The Grand Prix of Singapore should be such a unique event on the Formula 1 calendar. Each racing venue tries to make something different about their race to draw interest from observers. Monaco has its tunnel, Monza has its wide open speed, Spa has its unpredictable weather and Canada has its “Wall of Champions”.
Singapore’s race is run at night, under the lights. The setup is so complex because it’s not run on a regular racing circuit but on city streets. That the race organizers are able to pull this off is a major miracle. It should be the focus of technology and logistics that this who event comes together.
Yet, there’s a huge black cloud over the event.
As a result of hearings this week, it was now revealed that the Renault F1 team conspired last year to fix the event by having Nelson Piquet Junior deliberately crash his car so that the safety car would be deployed, enabling his teammate Fernando Alonzo to win the race.
Using Google’s new advanced features, I’m able to read the following news stories posted within the past 24 hours.
- Shamed Renault chief Pat Symonds admits: I was blinded by loyalty over Crashgate – and it was all Piquet’s idea anyway
- Flavio Briatore undone by evidence of mystery Renault Witness X as complete set of ‘crash-gate’ files are published
- Renault handed suspended race ban for F1 race fix
- Full text of Renault conspiracy ban
- Singapore Flashback 2008 – Ignorance is bliss for Alonso
- Legacy of the conspiracy at Nelson Piquet Jr corner will haunt sport forever
There are and will be many more articles to read as this explodes into the headlines.
Racing car drivers are amazing athletes with skills that we can only wish we have. They can turn these machines on a dime at speeds of over 300 km/h. There are times when you watch races that you swear that the laws of physics don’t apply given the immense skills of those who hold the superlicence required to even get belted into one of these vehicles.
Now, it’s revealed that Piquet deliberately crashed his car at these speeds? We’ve all seen conspiracies and certainly sports have been full of such events as any perceived advantage that results even in a small difference in performance can be the difference between winning and being an also ran. I’m also not so naive to think that all racing teams aren’t looking for that extra advantage that dances on the line between legal and illegal; sporting and non-sporting; ethical and the unethical.
This report just sickens me when I think of the possible outcomes. A bit of a misjudgement could have cost Piquet his life. Or, he might have bounced off the wall into the path of a fellow competitor who hits him at speed. Or, his vehicle or parts of the vehicle could have gone over or through the restraining fence hitting a fan or track official.
While we’re not in on the hearing to determine why but there were different penalties handed to those involved. I’m still trying to sift through it in my mind. I’m sure that there will be more revealed later this morning (later tonight in Singapore) as qualifying happens.
Regardless, the cloud will hang over the the event detracting from what should have been an amazing event.
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