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Rob.

F1 2009 - The Official Thread

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Here's one for the pub bores. This is the first time since 1985 that 6 consecutive races have been won by 6 different drivers:

Turkey Jenson Button

Great Britain Sebastian Vettel

Germany Mark Webber

Hungary Lewis Hamilton

Europe Rubens Barrichello

Belgium Kimi Räikkönen

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Renault possibly in trouble:

Motor Racing: Alonso's Singapore victory in FIA probe

Formula One's ruling body the FIA on Sunday confirmed it has launched an investigation into Fernando Alonso's victory in last year's Singapore Grand Prix.

According to respected website autosport.com the FIA wants to examine the circumstances of various alleged events surrounding Alonso's win, including his then-Renault team-mate Nelson Piquet's crash, which led to a safety car intervention.

"The FIA can confirm that an investigation is under way regarding alleged events at a previous world championship race," said a spokesperson, without adding any details or reasons.

Alonso's victory came after he had enjoyed the advantage of refuelling just before Piquet's crash, which introduced the safety car period.

Piquet has denied all suggestions that he was ordered to crash and instead he has insisted that he spun off because he was pushing too hard.

Autosport.com has reported that fresh evidence about events surrounding that race has recently come to light.

Piquet was dismissed by Renault last month and was afterwards outspoken in his criticism of the team and team boss Flavio Briaotre.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp...1001776/1/.html

:o

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I just arrived from my first Nascar race (at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal).

Jacques Villeneuve surprised everyone with a very nice 4th place.

He said in many interviews those last days here in Montreal that he want to return eventually in F1

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How old is he now? I mean, it was 12 years ago he won the title and will be at least 14 years ago by the time he gets himself a seat (unless he's in talks with US F1?). Can't see it myself.

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Cheaters are everywhere -_-

Maybe, but if proven guilty this is the first case where I've heard a team asking a driver to risk his safety (not to mention other drivers' safety) so his teammate can win the race. Asking for a deliberate crash is scary!

That, in many ways, is far, far worse than anything McLaren did in the 2007 season and they got a huge punishment.

Let's hope for Renault and F1's sake it's just the rantings of a bitter ex-driver, because Renault will be really in the brown stuff otherwise.

----------

More news today....

Renault called to face fix charge

Formula One's governing body has summoned Renault to a hearing to answer charges that they fixed the outcome of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

The French team are accused of plotting with driver Nelson Piquet Jr to crash in the race to deploy the safety car.

The move aided Piquet's team-mate Fernando Alonso, with the Spaniard going on to win the race.

If found guilty, the team face severe sanctions which could include expulsion from the current F1 world championship.

"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," read a statement on the FIA website.

"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."

The FIA first started investigating the matter after the initial claim of fixing was made by a Brazilian TV station during the Belgian GP in August.

Alonso won the Singapore GP in 2008 when Piquet crashed two laps after the Spaniard had come in for a routine pit stop.

That meant that when race officials sent out the safety car to clear up the debris from Piquet's car, Alonso was alone among the front-runners in not having to stop for fuel and tyres.

At the time, Piquet attributed the crash to a simple error, but he was dropped by Renault after July's Hungarian Grand Prix and has since been outspoken in his criticism of Renault team boss Flavio Briatore.

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone said earlier this week that both Renault and Piquet Jr would be in serious trouble if the investigation uncovered any type of race-fixing activity.

He said the negative publicity might lead Renault to pull out of the sport, following the departures of manufacturers Honda and BMW Sauber.

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This is a tough one. I can't believe that the FIA would bring a case if they did not believe there was strong evidence against the team in question, and yet I can't believe any self-respecting Formula One team would deliberately instruct one of their drivers to crash.

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Looks to me like Brawn have both Championships sewn up. The only question now is, which of their drivers will be WDC?

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Looks to me like Brawn have both Championships sewn up. The only question now is, which of their drivers will be WDC?

Button! Hamilton and Scherzinger go separate ways. Thats the news of the weekend. Who cares about car races!?

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Flavio Briatore has left his position as boss of the Renault team after they decided not to contest charges of fixing the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

Executive director of engineering Pat Symonds has also left the team.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport...one/8258987.stm

This is pretty much an admission of guilt - an admission that they endagered their drivers lives, the lives of other drivers, and deliberalty fixed the result of Singapore 2008 by forcing a safety car. Renault should expect a hefty penalty - I would hope bigger than the one McLaren got for holding Ferrari technical information - and almost certainly will get thrown out of this years constructor's championship. It's unlikely the result of that race will change apparently, though Williams may contest this and try to get Nico Rosberg the win.

The question now, it seems, is did Alonso know or was he just the innocent beneficiary of this?

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Went to my first GP this weekend. Monza was incredible. Very noisy. A great experience. I would heartily recommend it to anybody.

