The Italian businessman and Renault F1 team principal Flavio Briatore, who is often seen with models and wearing expensive jewelry, is used to success. Not only in his businesses – he can claim five F1 team titles for himself. He also had his part in leading Schuhmacher and Alonso to triumph.
On the other hand Briatore is known for controversial opinions and other upheavels in Formula 1. He was connected to the F1 espionage scandal 2007 with Renault and proposed to bring more emotion to the races as opposed to technical details in order to gain more viewers. But so far, Briatore has steered around big scandals.
But this new accusation could have dire consequences for Briartore: Nelson Piquet jr. was allegedly ordered by him to crash in the 2008 Singapur Grand-Prix to force a safety-car situation, according to Brazilian tv station GloboTV. What is arousing even more suspicion is that Fernando Alonso had a refuel just before the crash. These two occurences, planned or not, were an advantage for Fernando Alonso. He went on to win the race. Connected to this allegation is the rumor that Briatore in return offered the only moderately successful Piquet a job guarantee for 2008.
Nelson Picquet jr. had later been sacked by Briatore in 2009. Picquet has left no questions open about his opinion on his former boss, calling him his “executioner” on his personal website. It is not improbable that the accusations could stem out of the Piquet’s clan periphery. Piquet sr. is noted in the F1 circus for his particularly rude attitude.
The Fia ordered an extraordinary meeting on September 21 this year to discuss the allegations with Renault F1 representatives. The also scandal-ridden Max Mosley has taken initiative and ordered the P.I. agency “Quest”, which he had also used in the 2007 espionage scandal, to facilitate the investigation against Renault. Until the hearing, the Renault team has vowed to stay silent about the issue, including Briatore.