Nelson Piquet Junior has admitted deliberately crashing at the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, to bring out the safety car and, while everyone else was scurrying to refuel, bring team-mate Alonso – who has already refuelled – to the front of the pack. Deliberate or not, it worked.
However, some numpty, commenting on an article about this at the Times online, was moved to come over all macho and say:-
“Shame because he only revealed the whole thing for revenge….And shame on his father for not teaching him how to be a man.”
Oh, please – enough with the macho posturing. If this is true, Piquet not only put his own life on the line, but, in theory at least, the lives of everyone else on the track, to benefit Alonso and Renault. Not a man? FFS, if that didn’t take balls of steel, I don’t know what does.
OK, his actions, if true, were totally reprehensible (check out the video here – a totally bizarre crash for an accident, ricocheting off one wall, into a 180, to wind up scraping along the opposite wall and facing the wrong way – the perfect shunt to spread debris across the track), but what did he get as a reward? He was canned by Flavio Briatore, in a move that baffles me utterly – Flav might just as well have put a loaded gun to his own head. And, oh look, now the trigger’s been pulled…
Assuming this is all true (he said, covering his ass), had Briatore treated young Piquet more honourably, properly rewarding him for his actions, in a manner that reflected his substantial risk, this whole sorry affair would never have come to light, and if it winds up taking both him and Renault down (and what of Alonso, who has shown himself to be less than honourable while at McLaren – could he actually not know what was going on?), he has only himself to blame.
You’d think Briatore, even though, for whatever reason, he desperately wanted Piquet out of the team, would have remembered a line from The Godfather – Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. By firing Piquet, he lost a co-conspirator and made a dangerous enemy who was then beyond his control.
Revenge? Damn right!
Read Piquet’s statement to the FIA here.
Finally, a note for all those people – and they are very many – who think that crashing on purpose, without winding up dead or injured is impossible, just remember that there are people who do just that for a living – stunt drivers. Are F1 drivers any less skilled?