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Flavio Briatore has left his position as boss of the Renault team after they decided not to contest charges of fixing the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

Executive director of engineering Pat Symonds has also left the team.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport...one/8258987.stm

This is pretty much an admission of guilt - an admission that they endagered their drivers lives, the lives of other drivers, and deliberalty fixed the result of Singapore 2008 by forcing a safety car. Renault should expect a hefty penalty - I would hope bigger than the one McLaren got for holding Ferrari technical information - and almost certainly will get thrown out of this years constructor's championship. It's unlikely the result of that race will change apparently, though Williams may contest this and try to get Nico Rosberg the win.

The question now, it seems, is did Alonso know or was he just the innocent beneficiary of this?

This sport should no longer be supported! This is even worser than the Fuentes connection in cycling. F1 skip the German GP and get out of my country. What a disgrace...

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A massive blow to the credibility of the sport. I still find it absolutely astonishing that any team would ask one of its drivers to deliberately crash but it certainly appears at first glance now that that is exactly what happened. I assume the departures of Messrs Briatore and Symonds are intended as an effort to lessen the effect of any punishments, which must surely otherwise come and be far more severe than those handed down to McLaren in the spying furore.

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This sport should no longer be supported! This is even worser than the Fuentes connection in cycling. F1 skip the German GP and get out of my country. What a disgrace...

A shame you feel that way. I'd say the sport needs stronger support than ever, and that starts with as Arwebb said, coming down very heavily on Renault and proving the emphasis on safety (one thing the dictatorship at the top of F1 does deserve praise for) is just as important today as it was in the years after the death of Senna. A few rogue elements within a single team and a talentless driver who are no longer in the sport are to blame for this, not F1 itself.

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A shame you feel that way. I'd say the sport needs stronger support than ever, and that starts with as Arwebb said, coming down very heavily on Renault and proving the emphasis on safety (one thing the dictatorship at the top of F1 does deserve praise for) is just as important today as it was in the years after the death of Senna. A few rogue elements within a single team and a talentless driver who are no longer in the sport are to blame for this, not F1 itself.

Rob,

I agree with you but I also regret the way this problem was handled. It was very bad for the sport.

I have been following it through the Brazilian press and information shows that:

1. Nelson Piquet Sr. leaked the information to FIA. He did to get back at Briatore for firing his son, since he was both his personal manager, as well as team manager. Rumors say that Briatore had such high interests in Alonso's (also managed by him) performance to actually sabotage his team mate. There are also rumors that Piquet would buy BMW Sauber which would grant his son a car to drive next year, with the immunity received from FIA.

2. Renault's reaction was confuse. First, they have issued a statement saying that they would file a law suit against the Piquets. Then they announced the dismissal of Briatore and Symonds and communicated that the company would not defend itself from the accusations.

3. Fernando Alonso's role in this is still to be known. It's quite unlikely that he did not know about it.

4. Briatore was so desperate as to give a statement to a Brazilian radio implying that Piquet Jr. is gay. Piquet Sr. had the habit to make similar statements in regards of Senna in the late 80's, after it was clear that the newbie was much more talented than him.

I don't think this story is over. There are a lot of things still to be released and it may get other people in the F1. For sure: Briatore, Symmonds and Piquet Jr. careers are over. Piquet Jr. only stands a chance if his father does buy a F1 team.

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Let's play a game called 'Match the punisment with the crime':

Crime 1: Holding another team's technical data and lying about it

Crime 2: Endangering the lives of drivers, stewards etc. by forcing a dangerous crash and keeping it quiet until someone blows the whilstle

Punishment 1: $100m fine and loss of all contructor's points. A really serious punishment.

Punishment 2: "Don't do it again or you're banned ok?" A slap on the wrist.

Click here to reveal the answer!!

<_<

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If ever we needed an example of the cluelessness of the people who run world motorsport, today has provided one handsomely. These "punishments" are more scandalous in my judgement than the actual offence committed. The whole idea that the FIA apparently considers spying more serious than endangering the lives of staff, marshals and spectators is so distasteful, so utterly despicable, that it renders them incapable of running the sport in my view. All of you, resign if you have any decency left!

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What annoys me most about today is the fact that, for all its obvious problems, the one thing the FIA deserves real praise for is making the sport so much safer than it was. That's one thing they've really got right and, in some ways, this legacy of Max and Bernie's reign at the top outshines all of the scandals. Its effect will certainly be with us longer than the fallout from spygate or the fallout from Mosely's not-so-secret spank sessions. A handful of crashes I've seen in recent years would have killed the driver 15 or 20 years ago, of that I'm certain.

This verdict doesn't undo any of that good work, but it does undermine it. If a team is allowed to deliberately crash a car without any real punishment what message does that send out?

I share your anger Arwebb. This is the most disgustingly lenient decision and one which, and I don't think I'm going too far in saying this, laughs in the face of the safety improvements which Ayrton Senna's death has left us. I wonder what Massa makes of all of this or indeed Alex Zanardi? You have to wonder, don't you?

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Even if 'crashgate' hadn't happened, NPJ's bumbling performances in the cockpit of an F1 car would be a good enough reason not to hire him! :huh:

This scandal merely hammers the final nail into his coffin with regards to his F1 career, which was already pretty much over after he was sacked.

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