According to former F1 driver Eddie Irvine; the row over the Singapore race-fixing incident involving Nelson Piquet Jnr, Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds is really just a shade of cheatin which happens in F1 more than we all would like to admit.
Irvine told the Telegraph:
“Formula One has always been a war and in war all is fair,” the former Jordan and Ferrari driver said.
“When I was in various teams you would do anything to win. Back in the day it was normal.”
“This is probably slightly on the wrong side of the cheating thing but in days past every team have done whatever they could to win – cheat, bend the rules, break the rules, sabotage opponents,” he claimed. “This is just the FIA going on a crusade.”
Apparently this kind of thing is not as far fetched as one might imagine. Even the Daily has taken the liberty of assembling some “cheating” in F1 that shook the paddock in times past. You can see it here.
So what makes this different? Many in the media have made a very big point that there was potential for risk in that a marshal, fan or other driver or even Piquet himself could have been seriously injured so this gives the situation a much greater gravity. But no one was hurt. The fact is, as the incident involving Jacques Villenueve in Australia 2001 proves, this could happen at any moment in any race irrespective of if it was purposeful or if another driver purposely put his competitor in the wall etc.
The series is dangerous and perhaps the fact is that Nelson Piquet’s crash did place peoples lives in danger is reason enough to seek criminal charges but some have suggested that Briatore could be extradited to Singapore over criminal charges based upon:
Part One of the First Schedule of the Singapore Extradition Act reads ‘acts done with the intention of endangering vehicles, vessels or aircraft’ as an extraditable crime.
So what do you think? Nelson jnr. gets a free pass as he was a victim in all of this and the young, impressionable mind had no choice but to crash in order to survive? I am intrigued by the amount of Piquet Jnr. justification, apologetics and exoneration to be honest. As I recall, Nelson actually crashed his car. The argument is that he was manipulated and coerced into doing so…really? Like Lewis Hamilton was coerced to lie in Australia 2009? Even our friend Keith Collantine has suggested that Fernando Alonso has some obligation in this mayhem of giving back the trophy and results from the race as he was the benefactor of the dubious plan. A point well made as Mr. Collantine usually does. Fair enough but while we are all focusing on Flavio, Pat, Fernando and Renault…have we overlooked Nelson Piquet Jnr? He surely is as culpable as the others isn’t he?