Reports suggest probe into Formula One race-fixing allegations
Topics: Renault, Nelson Piquet Jr., Singapore Grand Prix
August 31, 2009
News reports are suggesting that Formula One's governing body, the FIA, are investigating alleged race-fixing by Renault. The FIA would only confirm a probe into "alleged incidents at a previous Formula One world championship event."
According to Brazil's Globo TV, Renault racer Nelson Piquet Jr. was told to crash his car during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, which was the sport's first night race. By accident or design, Piquet did indeed crash during the race, which benefited teamate Fernando Alonso, who had just pitted early for fuel. Alonso went on to win the race.
Piquet was fired during this season by Renault and replaced with Romain Grosjean. He claims he was treated unfairly at the team. His comments about the race at the time were "We tried two extreme strategies with Fernando quite short and me quite long in the hope of getting a safety car. If I hadn't crashed I would have been lucky with the safety car later in the race..."
However, it is now reported that new evidence has been supplied to the FIA. The source of this evidence has not been disclosed. The world motorsport council has the power to impose harsh penalties upon Renault if the allegations are proven, including large fines.
While the debris from the crash was cleared, the safety car was out on the track. Because Alonso had pitted early, he was the only one of the leading cars that did not need to stop for fuel and new tyres. According to the BBC and The Times, if there is found to be evidence of misconduct the world motorsport council will probably meet to investigate.
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