It's safe to say that Virgin Racing hasn't been a huge success so far. One of three new teams that joined the F1 grid last season, Virgin has largely been performing better than perennial back-markers HRT, but has failed to keep pace with Lotus, which is itself still far from competing with even the bottom end of the established teams like Williams and Toro Rosso. But Virgin has little intention of staying at the back, and to that end is shaking things up.
Say hello again to Pat Symonds. The former Renault F1 technical director was thrown out of the sport in disgrace along with Flavio Briatore in the wake of the Crashgate scandal for having ordered Nelsinho Piquet to crash his car on purpose. But now Symonds is back.
Jacques Villeneuve (left) is rumored to be supported in his F1 bid by Flavio Briatore (right)
It's been a long, drawn-out affair extending back two years since the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. That's when then-Renault F1 chiefs Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds allegedly instructed their rookie driver Nelson Piquet Jr to crash on purpose and give the advantage to his world-champion wingman Fernando Alonso. The scandal erupted the following/last season when Piquet blew the whistle. Briatore and Symonds were summarily excommunicated from Formula One and any FIA-regulated racing series (which i
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
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.