Briatore: Piquets' stance not a surprise

Renault boss Flavio Briatore says it has been tough for his team to cope with the accusations levelled at them by former driver Nelson Piquet and his father - but he is not totally surprised at the way things have turned out

Briatore: Piquets' stance not a surprise

Briatore believes that the race-fix claims levelled at him and his team, which he has denied and is taking legal action against the Piquets over, follows a pattern of besmirching that Piquet Sr carried throughout his F1 career.

One of his most famous outbursts came in a magazine interview when he was still driving, when the three-time champion accused Ayrton Senna of being gay and said that Nigel Mansell's wife was 'ugly'. Those remarks caused outrage at the time.

"We know Nelson's story, he's always run down everyone," explained Briatore at Monza. "Nelson drove for me and... Nelson is blackmailing, and that's what we have brought.

"It's very tough for Renault to have had these put downs from Nelsinho and from Piquet Sr, but then we know Piquet Sr. He has always denigrated everyone - starting from [Ayrton] Senna, to Mansell's wife, to everyone. That's what Piquet Sr has always done. I know him well because he raced for us, I know Sr better than Jr."

Briatore has also said that the complaints from Piquet Jr extended beyond pure racing terms - as he revealed he was also accused by the Brazilian of wrecking friendships he had.

"He [Nelsinho] has also heavily accused me of breaking his relationship with a friend of his. I don't want to be accused unfairly, so I want to say that I did it because Nelsinho's father asked me to," explained Briatore.

"Nelsinho used to live with this gentleman: the nature of their relationship is unknown. His father was very worried about the relationship Nelsinho used to have with this 50-year-old man. They used to live together, and his father asked me to intervene.

"I made this gentleman not come to races anymore, and I made Nelsinho move from Oxford to London in a building where I live, in order to keep him under control.

"I was asked to by his father, and now Nelsinho accuses me of having even taken his friends away from him - I don't know what kind of friends these are, but he accuses me of that."

Briatore's claims about Piquet come amid the surfacing of fresh details about the events of the day at Singapore and how he crashed his car on purpose.

In a second statement that Piquet supplied to the FIA at the office of investigative agency Quest in London on August 15, Piquet reveals that he was summoned into Briatore's office for the alleged meeting where the crash plan was discussed between 4pm and 5pm on race day.

He says the meeting did not last very long - and he was asked not to speak about what was discussed.

"In the course of the meeting, Briatore said very little," claimed Piquet in his FIA statement, a copy of which has been seen by AUTOSPORT. "As the meeting drew to a close, Mr. Symonds told me that I should not speak about the plan with anyone else and said that he would give me further instructions shortly. I believe the meeting in Mr Briatore's office lasted no more than ten minutes."

After claiming that Symonds later told him where to crash on the track, Piquet provided further evidence about how he deliberately caused the accident.

"After ensuring I was on the designated lap of the race, I deliberately lost control of my car on the exit to turn 17. I did this by pressing hard and early on the throttle.

"As I felt the back end of the car drifting out, I continued to press hard on the throttle, in the knowledge that this would lead to my car making heavy contact with the concrete wall on the far side of the track and thereby cause a crash necessitating the deployment of the safety car."

He added: "Once the back end of the car had begun to drift out, the only way of recovering control of the car and avoiding a contact with the concrete wall would have been to back off on the throttle.

"However, I did not back off the throttle to any material extent. Rather, I pressed hard on the throttle beyond the moment at which the back end started to drift out and, indeed, right up to and beyond the point of impact with the concrete wall."

Piquet's claims about how he caused the crash have been backed up by telemetry data of the incident, which forms part of the evidence against the Renault team at the World Motor Sport Council hearing that takes place in Paris on September 21.

shares
comments
Horner reckons Button now vulnerable
Previous article

Horner reckons Button now vulnerable

Next article

Mosley says third car plan a 'fantasy'

Mosley says third car plan a 'fantasy'
Load comments
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Plus

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. JAMES NEWBOLD hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwarts

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Plus

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Plus

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021 Plus

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in F1 2021

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as STUART CODLING finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton Plus

The original F1 maestro who set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls a remarkable champion

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Plus

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Autosport heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Plus

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Plus

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. MARK GALLAGHER ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022