Piquet asked to crash or was it his idea ? – Updated

More details on Singapore 2008 emerge

More details on Singapore 2008 emerge

Less than 2 weeks before the WMSC hearing Autosport came up with more details on the Singapore-Renault-Piquet-Alonso story. Here are the main points of the article:

A meeting took place between Nelson Piquet, Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds few hours before the 2008 Singapore race. The tactics for the race was discussed. That is where the possibility of deliberate crash is said to have came up.


According to the Autosport article Piquet claims he was instructed to crash at Turn 17 on lap 13 or 14, after Alonso’s pit stop. Turn 17 was selected as there were no cranes around and any crash in that corner would result in safety car.

The reason why the matter is going to WMSC is the telemetry data that is said to reveal that Piquet kept accelerating at Turn 17 on the lap he crashed.

Both Briatore and Symonds confirm the meeting took place. But while Briatore is said to have claimed that “nothing like that was ever talked about”, Pat Symonds is reported saying that “during the Sunday meeting with Piquet the issue of deliberately causing a SC deployment came up, but it was proposed by Piquet himself. It was just a conversation.”

Here is the link to the Autosport article.

Looks like it may all come down to finding out who came up with the deliberate crash idea …

Update:

Nelson Piquet jr. provided his statement on the events to Singapore. Here is the excerpt:

5. I wish to bring the following facts to the FIA’s attention.

6. During the Formula One Grand Prix of Singapore, held on 28 September 2008 and counting towards the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship, I was asked by Mr. Flavio Briatore, who is both my manager and the Team Principal of the ING Renault F1 Team, and by Mr. Pat Symonds, the Technical Director of the Renault F1 Team, to deliberately crash my car in order to positively influence the performance of the ING Renault F1 Team at the event in question. I agreed to this proposal and caused my car to hit a wall and crash during lap thirteen/fourteen of the race.

7. The proposal to deliberately cause an accident was made to me shortly before the race took place, when I was summoned by Mr. Briatore and Mr. Symonds in Mr. Briatore’s office. Mr. Symonds, in the presence of Mr. Briatore, asked me if I would be willing to sacrifice my race for the team by “causing a safety car”. Every F1 race driver knows that the safety car is deployed on a track when there is an accident which leads to the track being blocked either by debris or a stationary car, and where it is difficult to recover a damaged car, as was the case here.

For the full text of Piquet’s statement click here.

Photo: Renault/LAT

12 Comments Post a Comment
  1. smboyceNo Gravatar says:

    If he did it intentionally, he knew when Alonso had pitted. Which means the team must have told him, surely

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      we should however also consider the possibility that the team mates knew the each other fuel loads

      • smboyceNo Gravatar says:

        But if the team knew he was thinking of performing a stunt like this and still let him know enough to carry it out, surely they have some responsibility? If they didn’t know and the Symmonds quote in Autosport is wrong then fair enough.

  2. smboyceNo Gravatar says:

    You’re right, I am forgetting that the fuel loads are public. Hmm.

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      the weights are public this year, they were not public last season. but still I think it is likely that team mates were aware of their strategies

  3. CarlosNo Gravatar says:

    I’m your boss, you come to me with this crazy idea of crashing one of my cars just to help your teammate, and I don’t stop you right in the spot? And after the crash, even knowing that what you did could put my entire operation in jeopardy because it was a clear violation of rules, not only I keep my mouth shut and I don’t fire you, but I even renew your contract despite your lousy performance? Am I crazy or conniving?

    I’m not even a little bit sympathetic to either of the Piquet guys, but I don’t buy FB and PS versions, I can’t see any sense in it – not to mention their versions are contradictory: FB says they didn’t talk about it as PS says they did.

    Carlos

    • F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

      I’m your boss, you come to me with this crazy idea of crashing one of my cars just to help your teammate, and I don’t stop you right in the spot? And after the crash, even knowing that what you did could put my entire operation in jeopardy because it was a clear violation of rules, not only I keep my mouth shut and I don’t fire you, but I even renew your contract despite your lousy performance? Am I crazy or conniving?

      I’m not even a little bit sympathetic to either of the Piquet guys, but I don’t buy FB and PS versions, I can’t see any sense in it – not to mention their versions are contradictory: FB says they didn’t talk about it as PS says they did.

       

      and that is probably what FIA will be looking into

  4. KotenokNo Gravatar says:

    Who does not think that Nelson Piquet Jr. has mistaken his profession? He should have tried crash test dummy employment.
    And I still think that he just misunderstood the planned strategy, whatever he could be told, I’m sure nobody could have said him crash into the wall in turn 17. 
    He did the worst he could do, he buried his F1 career and himself with all this show… Well, I don’t care what he does with his own life, but all that stir is never needed when we should care is Button will be able to grab the title or otherwise someone else will be able to impose his quality in the final round.

