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Nelsinho Piquet at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix

The FIA is always sticking its nose around, sniffing around for some trouble. So, when the motorsport governing body opened a new investigation into the Renault F1 team, frankly we weren't all that surprised or interested. The probe centered around claims that the team instructed its since-departed driver Nelson Piquet, Jr. to crash on purpose at the Singapore Grand Prix last year in order to help his wing-man Fernando Alonso win the race.

Now, however, the probe appears to be deepening as the FIA claims to have discovered "other issues above and beyond Singapore" during their investigation into Renault's alleged wrongdoing. In a recurrence of the "Stepney-gate" investigations held during his brief but highly controversial tenure at McLaren, Alonso was reportedly questioned at length by the FIA's lawyers, along with technical chief Pat Symonds and team principal Flavio Briatore, to name just a few of the most prominent team figures implicated.

The team is naturally denying any wrongdoing, and tellingly, several individuals who've since left the team, including former engine chief Denis Chevrier and former test driver Franck Montagny, have expressed serious doubt that Renault was up to any underhanded business. For our part, we have a feeling this isn't the last we've heard over what we'll tentatively refer to as "Renault-gate."

[Source: F1-Live]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago

      You're a douche. You were clearly aware of McLarens blatant and disgusting cheating scandels such as lying to race stewards and photocopying Ferrari technical information and yet you still accuse Ferrari of cheating without any proof.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Bernie and Briatore are both business partners and friends.
      SpyGate at Renault was brushed under the carpet.
      How come now that "protection" no longer exists?
        • 5 Years Ago
        My thoughts exactly, but I still expect this to be swept under the carpet. This is just a warning to those teams that tried to break away.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Way back a long time ago when Briatore was managing the Benetton team (lead driver: M. Schumacher), there were a LOT of dark rumors alleging all sorts of cheating schemes with that group, so many that some people expected Schu to flop at Ferrari without the support of Briatore's interesting infrastructure. (Of course, nobody would ever suspect the mighty Scuderia of cheating.)

      Some of the rumors... illegal driver aids (like abs and traction control) hidden in their software, illegal orders to the #2 driver (Johnny Herbert, IIRC) not unlike this case... and remember the pit crewman that got set on fire because the team had illegally hot-rodded the fuel filler? Fun times, those.
      • 5 Years Ago