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Renault cheating scandal – what happens next?
Renault cheating scandal – what happens next?
Posted By: James Allen  |  17 Sep 2009   |  10:59 am GMT  |  244 comments

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.

Piquet, who started it all (Photo Darren Heath)

Piquet, who started it all (Photo Darren Heath)

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 really. What will have happened here is that Renault, together with its lawyers, will have conducted their own internal investigation into the matter and looked at the information the FIA has amassed in its prosecution case.

At the conclusion of that they will have decided that the best way forward was to tell the FIA that the company would not contest the charges next Monday and made Briatore and Symonds leave the team.

By leaving, rather than clinging on as Ron Dennis did in 2007, the hope is that the team will not be destroyed either by a permanent ban from the sport or by a huge fine.

The signs are that Renault wants to carry on in F1, which is encouraging, and part of their submission on Monday would likely be an indication of commitment to the sport. It’s a tough road ahead, though. They have no title sponsor for next year, as yet, although I understand that Total is set to increase its involvement and the signs are that they are going to lose their champion driver to Ferrari.

Renault learned from the McLaren Spygate saga in 2007 that the World Council doesn’t like being lied to. If you recall, the first time McLaren appeared at the WMSC they got off. It was only when the WMSC learned that it had been lied to that it threw the book at them second time around.

At the end of 2007 Renault had its own spy scandal, regarding technical data from McLaren which had gone with an employee to Renault. Renault played a straight hand on that and the WMSC came to the same conclusion as it had with McLaren first time around.

So now, Renault knows how to present itself on this latest scandal. It is acting responsibly, it has shown that it’s done a thorough enquiry, put its house in order as a result and will seek to demonstrate on Monday that it is committed to the sport, which has been open to question lately, and throw itself on the mercy of the WMSC. I don’t know who will represent them on Monday. Bernard Rey, the president of Renault Sport will probably lead the representation, with possibly Bob Bell the team’s technical director.

As to what punishment Renault receives, this will be very tough for the WMSC and due to the huge media glare worldwide the right decision is critical. On the one hand they will want to recognise the efforts Renault has made to put its house in order, but on the other hand they have to be seen to deal firmly with what is clearly one of the worst pieces of cheating in sporting history, made worse by the fact that it endangered lives.

It is up to the WMSC to show the world that F1 is not a sham, that the public can have confidence that what they are seeing is real. That is the greatest threat in all of this and it is a threat not just to the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone, but to every team and every company involved in it.

Even for people like me it’s important. Why would I want to leave my family every two weeks and hawk around the world, putting loads of passion and effort into it, if what I was covering was all smoke and mirrors, a sort of high speed WWE Wrestling?

Another thing I fancy might come out of this episode is a licencing scheme for key team members. This was discussed in 2007 and may well come up again on Monday.

Drivers have to have a superlicence to race, so why not have F1 licences for team principals and senior engineers, people in positions of responsibility. If you transgress you lose your licence. It also has a ‘fit and proper person’ side to it in the first instance.

As to the complaint of blackmail against the Piquets, which was filed with French police and announced by Briatore on Friday, it was perhaps significant that Bernard Rey was not at Flavio’s side when he announced it, so one wonders how much of the whole thing was Flavio and how much was done in Renault’s name.

It’s a serious charge, though. Apparently, if convicted, the perpetrator faces 7 years in prison.

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It is not uncommon for a team to have their drivers on two different strategies. And it is not uncommon for a team to gamble on there being a safety car. Especially at certain circuits like Canada which has had a SC for the last few races. We don’t know what FA knows, or more importantly knew at the time. If Whiting and the FIA knew something they couldn’t prove last December it is not a great stretch that FA also found out some time afterward. Was he complicit on the plot is the question. Even NP Sr. if back pedaling about what FA knew at the time of the race. And he says only that FA should have know before he went out with 15 laps of fuel. But like I said, FA or any of his engineers could have all been told they were gambling on a SC which is a reasonable approach when starting way back on the grid and racing on a street circuit that has little overtaking like Monaco or Valencia. And it remains to be proven that anyone but FB, NP and PS knew about the plan to crash. And even NP Jr. who would love to tank FA’s career isn’t saying that FA knew at the time.

