The “crashgate” hearing – Someone lied but it does not matter

Yesterday FIA published the complete dossier of evidence, the official decision and surprisingly even posted the audio recording of the hearing (and the decision). You can download the documents and listen to the audio here.

We have all known the decisions of the World Motor Sport Council since Monday. Now we also know how and why the council made those decisions.

Perhaps the only secret not leaked out before the hearing was the Witness X – an unidentified Renault employee who testified in very much the same fashion as Pat Symonds. This whistle-blower provided the key evidence that there had been conspiracy and named Flavio Briatore, Pat Symonds and Nelson Piquet as the conspirators. Witness X was present at the Singapore race day meeting but played no part in the conspiracy.

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Briatore and Symonds leave Renault

Flavio Briatore

Flavio Briatore

And here it comes. ING Renault F1 Team issued statement today informing that its managing director, Flavio Briatore and its executive director of engineering, Pat Symonds, have left the team. The team also announced that it will not dispute the allegations made by the FIA concerning the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. So, it took Piquets only about 6 weeks to get their revenge …

It will be interesting to see what effect will this have on the outcome of September 21 WMSC meeting….

The full text of the statement:

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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.

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FIA investigates 2008 Singapore GP crash by Piquet

Was this all planned by Renault ?

Was this all carefully planned by Renault ?

Bizzare, bizzare … And I am not talking about the pole position or podium for Force India. FIA confirmed that an investigation is underway regarding the crash in Singapore last year by Nelson Piquet that resulted in above pictured safety car period that seriously contributed to the unexpected and lucky race win the Renault driver.

“The FIA can confirm that an investigation is underway regarding alleged events at a previous world championship race.”

I was there in Singapore watching the race from the grandstands with my friends. We joked about the conveniently timed crash by Renault driver that helped the other, we joked. Who would want to believe that someone can be mad enough to ask a driver to smash his car into the wall.

Now it looks like some fresh evidence has surfaced and FIA decided to step in. One can wonder if the sudden attention a  year old accident is getting may have anything to do with the recent unhappy departure of Nelson Piquet from Renault F1 team.

This is going to get interesting … I am also interested to see how will Renault the company react to this…

The best debut year of a Brazilian driver in F1 ?

Nelson Piquet and Nelson Piquet

There has been a lot of talk about Nelson Piquet’s statement and especially what he had to say about Flavio Briatore. This however is the part that caught my attention:

“In 2008 I scored 19 points, finished once on the podium in second place, having the best debut year of a Brazilian driver in F1.”

Whether he is right or not it depends on what one considers as having the best debut year. A comment from Carlos (under previous post) made me to look up statistics on other Brazilian drivers. I selected the most successful ones.

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My entry to Singapore GP photo contest

singapore-gp-kimi-raikkonen-and-nick-heidfeld-small

Visit Singapore has a contest with some very decent prizes. I am not expecting my pictures to win anything but game is game so I decided to submit the above photo that reminds me of 2008 Singapore GP action – I was focusing on Kimi Raikkonen getting out of the pitlane but Nick Heidfeld on his quick lap somehow squeezed into the picture too.

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More on 10th and 11th F1 teams – Updated

Bruno Senna - On his way to F1 after all ?

Bruno Senna - On his way to F1 after all ?

Grandprix.com reported yesterday that the announcement that the team formerly known as Honda will be going ahead may be made soon. The yet to be named ex-Honda team is expected to be powered by Mercedes engines and Bruno Senna should come on board as Button’s team mate. The main backing is to come from former Williams’ partners Petrobras and Honda itself (for 2009 season only probably). Petrobas’ switch from Williams to Honda has been rumoured long before Honda announced their withdrawal from F1. The Petrobras connections was probably also a reason behind Honda testing Brazilian drivers Bruno Senna and Lucas di Grassi last November. According to grandprix.com additional finances are expected from one or two Senna’s personal sponsors (quick look at Bruno Senna’s personal website reveals names such as Embratel, Santander, Carglass, Hublot, Hilton Racing, Cavalera Jeans). We still have to wait and sea how relaible will grandprix.com’s sources prove to be this time. (Update: Other reports suggest that the financing has been secured but so far only for first four races of the season – see this article at The Guardian)

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So, F1 almost lost Williams team …

The glory days - Williams dominated F1 in 1996

The glory days - Williams dominated F1 in 1996

Only 2 days ago I posted the article “What current F1 teams I would and what teams I would not miss ?” I listed three current teams that I believe F1 can’t afford to loose. Yesterday the news broke out that one of those three – Williams – was close to giving up.