  5. F1WolfNo Gravatar says:

    Nelson Piquet made his statement on the whole thing. Here it is:

     

    Full statement given by Nelsinho Piquet to the FIA regarding the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix:

    I, Nelson Angelo Piquet, born July 25, 1985 in Heidelberg, Germany…say as follows:

    1. Except as otherwise stated, the facts and statements contained in this Statement are based on facts and matters within my knowledge. I believe such facts and statements contained in this Statement to be true and correct. Where any facts or statements are not within my own knowledge, they are true to the best of my knowledge and belief and, where appropriate, I indicate the source of that knowledge and belief.
    2. I make this Statement voluntarily to the FIA and for the purposes of allowing the FIA to exercise its supervisory and regulatory functions with regard to the FIA Formula One World Championship.
    3. I am aware that there is a duty upon all participants in the FIA Formula One World Championship and all Super Licence holders to ensure the fairness and legitimacy of the Championship and I am aware that serious consequences could follow if I were to provide the FIA with any false or misleading statement.
    4. I understand that my complete statement has been recorded on audio tape and that a full transcript of my audio recording will be made available to me and the FIA. The present document constitutes a summary of the main points made during my full oral statement.
    5. I wish to bring the following facts to the FIA’s attention.
    6. During the Formula One Grand Prix of Singapore, held on 28 September 2008 and counting towards the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship, I was asked by Mr. Flavio Briatore, who is both my manager and the Team Principal of the ING Renault F1 Team, and by Mr. Pat Symonds, the Technical Director of the Renault F1 Team, to deliberately crash my car in order to positively influence the performance of the ING Renault F1 Team at the event in question. I agreed to this proposal and caused my car to hit a wall and crash during lap thirteen/fourteen of the race.
    7. The proposal to deliberately cause an accident was made to me shortly before the race took place, when I was summoned by Mr. Briatore and Mr. Symonds in Mr. Briatore’s office. Mr. Symonds, in the presence of Mr. Briatore, asked me if I would be willing to sacrifice my race for the team by “causing a safety car”. Every F1 race driver knows that the safety car is deployed on a track when there is an accident which leads to the track being blocked either by debris or a stationary car, and where it is difficult to recover a damaged car, as was the case here.
    8. At the time of this conversation I was in a very fragile and emotional state of mind. This state of mind was brought about by intense stress due to the fact that Mr. Briatore had refused to inform me of whether or not my driver’s contract would be renewed for the next racing year (2009), as is customarily the case in the middle of the year (around July or August). Instead, Mr. Briatore repeatedly requested me to sign an “option”, which meant that I was not allowed to negotiate with any other teams in the meantime. He would repeatedly put pressure on me to prolong the option I had signed, and would regularly summon me into his office to discuss these renewals, even on racing days – a moment which should be a moment of concentration and relaxation before the race. This stress was accentuated by the fact that during the Formula One Grand Prix of Singapore I had qualified sixteenth on the grid, so I was very insecure about my future at the Renault team. When I was asked to crash my car and cause a safety car incident in order to help the team, I accepted because I hoped that it could improve my position within the team at this critical time in the race season. At no point was I told by anyone that by agreeing to cause an incident, I would be guaranteed a renewal of my contract or any other advantage. However, in the context, I thought that it would be helpful in achieving this goal. I therefore agreed to cause the incident.
    9. After the meeting with Mr. Symonds and Mr. Briatore, Mr. Symonds took me aside to a quiet corner and, using a map, pointed me to the exact corner of the track where I should crash. This corner was selected because the specific location of the track did not have any cranes that would allow a damaged car to be swiftly lifted off the track, nor did it have any side entrances to the track, which would allow a Safety Marshall to quickly move the damaged car away from the track. Therefore, it was felt that a crash in this specific position would be nearly certain to cause an obstruction on the track which would thus necessitate the deployment of a safety car in order to allow the track to be cleared and to ensure the safe continuation of the race.
    10. Mr. Symonds also told me which exact lap to cause the incident upon, so that a strategy could deployed for my team-mate Mr. Fernando Alonso to refuel at the pit shortly before the deployment of the safety car, which he indeed did during lap twelve. The key to this strategy resided in the fact that the near-knowledge that the safety car would be deployed in lap thirteen/fourteen allowed the Team to start Mr. Alonso’s car with an aggressive fuel strategy using a light car containing enough fuel to arrive at lap twelve, but not much more. This would allow Mr. Alonso to overtake as many (heavier) cars as possible, knowing that those cars would have difficulty catching up with him later in the race due to the later deployment of the safety car. This strategy was successful and Mr. Alonso won the 2008 Formula One Grand Prix of Singapore.
    11. During these discussions, no mention was made of any concerns with respect to the security implications of this strategy, either for myself, the public or other drivers. The only comment made in this context was one by Mr. Pat Symonds who warned me to “be careful”, which I took to mean that I should not injure myself.
    12. I intentionally caused the crash by letting go of control of the car just before the relevant corner. In order to make sure I would cause the incident during the correct lap, I asked my team several times via the radio to confirm the lap number, which I would not normally do. I was not injured during the accident, nor was anyone else.
    13. After the discussions with Mr. Briatore and Mr. Symonds discussed above, the ‘accident strategy’ was never discussed again with either of them. Mr. Briatore discreetly said “thank you” after the end of the race, without mentioning anything further. I do not know if anyone else was aware of this strategy at the start of the race.
    14. After the race I informed Mr. Felipe Vargas, a family friend and advisor, of the fact that the incident had been deliberate. Mr. Vargas further infirmed my father, Mr. Nelson Piquet, some time later.
    15. After the race several journalists asked questions about the accident and asked me whether I had caused it on purpose, because they felt it was ‘suspicious’.
    16. In my own team, the engineer of my car questioned the nature of the incident because he found it unusual, and I replied that I had lost control of the car. I believe that a clever engineer would notice from the car’s telemetry that I caused the incident on purpose as I continued accelerating , whereas a “normal” reaction would be to brake as soon as possible.
    Statement of Truth
    I believe and swear that the facts set out in this statement are true.
    This statement was made at the FIA Headquarters in Paris on 30 July 2009 in presence of Mr. Alan Donnelly (FIA Chairman of the Stewards), Mr. Martin Smith and Mr. Jacob Marsh (both of investigations firm Quest, retained by the FIA to assist with its investigation). Notes were taken by Ms. Dondnique Costesec (Sidley Austin LLP).
    Signed:
    Nelson Piquet Jr.