And the sad part is that all this wouldn’t have happened if NP Jr. was a faster driver getting more points for the team and scoring regularly. If that was the case he would have never agreed to such a plan no matter who brought it up. And isn’t it sad that his 2009 contract had a clause that he could be booted if he didn’t score 40% as many points as FA. Imagine negotiating that… His agent and father sitting down and bargaining for a figure of 25% and Renault wanting 50-60% in the contract before they agreed upon 40%. I would be ashamed to have such a paltry figure in my contract. No matter what you may think of LH’s 2007 season, he would never accept scoring 40% as many points as his teammate no matter if he had just won two WDCs on the trot. And I dare say Nico would never have such a clause in his contract either. For Sr. to put that in the contract must only be interpreted as a giant vote of no-confidence in his son. How can NP Jr. ever have a shred of self respect with this kind of thing negotiated? I would say that getting such a low regard from your own father is more psychologically debilitating than any amount of abuse that Flav could ever pour on him.

Whether Flav and PS thought up the plan because it became clear to then that all the help to the team that they could ever expect from NP was a few crumbs and some seriously bent cars, or whether NP thought it up because it was something he could offer the team…. well it is all a pretty sad commentary on NP Jr’s driving and his ability to contribute to the team. All this is apart from the ethics. Even if FB, PS and NP Jr all had ZERO ethics, if NP Jr was faster such a plan would not have been considered because NP Jr would be solely focussed on getting his own points if in fact he was fast enough to achieve them. Since he was not fast enough either FB and PS were able to convince him that he could “contribute” to the team by crashing or NP Jr. suggested it because he knew getting points on merit was beyond his ability.


Rob, have a look at post 75. James Bennett has looked up the relevant regulations and, to summarise, once November 30th has passed, it’s too late to do anything regarding new evidence/information. (At least, I think that’s what it means.

“The period during which an appeal in review may be brought expires on 30 November of the current year.”

Mosley has confirmed that there can be no question of recalcul;ating the 2008 championships, the interview on BBC last weekend if I remember correctly. Presumably this is based around the regulation that James has quoted.

Which is entirely unsatisfactory, how can Alonso have won a race that his team rigged?

If you award the race to Rosberg that’s unsatisfactory because of the amount of time he was able to build up where Charlie Whiting/the stewards were so slow to give him a pitlane drive-through for pitting when the pitlane was closed.

Some have suggested to make the race null and void. So you take away six points from Hamilton, who had no part in this, but no points away from Massa despite Ferrari making a hash of his pitstop.

Declare the race over just before Piquet’s crash, award half points. I haven’t done the sums but I suspect that would give the champioship to Massa. but hang on, didn’t Ferrari cock up his pitstop, and that cannot be directly attributed to the antics of Piquet, most drivers were due to make their pitstops anyway.

Whichever way you turn it’s unsatisfactory, there’s a counter-argument, and a good one.

That’s how serious the whole thing is. And we haven’t touched on risk to marshals or other drivers.


Sorry, this should have been appended to #93, Rob (MSC fan).


Seriously, who would bully his driver 15 minutes before the start of a race!? Piquet Jr must have been under immense pressure. At Singapore he clearly lost it and was prepared to do anything what his wicked boss would bully to him …

Briatore is clearly lacking people skills and should be banned from his F1 drivers management duties alltogether!


What is amazing to me is that nobody talks about what is going to happen with the results of that race? Is Rosberg gonna get his first win? What about Felipe Massa who was supreme that weekend and was heading for a dominant win, instead he got no points and Lewis got 6. I think Massa would have been world champion if that racwe wasnt fabricated, I cant see it happening but this is gonna be very interesting how it unfolds


I think Max has already said that they won’t be changing the results. Prize money is another matter though.


But because of them renault idiots Massa didnt clinch his title which he should have last year (Hamilton should have been crowned year before in my opinion)

Very sad…


No Rob, Massa finished 13th in Singapore because Ferrari messed up his pit stop with their traffic lights and he towed the fuel rig down the pit lane, then he got a drive through penalty. None of that was caused by Renault.

Furthermore, Massa retired in Australia, spun off in Malaysia, finished 13th in Britain, had engine failure in Hungary and finished 7th in Japan. These five poor results plus Singapore are why Massa lost last year.

As for Hamilton in 2007, he and Mclaren gave away a 17 point lead in the last two races.


