As we told you about before, there were four episodes planned for the Ford Fusion GP campaign in Brazil, and the whole series has now run its course. The Ford ads pit Brazilian Formula One driver Nelson Piquet against English F1 pilot Nigel Mansell driving the new Fusion, the two coming together again after their partnership at the Williams F1 team ended in a miserable state more than 20 years ago.
Formula One World Champions Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell haven't been on good terms since the 1986 season, when Piquet joined Mansell at the Williams team and Piquet spent the year privately fuming about not being granted the status of number one driver. Things only got worse from there – even though Piquet won the title the following year with Williams, still partnered with Mansell, the fuming was a lot less private.
You didn't actually think we'd heard the last of Crashgate, did you? The scandal that rocked the Formula One racing world last season and well into the post-season involved the Renault F1 team, its driver Nelson Piquet, Jr. and its top executives Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds.
Crashing is a big deal in Formula One. Especially, as the ongoing legal battle between the FIA and one Flavio Briatore shows, if you've done it on purpose. So Nelson Piquet Jr. couldn't have been all that surprised that, after having done exactly that and then gone on to blow the whistle on his own team, he hasn't found a new ride in F1. So... where does a disenfranchised grand prix driver to go for a fresh start? Where do they love crashing more than anywhere else? Why, NASCAR, of course!
Flavio Briatore might have wished that he had been a little kinder to client and former Renault F1 driver Nelson Piquet. After Piquet was sacked for non-performance following the Hungarian Grand Prix this year, he sought revenge by saying that Briatore and team engineering director Pat Symonds instructed him to crash during last year's Singapore GP. The crash, done correctly, would cause the safety car to come out, and that would give teammate Fernando Alonso the best chance of winning the race.
The question of the day is, "If you're tasked with teaching a three-time Formula One champ to drive, what's the curriculum?" Some instructor in Brazil will be forced to answer that very query when he gets Nelson Piquet behind the wheel for a refresher on the rules of the road.
Rumor has it that Brazilian Nelson Piquet Jr. has signed with Renault F1 to be the team's third driver in 2007. Together with McLaren protege Lewis Hamilton, Piquet Jr. has dominated this year's GP2 championship, and a move to Formula 1 has been expected since 2005, when he tested for Williams F1.