Interesting reports from the world of Formula 1 this morning regarding Fernando Alonso's win at last year's Singapore Grand Prix.
According to Brazilian TV Channel Globo, Renault are accused of ordering Nelson Piquet to deliberately crash in the racce last year, shortly after Alonso made a surprisingly early pit-stop. I remember watching the race at the time, and I realised instantly how much of a boost this crash was for Alonso, who was, of course, Piquets' team-mate. The ensuing safety car allowed Alonso to catch up on the rest of the field and overtake them when they made their pit-stops, thus putting the Spaniard into a lead that he never relenquished.
There were, I read, rumours at the time surrounding Piquet's crash (they went over my head) and how much of an 'accident' it was. They make sense to the cynic, for sure, but an FIA investigation will determine whether or not the Brazilian was ordered to dump his car into the wall, a very serious offence if true.
A few comments regarding the investigation however:
It would not be a gross assumption to presume that the source for Globo is Piquet, or someone from his camp. The Brazilian was fired recently, and a statement on his personal website showed his disgust at the decision. This may not be any more than sour grapes, but only time will tell on that.
If it turns out that Piquet is telling the truth, then Renault will (rightly) find themselves in hot water. Any such action, which not only corrupts the essence of the sport but also endangers drivers and patrons, would be dealt with in the most severe of fashions by the FIA. Coming off the back of their screw-up with an Alonso pit-stop in Hungary, an offence so serious that it initially earned them a one-race ban (later revoked on appeal), there's no telling what sort of a penalty would be imposed. A multiple-race ban and hefty fine would both be likely. This could end Renault's participation in the sport, as it is already in doubt, but I doubt that the sport's governing body would let that stop them in the imposition of their penalty.
And finally, how will Filepe Massa feel if it turns out that Piquet's crash was deliberate? The Ferrari driver saw his World Championship hopes fade after a botched pit-stop in the aftermath of Piquet's crash. He had been leading but he lost the lead when her drove off with the fuel-hose still attatched, while he was then given a drive-through penalty to rub salt into the wounds. How different things almost certainly would have been if not for the incident? It could turn out that Piquet cost his fellow countryman the World Championship.