I do hope Monday will put an end to this. And I hope Piquet Snr will then shut his cake-hole instead of trying to drag the names of everyone he’s ever spoken to through the dirt. What a meat hoop. Glad I don’t know the guy, have you met him, James?

It’s painful to watch but hopefully winning-at-all-costs will become a very embarrassing and unfashionable attitude in F1 after all this and really become something of the past, like Freddie Starr or gas powered fridges, finger crossed.


What? The FIA took no action last year?

At a time when they could have changed the result of the race (and even the WDC)?????????????????


The result of the WDC would never have been changed, how exactly would it have been changed? There’s no way that the FIA could have predicted the result as there was another 40 laps after the safety car, anyway i think they already tried to change the result of the WDC at SPA and failed.


I am saddened that Piquet Jr is getting so much flack…. did he do wrong? clearly yes, but..

1. His father reported the matter to the FIA at the Brazilian Grand prix LAST year… they did nothing.. for such a serious matter they could have done all the checks they have done now then.

2. His team manager was his manager… very difficult to say no I am not going to crash.. because my manager is going to get me a drive elsewhere

3. He is young and as patrick Head has stated young drivers are easily led.

4. Nobody seems to want to damm Prost, Senna, Schumacher for constantly driving their cars at others which equally was to fix a race and risked the same lives of drivers and marshalls.

It should be applauded that he had considerable courage to come forwards albeit late. The risks in comming forward were and clearly are still massive.

Stop loading him up as the major bad player


Yeah well, calling Mansell’s wife a dog and Ayrton Senna ‘gay’ to the media are also other matters.

Some believe he’s a fairly shady character anyway. We’ll hopefully find out Renault’s side of the story none-the-less and I wouldn’t be surprised if Piquet Snr blackmailed Flavio.


Personally I couldn’t careless if he tried to Blackmail him. How can you consider it blackmail to uncover something that the FIA new about in Brazil ( you can only blackmail someone with something that isn’t widely known),. How can you call something Blackmail if all you are do is reveal facts about something illegal (or at least against the rules) it should be callled by what it is ‘whistleblowing’ Yes… if he was after something it was all about the shabby treatment Renault had given him. I agree he is not great driver, but driving against Alonso, getting inferior equipment does not help.. ask Heike.


It’s blackmail if he threatened Flav that he would reveal the incident if Flav didn’t keep Nelsinho in the Renault seat. It’s a further subversion to try to keep the authorities in the dark. Two wrongs, y’know?


He called her ‘ugly’


You need courage when you have something to lose as a consequence of your actions. It would have been courageous if NPjr had directly gone to the FIA when such a crash-plan was suggested to him.


True, but his father did go to the FIA after Brazil, and the FIA ignored him… how cowardly were they??? Sill to take on the full might of Flavio and Renault even now takes courage…


My impression at the time was that Senna passed other drivers easily because they knew if they didn’t pull over he would ruthlessly take them out. Suzuka 1989 and 1990 illustrates what would be the treatment they would get if they didn’t scuttle out of the way like a frightened rabbit. The videos of Prost being taken out in those two races because he resisted kind of throws a different light on the Singapore race fix. I can’t help wondering if Suzuka wasn’t just serious as Singapore, in a way. Sacrilege, of course.


Or punch them out in the motorhome afterwards, as he did to Eddie Irvine, Martin! Which I can’t recall any sanction being applied to….


It is well documented that Senna took Prost out on purpose. Tuly a race fix. Truly dangerous, but I have to say, because of his ‘high standing’ it is never seen as the same thing by many including journalists. It was clearly just as dangerous if not more. Nobody is saying bad things about them. In each of their cases, they were not even struggling to keep a drive. It seems to be Heroic if your Senna et al, or cowardly if your Piquet.


Well, who is the major bad player than? He can’t be any less responsible than Flav and Pat, if not even more than them.


The people at the top are definitely most responsible. Even if you take Pat’s view (which I don’t) and Piquet suggested it. To not correct him on the spot or even sack him on the spot and report him, leads younger drivers to be misled about what might be acceptable or common place behind the scenes of F1 …. I am not exusing him, but I can see it happening… Just look at Hamilton… who would have said he would have lied…. a world champion no less. Never mind the earlier 3 world champions mentioned


Apparently Mosley, Ecclestone and Charlie Withing knew everything since 10 months ago.

