F1 »

Briatore thanked Piquet for crashing 'as a joke'

The full transcript of the FIA World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) hearing into the Renault 'Singapore-gate' race-fixing scandal has revealed that Flavio Briatore confessed under questioning that he might have discretely said thank you to Nelsinho Piquet for crashing during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix – 'as a joke maybe'.

Having already stepped down from his role as managing director of Renault F1 in disgrace in the wake of the allegations made by Piquet – who was sacked by Briatore earlier this summer, prompting a bitter war of words between the pair in the full glare of the global media – the flamboyant Italian was banned by the WMSC from any involvement in motorsport at all for an indefinite period, including driver management.

That has led to the 59-year-old threatening to take legal action against the FIA for loss of reputation as he continues to protest his innocence [see separate story – click here], but following the materialisation of a fourth member of the team aware of the conspiracy – dubbed 'Witness X', and a figure whose identity is known only by FIA President Max Mosley and a few key legal advisors [see separate story – click here], the WMSC professed itself convinced of Briatore's guilt in the matter.

According to the transcript, when interrogated by stewards over the weekend of the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps late last month, 'he insisted that as far as he was aware, the crash had not been deliberate and had not been part of a plan; he accepted that a meeting took place on the Sunday of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix in his office between himself, Mr. Symonds and Mr. Piquet Jnr; he denied that there had been any discussion at that meeting of a deliberate crash; [and] he denied any knowledge of the short follow-up meeting at which Mr. Symonds was said to have instructed Mr. Piquet Jnr to crash at Turn 17 on Lap 14.'

He told the stewards: “I never talk with Nelsinho, I never talk about to crashing the car, he's never coming to me tell me 'Flavio, Jesus Christ, I crash the car, you won the race, can you renew my contract?' You know if somebody do you a favour like that I just you renew the contract.”

The transcript adds that Briatore's explanation of the pre-race meeting was to 'encourage Mr. Piquet Jnr to focus on the race instead of his recent contract negotiations', and that the QPR co-owner had been adamant 'that he was not involved in deciding race strategy either in general or at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix'.

Perhaps most interestingly of all, however, is the revelation that Briatore 'initially denied having discretely said “thank you” to Mr. Piquet Jnr after the race, though then suggested that he might have said it “as a joke maybe”'.

Last week, it emerged that Briatore's first reaction to Piquet's accident – in which the Brazilian fortunately escaped injury – had been: “F***ing hell...my every f***ing disgrace, f***ing, he's not a driver.”

To read the FIA WMSC transcript in full, click here



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Flavio Briatore (ITA) Renault Team Principal, Australian F1 Grand Prix, Albert Park, Melbourne, 27-29th, March, 2009
F1 veteran David Coulthard wins Race of Champions
Michael Andretti drives the MP4/8 in the 1993 San Marino Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton crowned F1 world champion at FIA Prize-Giving Gala in Qatar [Pic credit: FIA / Jean Marie Hervio / DPPI]
Lewis Hamilton crowned F1 world champion at FIA Prize-Giving Gala in Qatar [Pic credit: FIA / Jean Marie Hervio / DPPI]
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Sebastian Vettel says goodbye to Red Bull. Pic credit: Red Bull Racing
Max Verstappen (NLD) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR9 Test Driver.
26.11.2014.
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10.
26.11.2014.
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10 running sensor equipment on the rear wing.
26.11.2014.
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10 running sensor equipment on the rear wing.
26.11.2014.
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10.
26.11.2014.
Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing.
26.11.2014.

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


richard

September 23, 2009 4:51 PM

in fact, it would be a quite understandable joke, and probably would be said by ANY team manager to a driver who had caused a situation where their team leader was in a position to benefit greatly

whatever - Unregistered

September 23, 2009 10:07 PM

Briatore for FIA president. Just the man for the job. Unemployed and full of sh.ite. Talks like a bumbling fool and knows nothing about F1. Should do well then.



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.