Today his former team, Renault, have been called before an extraordinary meeting of the World Motorsport Council (WMSC) to answer charges they, along with Piquet, conspired to cause an accident that would benefit Fernando Alonso in Singapore last year.
The official FIA document, a delightfully short press release, details how “representatives of ING Renault F1” have been called to the meeting on September 21.
There is nothing there about ‘representatives of Mr. Piquet’, and given his split from the team I find it difficult to believe that the FIA would include him as part of the team ordered to attend.
Now, those of you who watched last year’s Singapore Grand Prix will recall that Piquet himself had a rather crucial part to play in the accident in question.
He was behind the wheel.
If, as you suspect if this is true Piquet was given orders over the radio, or even before the race to crash soon after Alonso made his pitstop, Nelson (presuming he was in possession of a spine at the time) had the opportunity to go ‘no’ and carry on racing.
No Safety Car.
And probably no win for Alonso.
Of course, the explicit absence of Piquet from the FIA press release may be because they wish to punish Renault (the team, presumably, ultimately responsible for the order, and the party involved still competing in F1) first, before then moving on to place any sanctions on Piquet.
However, there is the chance that Piquet has been given some sort of ‘free pass’ as it’s his honesty, some year after the fact, that has brought the matter to the FIA’s attention.
And if that’s true Piquet may have got exactly what he wanted – public distain upon Renault and the men who run the team, including Flavio Briatore, who Piquet labelled his “executioner” after his sacking by the team.
However, the fact that the FIA have even deemed there to be enough substance to the claim to call this extraordinary meeting suggest there is more to this story than the ‘jilted ex-employee invents a story to get revenge’ some (or at least me) thought it was when it first emerged.
Now, it’s doubtful any extra evidence is in the form of in-race radio transmissions, as these are all made available to, at least, FOM (hence we get the delayed snippets during the race) if not the FIA, so anything less than curious code would have been noticed before now.
So what exactly is this evidence?
Has someone else at Renault come forward?
Have the FIA found a convenient piece of paper someone at Renault HQ wishes they’d have shredded?
Or, and all aboard the Cynic-mobile here, have the FIA discovered another way to get back at Renault after the punishment for the loose wheel at Hungary punishment was overturned?