The FIA’s decision to investigate the result of the Singapore Grand Prix of 2008 was prompted by Nelson Piquet Jr himself, it was revealed last night. Autosport claims that Piquet went to the sport’s governing body alleging that team principal Flavio Briatore and technical chief Pat Symonds instructed him to crash to benefit his team-mate.
It has long been suspected that Piquet was the cause of the investigation, but now sources appear to have confirmed it. Piquet was sacked by the Renault team management after a run of poor performances, and his decision to go to the top to whistleblow could well be motivated by altruism or a desire to get revenge.
In an online article published yesterday evening, Autosport reported the following:
“Sources claim that in evidence submitted to the FIA by Nelson Piquet, the Brazilian driver says he was asked by Briatore and Symonds to crash deliberately early in the race so as to help Alonso win.
“Piquet says that he agreed to do so because he felt uncomfortable about his situation at the team, with Renault having not renewed his contract for 2009 at that time and Briatore was stalling on making a firm commitment. Piquet suggests that he only went ahead and caused the accident because he felt he would be rewarded for his actions.
“In his evidence, Piquet claims that he was taken aside by Symonds after the first meeting and instructured that he should crash on lap 13 or 14, shortly after Alonso s scheduled first stop, at Turn 17.
“The reason this part of the track was singled out was because there were no cranes present there to lift the car away, so any accident would virtually guarantee a safety car.â€
The World Motor Sport Council, which deals with hearings and the results of investigations, have summoned Renault in front of them on Monday, September 21st.