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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.


Nelson Piquet Jr. – son of (obviously) Piquet Sr., a three-time Formula 1 champion – currently races in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the Nationwide Series. Piquet and sponsor Alpinestars decided it would be cool to have the racer's Number 30 Chevrolet Silverado painted up by David Gwyther of Death Spray Customs ahead of the Charlotte round of the truck series.


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!


Crashing in Formula One is taken pretty seriously. Especially if you did it on purpose. Which goes a long way towards explaining why the motorsport community is calling for the blood of Nelson Piquet Jr. The disgraced Renault driver was, in the end, the perpetrator of the so-called Crashgate affair. But while his boss and manager Flavio Briatore was kicked out of Formula One (and any involvement in any FIA-sanctioned racing series) as a result, and technical director Pat Symonds received a five-


The World Motor Sports Council took only 90 minutes to reach a verdict in the case of Crashgate – wherein former driver Nelson Piquet, Jr. intentionally chucked his car into the wall at last year's Singapore GP to hand the win to Renault teammate Fernando Alonso. Realizing that Renault was contrite and that the company's disappearance from F1 would be bad for a lot of people, the WSMC handed the company a two-year suspended sentence. If Renault – and its people – keep clean unt


Nelsinho Piquet at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix


Now that the 2008 Formula One championship is decided, teams will begin moving on confirming their drivers for next season. And while several already have, one major question mark has just been resolved as Renault has confirmed the extension of Fernando Alonso's contract. And not just for next season, but through 2010. Along with it, they've confirmed his team-mate's contract through next season as well, giving the team continuity for its upcoming assault on the title.


UPDATE: Official press release from Renault confirming Alonso's return can be read

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