    • KotenokNo Gravatar says:

      It sounds true, but at the same time I can’t take his words seriously. He was pretty frightened that time about his future, when he could do things otherwise like everyone else, get calm, be quiet and improve his results regarding his abilities.
      He never showed patience, and even showed his strong discomfort within the team, he didn’t integrate well, and his mind was going into a nervous breakdown, as he said… And then he says he was told to do it. But what for he needed it? He doesn’t get nothing positive from that! But the clue is that he later Piquet could use the Joker he had since then to blackmailing his team.
      But I can’t understand why the team risked to be caught (when it is pretty easy to prove that), and why then they fired Piquet later knowing he is the axis of this deliberate crash. If it could be true, someone smart would have done things in another way for sure.

  6. BenalfNo Gravatar says:

    True of lie, the only one benefiting from the gate is Mr. Mosley; he wants everyone of his early entourage out of the F1 before he leaves FIA

promogifts.hk

2014 Teams and Drivers

Red Bull
Sebastian VETTEL
Daniel RICCIARDO
Ferrari
Fernando ALONSO
Kimi RAIKKONEN
McLaren
Jenson BUTTON
Kevin MAGNUSSEN
Lotus
Romain GROSJEAN
Pastor MALDONADO
Mercedes
Nico ROSBERG
Lewis HAMILTON
Sauber
Adrian SUTIL
Esteban GUTIEREZ
Force India
Nico HULKENBERG
Sergio PEREZ
Williams
Felipe MASSA
Valtteri BOTTAS
Toro Rosso
Daniil KVYAT
Jean Eric VERGNE
Caterham
Marcus ERICSSON
Kamui KOBAYASHI
Marussia
Jules BIANCHI
Max CHILTON

2014 F1 Calendar

14-16 March - Australia
28-30 March - Malaysia
4-6 April - Bahrain
18-20 April - China
9-11 May - Spain
22-25 May - Monaco
6-8 June - Canada
20-22 June - Austria
4-6 July - Great Britain
18-20 July - Germany
25-27 July - Hungary
22-24 August - Belgium
5-7 September - Italy
19-21 September - Singapore
3-5 October - Japan
10-12 October - Russia
31 October-2 November - USA
7-9 November - Brazil
21-23 November - Abu Dhabi

Archives

2010 Mercedes GP F1 Merchandise