Not that long ago (2002-2003) Williams were still one of the top teams fighting for race wins and top championship places. But following the split with their engine partner BMW during 2005 season there were not too many reasons to celebrate for the Grove based team. Williams moved from the top 3 towards midfield (and lower midfield) with regular points and an odd podium here and there being the most they could hope for.

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2009 Formula 1 cars – Do they look like we expected them to look ?

BMW Sauber

BMW Sauber F1.09 and F1.08 side by side

Most of Formula One fans knew that the 2009 Formula One cars will be quite different than their predecessors. But as teams kept their ideas to themselves we could all only guess how the new cars will look.

I summarized all the main differences between 2009 and 2008 cars back in August in the post 2009 Formula 1 cars look – The most obvious differences. Around the same time this 2009 F1 car visual appeared all over F1 forums:

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Where did F1Wolf readers come from in 2008 ?

The 2008 year is now over and so I looked back at the visitor statistics here at F1Wolf.com. I was most interested in knowing where the visitors came from.

I am not surprised to see the biggest number of visitors coming from United Kingdom. What I am surprised is to see visitors from the United States to be very close in 2nd place, followed by readers from Canada, countries that Formula 1 decided to leave behind … Singapore, Australia, Spain, Poland, India, Hong Kong and Brazil make up the top 10 (see the chart below). In total readers from 188 countries landed at this site in 2008. As this is Asian based blog I am very happy to see very nice number of visitors from this part of the world !

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Does Ferrari need only Alonso to win the drivers’ title again ?

Was it fault of the drivers ?

Was it fault of the drivers ?

The rumours about Fernando Alonso signing for Ferrari will probably keep on coming until the Spanish driver actually makes the move. But if we are to believe what we read in the news his eventual move to Ferrari would be a popular one in Italy. Several Italian racing figures voiced their support for Alonso-Ferrari link. But what I found interesting in those speaches is the hint at the quality of current Ferrari drivers by Cesare Fiorio, the former Ferrari team boss who granted Alonso his debut F1 test with Minardi in 1999:
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Macau GP – The driver’s view – Video

One of the highlights of the 2008 racing year for me was the Macau GP. Thanks to our quick Nick we had the opportunity to get to the heart of the action. Nick also mounted the video camera inside his Porsche and taped good one and half hour of racing action. I played around with his footage, added few bits caught on my camera and result is this 23 minutes video edit of Macau GP onboard footage. Warning – the footage includes some explicit language here and there :-) .


Macau GP through the eyes of the driver from F1Wolf on Vimeo.

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2013 Teams and Drivers

Red Bull
1. Sebastian VETTEL
2 Mark WEBBER
Ferrari
3. Fernando ALONSO
4. Felipe MASSA
McLaren
5. Jenson BUTTON
6. Sergio PEREZ
Lotus
7. Kimi RAIKKONEN
8. Romain GROSJEAN
Mercedes
9. Nico ROSBERG
10. Lewis HAMILTON
Sauber
11. Nico HULKENBERG
12. Esteban GUTIEREZ
Force India
14. Paul di RESTA
15. Adrian SUTIL
Williams
16. Pastor MALDONADO
17. Valtteri BOTTAS
Toro Rosso
18. Daniel RICCIARDO
19. Jean Eric VERGNE
Caterham
20. Charles PIC
21. Giedo van der GARDE
Marussia
24. Jules BIANCHI
25. Max CHILTON

2013 F1 Calendar

15-17 March - Australia
22-24 March - Malaysia
12-14 April - China
19-21 April - Bahrain
10-12 May - Spain
23-26 May - Monaco
07-09 June - Canada
28-30 June - Great Britain
5-7 July - Germany
26-28 July - Hungary
23-25 August - Belgium
06-08 September - Italy
20-22 September - Singapore
04-06 October - Korea
11-13 October - Japan
25-27 October - India
01-03 November - Abu Dhabi
15-17 November - USA
22-24 November - Brazil

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