For those that can read in italian, here is a link to “Corriere della Sera” article that reveal Mr Piquet senior spilling the beans already 10 months ago to Whithing and Ecllestone.


Hi James,

If Alonso knew nothing about this, would he not be incredibly angry about this. Why has he not made any significant comment yet? Surely he should be taking legal action against Renault or his departed team principals? As surely his reputation will be damaged merely by association.


James, would it be inappropriate for you to run another competition – this time guess the lap of the crash……


Here’s a question from a neutral standpoint – how come McLaren-Mercedes and Williams-Renault weren’t severely punished for fixing the race result in Jerez 1997?

After all, radio recordings were quite clear. And then there is a matter of David and Mika just a few months after in Australian GP in 1998.

Those two were clear cases of race fixing, just like Ferrari-ordered Michael-Rubens in Austria in 2002 and later in USA GP the same year [with roles reversed].

Thus, the sport has a history of race fixing, since four proven fixes prior to Renault’s Singaporean charade cannot be considered an isolated incident.

Just my 2 cents.


These comparisons to WWE wrestling are way over the top IMO. A competitor using illegal means to win is a far cry from an orchestrated performance like those in professional wrestling. If we were talking about multiple teams colluding to share out wins then the comparison would have some merit, but that’s not the case.

The term “race fixing” has been used a lot in connection with this but I don’t think it’s really appropriate. What Renault did was straightforward cheating. Certainly it is a particularly severe and spectacular case of cheating, but fundamentally no different to blood capsules in rugby, lifting the seam in cricket or drug-taking in athletics.


well actually it’s different than blood capsules, drugs and other stuff you mentioned. This happened for real. The way I see it, it wasn’t in the spirit of fair play, but they didn’t exactly cheat either.


That’s an interesting perspective. You might also draw the parallel with more conventional team orders, a somewhat similar situation, does that amount to cheating? I would say if there is an element of deception then it does amount to cheating. (Of course since all team orders must be surreptitious now, that would make them all cheating.)

Re the blood capsule affair, perhaps a better comparison would be with the actions of the doctor who is alleged to have administered a cut to the player’s face, so that any subsequent investigation would find a real injury.


I suspect that Renault and the FIA have already cut a deal. Renault wants no more bad publicity. The FIA and FOM need Renault to stay in F1. (so does Williams and possibly Red Bull). It is clear that the FIA and FOM are conspiring to preserve the market value of Alonso by not pursuing his possible involvement with any great zeal. Is there a Ferrari angle here too?

(I can’t see Ferrari paying $41M to get rid of Kimi but… the 2010 Alonso rumors are strong. Why wouldn’t Ferrari commit publicly to its 2010 driver line up at Monza? Could Renault be forced to “trade FA for Kimi in return?)

Considering FOM’s interests and influence, I see the deal that was cut between Renault and the FIA to include a certain amount of silence and sweeping things under the rug. In return Renault will agree to remain in F1 for a few more years. The FIA will announce that it is unfair to punish Renault beyond stripping them of the ill gotten points. FOM will have to recalculate their 2008 Constructors money distribution in fairness to the other teams and Renault will have to surrender the amount back to FOM for redistribution. The FIA will also have to impose some sort of a penalty such as mandatory “public service” acts vis-a-vis some FIA “Safety Initiative” promotion (which will also benefit Renault’s image). The FIA will also pronounce that they are satisfied with the purging of guilty parties and that it is unfair for all the little people and hard working engineers to suffer because of the actions of a few. Also the fact of Renault being on probation for the Renault/Mac mini-spygate saga will similarly be treated as satisfied with the purging. Times have changed, F1 cannot lose another engine maker. Renault know this is their bargaining chip and will not pay anything near $100M. Max has got his pound of flesh with Flav’s head on a platter so that mollifies his vindictive rage considerably. It will all be swept under the rug and a big happy face will be placed over everything.

The party line will be… “All is well. Justice has been served. Nothing to look at here. Let’s move along now.”


now you have second guessed the solution they can’t possibly use it any more on monday – can they?…….

Kimi to Renault – I really hope not – if he goes anywhere then back to Mclaren please


Is it possible that Ferrari were hoping that Renault would be banned for 2010 so their drivers, or at least one of them, will be up for grabs? And one would assume that a penalty for Briatore might be banning him from any management and control of, or financial interest in, drivers holding a super licence?

Where would that leave negotiations?

