Nico Rosberg stands poised to become a grand prix winner should Renault's appearance before the FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) in a fortnight's time result in Fernando Alonso being retrospectively disqualified from the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.
Renault is due to appear before the WMSC charged with committing a breach of Article 151c of the International Sporting Code – 'that the team conspired with its driver, Nelson Piquet Jr, to cause a deliberate crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix with the aim of causing the deployment of the safety car to the advantage of its other driver, Fernando Alonso'.
The Paris reunion is set to take place on 21 September – less than a week before the 2009 edition of the race around the Marina Bay street circuit – and the consequences if the Régie
is found guilty could even extend as far as expulsion from Formula 1. At the very least, the French outfit and double world champion driver would likely lose their victory in the sport's inaugural night race – and therefore gift on-the-road runner-up Rosberg his breakthrough grand prix victory, a result some contend is already overdue.
The Williams star told the Berliner Zeitung
newspaper that 'there were rumours' about the contentious incident at the time, adding 'but what I personally think now is, 'cool', because it means I can win my first race – everything is possible'.
Whilst Piquet – who has not been confirmed as the source of the new information that has recently come to light prompting the governing body's investigation and subsequent WMSC summons – has made no comment on the latest twist in the saga, following his mid-season dismissal by Renault just over a month ago the Brazilian had revealed: “There are incidents that I can hardly believe occurred myself. After the opening part of the season, some strange situations began to happen.”
According to reports, the 24-year-old was inquiring over his car-to-pit radio what lap he was on around the time of his accident, and in the immediate aftermath of the race Renault F1 managing director Flavio Briatore had claimed 'the safety car was out for [Rubens] Barrichello' rather than Piquet. The top flight's influential ringmaster Bernie Ecclestone, though, has urged that the Enstone-based concern remains innocent until proven otherwise.
“It (the World Council summons) doesn't mean Renault are guilty,” the Formula One Management (FOM) chief executive – and a close personal friend and business partner of Flavio Briatore – told British newspaper the News of the World