As we wait for Monday's decision with regards to the Piquet-Renault case, I would suggest the larger scandal is how Formula 1 has dealt with this issue so far, it has been a trial by media, using leaked information with the end results that, unless there is a videotape of Briatore propositioning Piquet Jr. we will never really learn the truth behind this affair. Why Renault, why Briatore, why now?
"I asked him, what should I do? Bernie answered, 'screw him"
This again is a mysteriously out in the public domain declaration of Nelson Piquet Sr to the investigative agency Quest, in charge of gathering the facts of the inquest.
Piquet Sr., according to the revelations in today's Corriere della Sera, brought his accusations against Renault and Briatore to FIA chief steward Charlie Whiting's attention before last year's Brazilian GP. "It cannot be proved" was the official's response.
Piquet then kept quiet up until just before the Hungarian GP, Nelson's Jr's last race before he was sacked, when papa Piquet testified he has his exchange with Ecclestone and told him the the crashgate story.
Ecclestone's answer? " Charlie already told me the whole story but we cannot prove anything unless someone comes out and testifies"
So the FIA and FOM knew about the allegations of the case but did nothing for almost a year? nice. If you take it to the dramatic extreme that would make Ecclestone, and Whiting perhaps, co-conspirators?
And if Briatore was being blackmailed by the Piquets why did he cut Nelson's salary by half a million dollars and add a "non performance" clause? Surely Briatore had been in F1 long enough to know he had a vulnerability. Not to mention that cutting Nelson's salary would mean less pocket change for himself as his manager.
Or did Briatore have assurances the FIA would not pursue the matter?
This summer Renault was nearly given a two race ban for the lost wheel incident in, imagine that, Hungary. The ban was overturned at a meeting where the FIA stewards did not even show up. Brawn GP was not given any penalty for a spring falling out of their car and nearly killing Felipe Massa. Why is that?
So again why Renault and why now. As we said before and continue to maintain, the leaked dossier's information, especially the radio transcriptions prove absolutely nothing, in fact could be readily interpreted as showing Piquet wrong.
The only facts we know for sure is that Renault was put in a situation where they know they had already been convicted in the court of public opinion and that they had no hope to get a fair hearing in the court of king Max and decided it better bend over and plead for mercy. Another FOTA member bites the dust.
And here is the rest of it.