September 22, 2009

Don't tell my mother I work at the FIA...

...she thinks I play piano in a bordello.

The latest FIA verdict has succeeded in the seemingly impossible, turning public opinion even more against the FIA and Formula 1. The only thing the Piquet-Renault verdict put in the open is the desperate need for motor racing to have the courage to not just, as Ari Vatanen has advocated, "open the windows and let fresh air in" but rather seal the FIA's windows and fumigate the place.

Here are, to paraphrase the immortal words of Donald Rumsfeld, some "Guessable Unknowns":

Why was Renault allowed to make an undisclosed but "significant contribution to the FIA's road safety campaign" yet allowed to keep the money derived from the points gained in Singapore and the subsequent 4th place in the championship?

CG might confirm but I'm guessing fines and "contributions" get reported in different ways on financial ledgers...
Where is the proof against Briatore? all we have seen is a leaked document which contained no actual proof at all. Proof surely exists, why not release it?
By not releasing evidence the FIA can shield itself from any legal recourse from Briatore, Renault effectively accused Briatore, technically the FIA merely reacted to Renault's admission of guilt on Briatore's behalf.
UPDATE: the Witness X factor, again, the FIA states it was Renault who found him, name is not given....
Why did the FIA leak the dossier to the press?
Curiously ahead of the verdict Mosley declared "there is no way to find out who leaked it"....right, see above.
Members of the World Council have admitted not reading the incriminating evidence ahead of Monday's tribunal yet the hearing took only a couple of hours...
there is an election in a month, you want FIA council member to start making waves now?
If the FIA had known about this incident for a year, why wait until now?
Revenge is a dish best served cold.
Briatore is many things but he's a clever man, why would he fire Piquet as he did if he knew they shared a similar secret?
we'll have to wait for either the lawsuit or the book...

And now the "Unguessable Unknowns":

-Why did Ecclestone "turn" on his frienemy Flavio?

-How is it possible for Nelson Piquet Jr. to escape this affair without even a reprimand and now attempt to portray himself as the victim?

-How is it possible nobody else in the Renault squad knew?

-Briatore is famously ignorant of F1 specifics, technical or strategic, yet now we are expected to believe he was the originator of this "brilliant" evil plan?

Why was this "intentional crash" so much worse that any number of other similar ones?
Piquet's audition for is upcoming stuntman career was certainly not the first intentional crash in F1: Shumacher in Monaco, Schumacher in Jerez....even Schumacher in Adelaide. And what about Prost in Japan and the following year, probably the most egregious intentional crash of all, Senna attempted murder of the Frenchman.... Put down to individual action of course, nobody ever heard of a formula 1 team cheating to win, right?

Your comments have been great of late...don't be shy!

And here is the rest of it.


  1. Dear Axis of Oversteer guy: I like your analysis. (I also like comments from a guy named Finn who posts over at James Allen's sometimes.) You seem to understand that this is a private circus, and not a public trust... Which works to Bernie's advantage in nuanced as well as obvious ways.

    Because each F1 season appears with cometlike regularity, like the opening of school or the start of a legislative season, most people can't help but think of it as some great public institution. So when scandals happen, they presume the same procedural cleanliness is at work as were there an allegation of bribery in the United States Supreme court.

    But on top of that, people will nonetheless want to say weird things. For example: "Of course Alonso knew! He had to have known!" When you ask why, they say "Because he had to have known!" again, as if it were evidence. (As you note, this applies equally to Briatore, and for all we know, Symonds.)

    So I think there's an super-carnivorous bloodlust here... People want to see scalps that they don't get from crises in genuine public institutions.

    Of course, when F1's "justice" is delivered, many players will have their needs met in subtle ways: Bernie's web is sturdy because it's intricate. As the meeting breaks up, different parties will be saying different things, and every audience will have a champion.

    The fact that it's all filthy as Hell doesn't matter. Listen, after turning away in about 1974, I only returned to watching F1 a couple years ago. It's been crisis after crisis, and Bernie's never broken a sweat. Being seedy isn't merely forgiven by the fans, it's a big part of the sport league's charm. Anybody want to look up Ecclestone's comments last week, as people will microphones in their hands and pee in their pants were chasing him down at airports? "I'm sure they'll work this out..."

    Golly. Surprise. He was right.

    - Cridland (cridcomment at gmail)

  2. Looks a lot like a personal vendetta being played here, in combination with a change to weaken FOTA, and of course, Mad Max' apparent desire to leave with a bang.
    All under the clouds of "Once the lights to out, the racing starts and everyone forgets ... for 2 hours or so."

  3. "-Briatore is famously ignorant of F1 specifics, technical or strategic, yet now we are expected to believe he was the originator of this "brilliant" evil plan?"

    Well, that could easily arise from Germany 2008, where Piquet, having already been fairly useless, nearly won from a well timed Safety car.

  4. someone else did know, "Witness X" discovered by Renault according to

    Can i throw a conspiracy theory into the mix (albeit not a very good one, more like adding 2 + 2 and coming up with 476)
    Maybe Max's own investigation found that Flav was involved in the sex scandal setup.....

  5. To use an English term and describe the outcome of the "crashgate": Briatore got his ass handed to him.

    The aggravant to Briatore was that he wielded too much power being both the big boss and the manager of Piquet Jr., attracting little sympathy toward himself. I saw a comment by Alain Prost along those lines that part of the problem was Briatore being a drivers manager as well.

    Briatore simply decided to sink with his ship. Piquet Jr. was not the captain, just a rat that jumped the ship when it was feasible. Piquet Sr. was said to stop talking to the son when the Sr. came to know what had happened in Singapore. Since then, Sr. might have been trying to amend the career of the son because since then it has been a downhill sort of affair to the point that if Jr. disappeared from the Earth he would not be entirely missed by a couple of those big shots that became "distraught" with the "crashgate" outcome.

    The F1 circus is full of clowns and you want any one single clown to save the day like Mickey Mouse? No way. ;-)

    I mean, the show both must go on and the show is not the monopoly of individuals but of groups of them that make it all work -- or not. ;-) Even Mosley and Ecclestone have to hit the ceiling of their individual powers every now and then.

    The problem for Briatore is perhaps what Piquet Sr. said: he probably thought he could walk on water given all his powers.

    Briatore is not a genius to have delved a masterful plan, but the crash was not very technical and Symonds filled in the blanks for sure. Briatore's reaction of first saying on the radio after the crash "Piquet is not a driver, OMG!" after Piquet crashed for the Nth time was as surprising and revealing as any other proof that water was getting into the ship.

    Renault turning its back on Briatore had to come one day, even more when Briatore lied in Carlos Ghosn's face saying it was all a plot and lies directed toward him.

    Carlos Ghosn can walk on water.

  6. well to me is seems that it was NPJs idea. thats what symonds said. and to say this is him even worth a 5 year ban from F1. he deliberately choose not to take advantage of the immunity and sticks to his version. and it is possible that NPJ was under such a great pressure by briatore that he really came up with this plan himself in order to proove his worthness to the great master briatore... this is supported by the fact that piquet got only EUR 1MIO for 2009 ( 0.5MIO less than 2008). if it would have been briatores idea NPJ would get have gotten more money.

    that is at least the way i see it... :)

  7. I have no doubt that Symond's and Witness X are truthful in identifying Piquet as the originator of the plan.

    It is ridiculous that he did not receive a revocation of his super license.


nRelate Posts Only