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Renault 'under investigation' for Singapore race 'fix'?

Renault is understood to be under investigation by Formula 1's governing body the FIA for 'alleged incidents' at a previous race – believed to be the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

According to Reuters, the FIA has revealed that 'an investigation is underway regarding alleged incidents at a previous Formula One world championship event', and whilst no further details were given, it is widely held that the event in question was the inaugural race held around the Marina Bay street circuit in the Far-Eastern city-state just under a year ago.

The floodlit grand prix was won by double F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso, but the Oviedo native was lucky to benefit from a timely safety car period after qualifying woes had left him down in 15th on the starting grid. The safety car emerged on lap 14, just after Alonso had made his first pit-stop, and the ensuing flurry of pit visits from his rivals promoted the 28-year-old into the lead, from where he would never look back.

The safety car intervention was caused by an accident for the Spaniard's then Renault team-mate Nelsinho Piquet, and at the weekend Brazilian TV station Globo reported that Piquet had been ordered to crash into the wall by his team, in order to vault Alonso up the pecking order.

At the time, Piquet refuted suggestions that he had crashed deliberately, insisting that he had merely been pushing too hard, but it is understood that fresh evidence has since come to light.

Piquet was sacked mid-season by the French outfit ahead of the European Grand Prix in Valencia earlier this month, prompting a vitriolic war of words in the media between the Brazilian and Renault F1 managing director Flavio Briatore. The former accused the Italian of being his 'executioner' and a man 'with no friends' who 'thinks only about money' and 'doesn't understand s**t about F1' [see separate story – click here], describing his stint at Renault as 'the worst period of my career'.

Briatore subsequently hit back in stringently denying his former driver's contention that he was never treated equally within the team and arguing: “When a driver lacks results, he opens the book of excuses and begins. The fault is the weather, a spectator's sunglasses, a spin on the straight, this and that...”

It is not the first time Renault has fallen foul of the FIA in 2009, following Alonso's wheel-shedding incident in Hungary.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R28, Singapore F1 Grand Prix, 26th-28th, September 2008
French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 off trach and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12 spins
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW38 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 leads Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Start of the race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW38
27.11.2016 - Race, Roger Federer (SUI) tennis player and Bernd Maylander (GER) FIA Safety Car Driver
27.11.2016 - Race, Luis Fernando Ramos (BRA), Journalist
27.11.2016 - Race, Gerard Berger (AUT), Michael
27.11.2016 - Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31 and Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H

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Hugh - Unregistered

August 31, 2009 5:06 PM

Just look at the facts. Alonso started in 15th. The earliest predicted pit-stop was 18th lap, most of the field were looking to lap 20-22. He came in on the 12th. Fresh tyres and fuel. Piquet spills his car on the slowest part of the track on 14th. Safety car comes out and look who is the only car on the track with enough fuel for one more stop.... and in front. There has to be some explanation for the super early pit stop other than to take advantage of a deliberate crash and safety car

Sasha

August 31, 2009 10:08 AM

Desperate attempt by the Piquets to prove it was the team and not Nelshinho who sucked. And the FIA will eat it like sweet cake because they have some unfinished business with Flav. Expect Renault to exit F1 soon.



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