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-
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.