As if the Renault ‘Crashgate’ saga couldn’t get any more scandalous/intriguing/bonkers, things have taken a huge turn today as the team boss and engineering bloke have ‘parted ways’ with the French outfit.
Head honcho Flavio Briatore and chief engineer Pat Symonds have both left the squad, and Renault say they won’t dispute the allegations when they go up before the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) next week.
So basically, here’s how it played out:
The Piquets told Max Mosley and the FIA that Nelson Jnr was, er, encouraged to crash during the Singapore night race last year in order to help Fernando Alonso win.
Flav and Pat say that’s rubbish and the Piquets have made it all up.
A pit wall transcript from the night race gets leaked at Monza last weekend.
Renault say they’re taking legal action against the Piquets, accusing the Brazilians of blackmailing the team.
Flav appears to out Jnr, says he can’t believe what the Piquets are saying.
Flav and Pat leave Renault…
So it looks like Renault will pin all the blame on Flav and Pat at the WMSC hearing, and hope to not get too harshly punished.
But, as I asked the other day, if McLaren got fined £100 million for reading some Ferrari stuff they shouldn’t have, what’s going to happen to Renault?
It’s all quite a mess. And if Alonso gets his Singapore win taken off him – which surely he must if the team is found guilty – then Williams’ Nico Rosberg will have won his first ever F1 GP.
Twelve months after it happened.
If nothing else comes out of this, you’ve got to now think that Jnr has some big cojones to deliberately stick an F1 car into a wall. Especially if he didn’t lift off the gas. Imagine how he must have felt, just before the impact?