It would appear that Alonso’s move to Ferrari, whilst not certain, is now much more likely and probably sooner.


“FIA-certified” integrity licenses? Puh-leese! This is the faux government that cracked a big whip over McLaren and others in the past but chose not to sanction their own president, despite his obviously “bringing the sport into disrepute” by their own terms, because he is usefully effective. That is, they exercised their control selectively, arbitrarily and pragmatically. They’ve no claim to moral high ground, or to any further control over who shares their fiefdom. Isn’t F1 literally feudal enough already?


“Renault learned from the McLaren Spygate saga”

Obviously not the only thing they learned from McLaren. Briatore and Symonds’ departures are an almost exact copy of the Dennis-Ryan manoeuvre.

Paige Michael-Shetley


Speed TV in America is reporting that Dave Richards will replace Briatore at Renault, and that he was furthermore spotted in Enstone this week. What have you heard about this?



I’ve heard Todt junior is in the frame for the job but can’t remember where I read it.


USF1 will be run by Peter Windsor so what about James Allen running the Renault F1 team? I guess many of us here would support him 🙂

Even it Todt junior would potentially be a good choice, with his dad likely to replace Mosley at the FIA that would create another significant conflict of interest.

Please do not bring back Craig Pollock!


His name always comes up at times like this. He did the Benetton job because the Benetton family asked him to. But left when they went with Renault rather than his choice, Ford. DR has denied any contact with Renault thus far.


The more I read about this, the more I feel that the real bad guy in this whole thing was Piquet Jr himself.

Crid [CridComment @ gmail]

Finn’s comment of September 17th, 2009 @ 11:48 am is brilliant, absolutely brilliant. This is not cynicism.

It’s amazing to how many people think F1 motorsport is (or should be) some pinnacle of shimmering decency just because it means so much to us. It’s not. It’s a business, one built (or almost fully co-opted by one Bernie Ecclestone, who’s since sold it to a corporation with a lot of debt. F1 is built out of business contracts… Not sportsmanship, not honor among heroic men, not even a love of motoring.

Again, not cynicism: Business. Nobody’s asking you to think The fix is in! every time you see a conflict… That would be juvenile as well. The point is that you shouldn’t presume to find the kind of cleanliness you want in medicine or law or education or religion or food preparation.

It’s a spectacle. It’s a great one. Bernie was right today when he said this is not a particularly dirty time… And he oughta know.


Some serious body language going on between Flav and Nelson. Just check at the end.

Plus, that spin on the parade lap looks almost exactly like the one in the race.

But as I said, more interesting is the part at the end where Renault team is celebrating. Nelson looks pretty unhappy.


Looking at 43″ of the video you linked, the look of Piquet junior to Briatore is very telling.

Junior seems quite pissed looking at Briatore celebrating and he is somewhat expecting Briatore reaction to him. The reaction came with Briatore shaking his hand.

To me that gesture looks like thanking Piquet. If he was to consolate Piquet for being out of the race while everybody is celebrating Alonso victory, he would have given a pat on the shoulder.


I watched this yesterday on the highlights DVD from last year and I would say (with hindsight admittedly) that Nelson does look sheepish as he shakes Flav’s hand. Also Pat’s comments after the race bring another factor to the motive to do such a thing. I had forgotten that it had been nearly 2 years (23 months he quotes) since they’d won and with constant rumours of Renault looking for a way out shows the pressure he may have been under. No excuse, I know, but silly things have been done by perfectly trustworthy individuals under huge corporate pressure to succeed. Pat in that sequence looks like a man whose had a lot of pressure from above.


Renault’s plea of no contest is not an admission of a conspiracy. Flav and Pat were not charged with any specific offence. It was Renault who were summoned to appear.

Renault have accepted a 151c offence: bringing the sport into disrepute. They have, it would appear, vicarious liability for the actions of their staff. Piquet, in issuing a statement that he had crashed deliberately, with the strong corroborative evidence from the telemetry, left them little room for manoeuvre. It would have been no use for them to suggest that there was no evidence of a conspiracy when that was not what they were charged with.

Whether or not there was a conspiracy is, for them, immaterial. If Piquet deliberately crashed, then a case for a 151c is about as strong as you can get.

