to be used.

On the main point, this has been billed as the most (add your own suitable wild modifier here) case of cheating ever. I’m not sure that’s justifiable, whatever your choice, but it is, I would suggest, not to be ignored.

Piquet snr can’t approach an official of the FIA, the regulator, with a ‘what if’ scenario and suggest it is unofficial. Whiting and Mosley should have reacted. Perhaps they did, we don’t know. (What are the odds, eh? No leak on this bit.)

The circumstantial evidence, that of the telemetry, would have supported a suggestion of a deliberate crash without any requirement for the completely and utterly independent Quest to be brought in. The print was leaked and then declared to be the most damning evidence for the conspiracy. I know it is not but a deliberate crash is actionable.

Mind you, I do agree with your implication that the last thing we need is a whole series of minor transgression leading to uproar in the press.

21

“So Whiting and Mosley were aware of the allegations yet chose to do nothing.”

Disgraceful, negligent, maybe fraudulent.

“The excuse of no statement is, I would suggest, weaker than that of being fragile.”

Perfectly said.

” It is the function of the regulator to regulate.”

If only!!!

22

I wont comment more on alonso, people. please. If you REALLY want to think he didnt know, it’s possible. of course it is. he has the benefit of doubt, and is more likely to dont get harmed by anything. But its too much naivette to think he didnt know…

James: The Brazilian journalist (Reginaldo Leme) is quite close to Piquet SR. He was the only journalist that Piquet talked after his indy accident for example. I guess that could be a good hint for the first source…

23

James, I find the situation terrible. There isn’t anyone that behaved w/exception of Charles Whiting that acted properly.

I excuse Whiting because what was told to him was probably in the confidence of a friend.

The whole lot: Briatore, Symonds, and the Piquets should be banned from the sport.

In closing I feel sorry for Renault who have to put up with this bs.

24

Charlie Whiting knew at the Brazil GP. He is a senior official of the FIA, so they were duty bound act upon it immediately. However that could have changed the WDC championship result. They knew that.. but they kept quiet about it.. and that is manipulating the results. Clear and simple. Did someone high in the FIA have a large bet on Hamilton to win the WDC?

Max states that it is too late to change anything now. Only because he says so.. but he makes the rules.

The Singapore race was a once in a lifetime event for myself and many other fans. With what we now know, it sickens me that I paid so much for that trip. It won’t happen again.

This is all about race fixing and punishing the offenders. Who will punish those that suppressed it and capitalised on it for their own corrupt agenda? Someone mentioned ‘rotten to the core’ recently. I believe that is an understatement when applied to the FIA. Who can blame the players when the governing body sets such a good example?

25

Strip glamour boy of a title wrongfully bestowed? Change the carefully stage-managed script? Unthinkable!

26

So many people with deep Bernie ties are in positions of FIA power. I can’t accuse Charlie Whiting of wrongdoing. But he is in an untenable position, because people will draw the obvious inference that he kept quiet in order to minimize damage to the commercial rights holder’s much heralded new race.

Charlie Whiting should not have to be in that position.

He would not be, but for the incestuous nature of the FI = FIA power/administrative structure. Max Mosely down through Whiting and Blasch go back to Bernie through the FOCA/FISA war. For that matter, so did Ron Dennis. Luca di Montezemolo. And Flavio has been close to Bernie for nigh on 20 years, and helped him morph F3000 (itself created at Bernie’s instigation, killing off F2, the traditional source of new teams and personalities coming into F1 and challenging the Old Guard; Cooper and Lotus to name the obvious examples — or Toleman/Benneton/Renault — in the process) into GP2: The “official” last step to F1, and a one-make/one engine formula. One that he just happens to have (certainly had) a financial and organizational interest in with the cars and engines, and one from which he’s certainly culled drivers for his management contracts.

Simply put, too many conflicts of interest, real or apparent, have been built into the F1 structure post-FOCA/FISA/Concorde Agreement. (Bernie’s bargain purchase of the commercial rights being the most eye watering example). This includes, lest we forget, the decades-long efforts to inoculate The Club against interlopers — tactics like the $50 million dollar bond, the “arrangement” with CART to stay out of Europe, and driving out or marginalizing dissenters and troublemakers like Paul Stoddart, David Richards… and Ken Tyrell.

The mess we’re seeing now was, therefore, inevitable and has been brewing for some time, as shown by the cascade of scandals and embarrassment among former allies over the past three years. The revolutionaries of the FOCA/FISA war have become the Old Guard, whether in the guise of the FIA, CVC or FOTA. The Pirana Club has taken to eating itself — they don’t have anything else to feed on, having devoured or driven off all other competitors and prey.

Let them feed. Let there be blood. Let the power fall.

Somewhere, Robespierre and Danton are nodding in recognition.

