I’ve been outspoken about my feelings toward Nelson Piquet Jnr and his part in the Singapore Race-fixing scandal.

It seems I may not be alone in my criticism. While many the world over heap justification and praise on Piquet Jnr, I am comforted by the fact that the head of the Spanish Motorsport Federation, Carlos Gracia, seems to share my doubts about immunity for Piquet as well as how he should be treated within the world of motorsport. Autosport ran the story here quoting Spanish radio Onda Cero:

“This kid, if it was up to me, wouldn’t be allowed to walk blind people on the sidewalk,”. “It’s such yobbish behaviour from which he has also benefited, because, like he says in his sworn statement, he did it so he would get a contract renewal for 2009, and he will be paid until the end of the year.

“In that case this is a person should not only be sanctioned by the Council and the FIA, but he should also be prosecuted in an ordinary court.

“I found out through the press that Mr Nelsinho was going to get immunity. It would be a total shamelessness if this happened in the FIA.”

“He is a silly kid who doesn’t know if he has pushed the throttle or not, because it’s no coincidence that he’s had 17 accidents since he’s been at Renault,”.

“The father has an uncontrollable kid and he is a resentful parent. And when they turn the fan on, they try to get the s**t to hit as many people as possible.”

“Renault is a very serious company,”. “It’s a company that has been in the world of motorsport for many years, without any kind of immorality, and if the immorality was caused because of those two gentlemen, then it’s a good thing that they are out of Formula 1.

“Because be it Flavio Briatore, as big as his name is, or be it the engineer, what’s clear is that we don’t want these people in Formula 1.”

So…either I have been horribly wrong about Nelsinho or I am justified by Carcia’s statements. Of course I guess we could both be considered wrong but where’s the fun in that?

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Pete BarrettraithroverAndrew Recent comment authors

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The issues here are potentially criminal – recklessly endangering life. Manipulation – whether in the form of cheating, or in the form of disproportionate penalties – is an undesirable, but apparently all too common facet of F1. There have been suggestions that drivers have become pawns in the high-level political games. None of this is really important in the context of substantially increasing an already real level of risk of injuries or deaths. This incident should now be handled as if it had happened on a motorway – it is shocking.


The FIA could have moved against Renault last year but they didn’t want to attempt anything without the statement of Pique. Hence the Immunity situation, whilst not ideal its the only way to bring about this overall result.

Pete Barrett
Pete Barrett

The FIA say they consider the breaches relating to the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix to be of unparalleled severity. Yet they decide it is inappropriate that Renault should suffer any greater penalty than two years probation. It’s unbelievable that Renault is even being allowed to retain their points and trophy for Alonso’s fixed victory. It is not enough to penalise only the individual employees, Renault must take some collective responsibility for the action of their staff, even if they are sacked. They certainly should not be allowed to retain the 2009 points benefit gained by this unsavoury affair. FIA, spineless… Read more »