If you cast your mind back to the days of Benetton and the Verstappen holocaust at the German race you will remember a similar guilty plea there. What this meant was that no evidence was heard. Indeed, there were no ‘prosecution’ witnesses at all. So we never knew just how many people were aware of the missing filter. All that was to be decided was the penalty. It was difficult to fathom what they had actually been found guilty of.

No one has confessed to a conspiracy. The resignations of Flav and Pat prove nothing. Renault, whom one assumes will say they knew nothing of any conspiracy and were not party to any decision for one of their cars to crash, cannot say whether there was a conspiracy or not. And neither will Pat or Flav because the no contest takes their platform away. And they must be very bitter about that. Possibly.

So what is left for Renault? Given how much info has been released to the public a complete cop-out, as in the Benetton fire, is unlikely to be an option. There’s little chance of the press supporting the suggestion that it was all down to a lowly mechanic on work experience again, so something must be done.

I would be surprised to see a Renault on the grid for the balance of this season. Some level of fine is probable and an ASBO looks likely. Beyond that it is difficult to say.

Renault, it seems, is pleading guilty to the misconduct of one of their staff. Their mitigation might be that the only guilt they have is that of lack of supervision and that an exclusion from 2010 would be rather extreme.

One wonders if Flav might pursue the matter further. He would not want to be excluded from his position with QPR and on Monday evening he will be in a position where nothing has been proven against him. He could well consider chasing Piquet through the courts but he might wonder what else might come to the surface. That’s on the questionable premise there was indeed a conspiracy. He might think it was a risk too far.

Hopefully this will be compressed in the archive and forgotten about once the season ends. Apart from those of us who have had what little illusion was left to us shattered.

I’m grateful to Renault for what they’ve done for the sport. It was they who ran with the turbochargers first. If it wasn’t for them we’d not have had the BT54. We would not have had 1500bhp qually engines. We would not have had those tremendous cars. We would not have had Silverstone 1987. There is no evidence, and no suggestion – and we haven’t been short of suggestion – that Renault corporate were aware of any conspiracy so a harsh penalty would not seem fair to me, nor appropriate. Fair enough, they can’t design a decent looking car but that’s hardly a reason to kick them out of the sport.

I feel for Pat though. I still think my belief that he is a decent bloke is right. For the others, Piquet and Flav, well perhaps it’s best not to say.


I find this situation, if true and it looks like it is, far worse than anything McLaren were charged with in 2007. Given a chance, stealing secrets from another team is not new in any form of motor sport. I still contest to this day the punishment that was handed down on McLaren was over the top and a result of other issues with the personalities involved.

Renault F1 has breached the sporting code and endangered lives in the process. I find it incredible that NPJ, Pat Symonds and the Flav were the ONLY people involved in the decision and that this was never discovered after the fact. No other team members listen to the radio transmissions, yeah sure!

Fitting punishment would be a life time ban of participation directly or indirectly in any FIA sanctioned formula for both Symonds and Briatore. Renault F1 banned from any further participation in the 2009 season, loss of all points and funds from their constructors points and a $100 million dollar fine.

If they get anything less then shame on the FIA.


I don’t know if anybody has already mentioned this on here but Article 179B of the International Sporting Code states that “If, in events forming part of a FIA Championship, a new element is discovered, whether or not the stewards of the meeting have already given a ruling, these stewards of the meeting or, failing this, those designated by the FIA, must meet on a date agreed amongst themselves, summoning the party or parties concerned to hear any relevant explanations and to judge in the light of the facts and elements brought before them.

The right of appeal against this new decision is confined to the party or parties concerned in accordance with the final paragraph of Article 180 and the following Articles of this Code.

Should the first decision already have been the subject of an appeal before the National Court of Appeal or before the International Court of Appeal, or successively before both of these courts, the case shall be lawfully submitted to them for the possible revision of their previous decision.

The period during which an appeal in review may be brought expires on 30 November of the current year.”

Therefore any punishment the WMSC decide can only apply to the 2009 Championship.


Although the prizes, titles and records of previous years may be out of justice’s reach they cannot escape the asterisk. Should new “elements” be accepted by the governing body as fact the FIA’s historical record could and should direct the reader to a full accounting of the unpunished irregularity. Thus Alonso gets to keep the race that was stolen but not revel in it. Symonds’ tantilizing testimony is shown to reveal a pathetic attempt to remain a gentleman while all but shouting his criminality. Briatore denies all and though no evidence against him is reported his masters tellingly accept Piquet’s version over his, no matter the consequences. If the asterisk beside Singapore 08 were to point posterity to complete understanding of these events it would be able to put us in the tortured mind of young Nelson Piquet Junior on the grid that night. And put our character to the same test.


