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Renault to Face Charges of Cheating

by F1Fan on September 5, 2009

According to a statement released yesterday the FIA have summoned Renault to face charges that Nelshino Piquet’s crash at last years Singapore Grand Prix was in fact not an accident at all but a deliberate action on the part of the Renault Team and their driver in order to get the safety car deployed:

Extraordinary Meeting of the World Motor Sport Council 04/09/2009

Representatives of ING Renault F1 have been requested to appear before an extraordinary meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris on Monday, 21 September 2009.

The team representatives have been called to answer charges, including 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.

At the time of the accident Renaults #1 driver Fernando Alonso had just completed a routine pit stop two laps earlier. So when the Safety car was deployed while debris was removed from the track, Alonso was the only one of the leading cars not having to stop for fuel and tires. Alonso went on to win the Singapore Grand Prix.

Renault have responded to the FIA with the following official statement:

The ING Renault F1 Team acknowledges the FIA’s request for representatives of the team to appear before the FIA World Motor Sport Council in Paris on the 21st of September 2009. Before attending the hearing, the team will not make any further comment.

While It may just be coincidence, one has to wonder if the highly contentious recent release of Piquet from Renault, and his ongoing feud with team principal Flavio Briatore has anything to do with this issue coming to the forefront just now. It seems odd that almost a year has gone by with no prior action from the FIA.

In my opinion this is the last thing that F1 needs, with BMW Sauber already out of the 2010 season and rumors that Toyota is making noises that unless they get a win before the end of this season they may well cancel their involvement in F1 the last thing we need is another Manufacturer and F1 Engine supplier withdrawing from the sport.

If these allegations are proven, my guess is that the FIA will and should impose heavy sanctions on the Renault team. However, this could be the last straw for Renault management.

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