“It was the only time that Renault appeared on the front page of the New York Times”, the phrase of a former F1 boss about the ‘crashgate’


The ‘crashgate’. More than 15 years have passed after an event that still embarrasses the world of F1 to this day. Which has, in 2023, Felipe Massa claiming that World Cup that went to Lewis Hamilton. Which left a victory for Fernando Alonso at that time at Renault after his time at McLaren. And what good could there have been? Completely finished with the diamond mark.

Because they did deliberately crashing Nelsinho Piquet. Because they ordered him to go against the wall for the sake of his contract and to favor to Alonso in Marina Bay. In Singapore. So that a ‘safety car’ appeared on the track just at the moment when the Asturian was doing best. Yes, all the necessary ingredients for a good punishment.

However only two heads rolled. The heads of Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds. The brains of everything. The architects of ‘Crashgate’. Those responsible for everything in a team that already included Cyril Abiteboul.

“The question is…”

In which there was already the person who would end up being the boss of Renault and who was going to be the boss in Alonso’s time in the renowned Alpine team. But, in that distant 2008, his work practically lacked responsibility.

Now he has spoken in statements reported in ‘SoyMotor’ about what happened in Singapore 2008: “It was the only time in history that Renault has been on the front page of the New York Times.

“The question is whether that Was it really good publicity or not?says the Frenchman.

Of course, he is grateful that everything stayed where it did: “Flavio and Symonds were the brains of everything. The only ones who fell. The rest of the team was able to survive, although in terms of reputation…”

“At that time I was an idiot”

“At that time I was an idiot. I had no idea what was happening. We thought everything was incredible, that life moved on. It was in the spring of 2009 when everything came to light,” he says.

That’s when everything exploded: “I had to deal with legal issues, which coordinate the investigation with lawyers.”

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