So the obvious punishment is a fine to include whatever constructors money they have won this year (similar to McLaren)?


I do not beleive we will ever know what really went on in Singapore but as someone has already pointed out, there is a certain element of smoke and mirrors in all competitive sport. One thing I personally feel is that the conduct of the Piquets has been less than ideal and that barring having his oofy father buying him a team, Jr is done in competitive motorsport. Correct me if I am wrong but the impression I have is that Flavio has always been regarded as not the fairest fighter on the f1 grid and most will not be too upset to see him go. That said it looks like Mr Mosely will ride off into the sunset having successfully done the business on the his main foes with some unfortunate collateral damage like Mr Symonds abd Mr Coulaghan thrown in. Formula 1 journalists like Mr Allen have my deepest sympathy – this year has seem them go from sports correspondents to politcal hacks. One look at this blog an you would think you were looking at a political rag.


Look a little deeper, you will find plenty of material about racing. This space is about all aspects of F1; sport, glory, defeat, business, politics. F1 is not one dimensional and neither should my blog be.


The depth of F1 is what makes the sport so compelling!


Agree 100% Hutch


One of the beauties of F1 is the politics that goes around, that mystic of unreacheable, the fight between some of the most powerfull people in the car and motorsport industry, etc, etc.

Even if this blog looks to you a political hack, i can tell you as an avid F1 fan, that JA is one of the best commentators of F1 i have seen and his writing is very good, with no B.S. and very analitical.

I can bet many people read an F1 news on a site and them comes here to read the analysis.



Terribly sorry if you thought I was criticizing the blog. It is an excellent blog and has replaced the formula1 website and even the bbc site as my primary source for f1 (I live in th United States so I am afraid the interweb is my only link back to f1). I was just pointing out how it is a sign of the times. I hope things get quieter on the circus side of f1 so we can finally concentrate on things like the championship battle, or the driver moves or the new teams coming in next year. Do you think Mr Mosely’s departure will see things get back to normal?


As far as the blackmailing charge goes I think it will be interesting. As you said in response to another poster here it is all about the attempt to extort something from Flav in exchange for continued silence over the incident. However, it leaves me with this thought.

If Flavio knew that, by not bowing to the blackmail pressure, the secret would be exposed and his career would be screwed anyway…why did he therefore not just press charges when he was initially being blackmailed? The outcome either way would have been the same as he was in a lose-lose situation.

It strikes me that, unless he was really convinced that the Piquets were bluffing and/or that he could continue to bully them into silence. He should’ve known that it’d all come out so surely better to be the one in control and do it admirably than to lie, deny, try and sully the name of Piquet Jr by making insinuations about his sexuality (pretty low imo as that has nothing to do with either his ability as a driver or with anything related to race fixing)only to be proven that he DID have something to do with it and that the Piquets were telling the truth.

So with that in mind, the fact that he could’ve reported the blackmail sooner and come clean, surely it means that their is a chance legal people will look at all the circumstantial evidence and just say he has less if no chance of getting charges on them held up because of it.


PS will be irreplacable

Somehow this feels like a messy “fix” engineered by Max. I doubt Flav is the sort of chap to go quietly and not try to take Max with him. There’s more to come as James says. that’s certain.

One Q James. How likely is the return of Prost to run the team and who might be driving for him?


In France they are saying he’s number one choice to restore some credibility.


Here is the real reason all of this happened 🙂 Nelson Piquet Sr felt so guilty of having robed Alain Prost and Renault of a world title in 1983 by using illegal fuel that he engineered a way to bring back Prost at the helm of the Renault F1 team! Very smart don’t you think !!! Was a nice guy senior is 🙂

I read today he wants to extricate Jr from his management contract with Flav. Why bother spending any lawyer money on this? Jr will never ever race in any motor racing serie anyway so Flav will no longer get his cut . Jr might

as well apply for a job at “Dancing with the stars” or “Big Brother” now. That’s all there is left for him to do.

I am sure he would know how to spin on a dance floor.


he didnt do much of a job last time – perhaps he should drive instead


He’s not that much older than Barrichello after all…

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