27

This ‘crash gate’ is also being used to avoid Alonso going to Ferrari and start all over again another “Schumacher era”.

28

if true, how does this not end the career of Charlie Whiting?

it’s awkward to bring up, because he’s well reputed and competent. but to know of a race fixing and not so much as hint to someone to investigate..

that a good friend was the source of the information or not..

30

Dear James,

A thought just crossed my mind – that it was indeed Piquet Jr (whom upon the sly scheming of his dad) who first placed the deliberate crash plans into the head of Pat Symmonds.

I believe since Pat refused to answer several questions,that he was at least telling the truth that Piquet Jr was the one to suggest the crash (cos there was no doubt jr was desperate to keep his seat and his dad may have instigated it as he is capable of sowing such well-planned thoughts).

The trouble is that Pat agreed to the idea and engineered the crash for Piquet to follow through…

Based on the transcripts, it seems that Flav did not know at the time – cos of the screaming and cursing that followed about how bad piquet was as a driver.

I do believe afterwards, Pat filled Flav in on the deets and they all decided to keep mum bcos Alonso did get to bag the points.

So the planned worked. Now Piquet Sr had gotten Piquet Jr a huge advantage by having done that little favor which since both parties were compliant, has meant that Piquet sr could now hold this damning piece of information over Flav for as long as he pleased. Well, that was the plan anyway…

But Flav just could not bear to see crash after crash. To have 17 crashes in one and a half seaasons tells alot about the quality of Piquet’s driving skills.

and no doubt, if you have ‘practiced’ crashing as many as 17 times in the past 1.5 years, it would not be a stretch to pull one out of the bag that did the trick to propel the other driver to a step on the podium. I mean, I dun think there is anyone on here who would think twice or blink if Piquet crashed in any race.

after reading the new information that Piquet Sr has provided, as well as their desire to get out of Flav’s grasp on Jr’s future financial gains in motorsport, I have come to conclude that it was Piquet Sr all along who engineered the whole thing so that they coould either implicate Flav for not being compliant or enable to let Jr continue his dismal driving in F1, either way, the piquets win.

He was a seasoned competitor and today, he is a successful entreprenuer. You don’t get to where you are without the insincts of a predator.

just my 2 cents.

31

Could this be another case of gamesmanship by “Mad Max Mosley” or the FIA? After all, most politicians carry “Political Poker Chips”, where at the right time, they will cash-in that chip to their benefit.

Mosley is due to step down soon. Don’t you find it ironic that his arch nemesis’s (Dennis, Briatore, etc) are being shunted from F1?

32

I felt that Alonso’s body language was quite revealing when Kravitz interviewed him last weekend. The half smiling, the awkwardness and all that while sporting dark sunglasses…I’d gladly play poker against someone like Alonso because his tell is so obvious.

Eddie Irvine made some good points albeit somewhat controversial that F1 has always been about ‘cheating’ since the earliest years and these days of political correctness just don’t suit it. Well, that’s an interesting observation, but we don’t really want to watch a race that is not real so the political correctness is welcome in my opinion.

33

I agree about the Alonso interview. He looked so uncomfortable and evaded so many questions.

34

I hate political correctness with every ounce of my being, but I support anyone who tries to stop people cheating in Formula One one hundred per cent. Seems a bit like cleaning out the Augean stables, though. What would help would be getting the (very) big bucks out of it, by reducing the spend all round. Oh dear, we’ve been here before!

Big bucks seem to breed big cheating, because the stakes are so high.

35

You’re not even contemplating that Jnr is lying, that Renault is only trying to save face, that Max is a conspirator in the demise of his nemesis, Briatore, that Snr’s spoilt kid just can’t emulate his own success…

Interrogate the facts, please James. And – also – where you heard them first. If you’re brave enough to risk your own press pass, perhaps you’d give us some truths.

36

I’m hugely dubious of the FIA in their investigation of this scandal.

The interviews with Pat Symonds were – if we have been privvy to all of them – a joke.

1st Interview:

FIA Delegate: “Were you a naughty boy, Pat?”

Pat Symonds: “No.”

FIA: “Promise?”

Pat: “I promise.”

FIA: “But we have reason to believe you were a naughty boy.”

Pat: “Okay. I probably wasn’t.”

FIA: “Well – I can’t think what else to answer. Thanks for your time, Pat.”

2nd Interview:

FIA: “Pat – are you sure you weren’t a naughty boy?”

PAt: “No Comment.”

FIA: “Well – thanks for coming again.”

I hope the interviews were actually more thorough than what has been leaked so far. I doubt Alonso was involved at all, but judging from the FIA’s investigative procedures… we will probably never know.

37

This guy Piquet Sr. is not leaving friends behind in F1. What is worse is that some of his accusation like mudding Alonso and Whiting without any evidence is totally shameful to say the list. What is up with this guy.

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