F1 commercial right boss Bernard Ecclestone says he is worried that the current investigation could anger Renault and they would follow Honda in leaving the sport. This according to the story at the Independent today.
“This is not the sort of thing we need at the moment,” Ecclestone said. “I think it will piss off Renault, and them leaving the sport is a danger. I hope that it isn’t like that, but it’s the sort of thing that might happen.”
It seems the FIA assaulted Spa this weekend with interviews of key figures including Fernando Alonso and Pat Symonds of the Renault F1 team. According to Flavio Briatore, team boss, he knows nothing about any of these allegations. But according to the Independent, an FIA source said:
“There were interviews going on all weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, and other issues above and beyond Singapore are also to be looked at.”
So the investigation broadens in scope apparently and that doesn’t look or sound too good to be honest. We’ll see if this plays out.
Of course there is the other possibility that this is the actions of a disgruntled former driver, Nelson Piquet Jnr, who is also managed by Flavio Briatore and has been very vocal in the last few weeks of his manager and the treatment he recieved while at Renault.
The FIA must find the evidence compelling and I am unaware of what that evidence includes but to start interviews and a full investigation seems drastic if the sport’s governing body felt Piquet was just blowing smoke. Also at play could be the brand equity issues Renault would face in Brazil, currently a market for their products, if they are perceived of giving Piquet the short end of the stick.
This is two episodes of drama that Alonso has been involved in as well and should this prove to be a true story, he’ll also have a hard time convincing fans that he is not participating in cloak and dagger routines as he has been the center of controversy with the McLaren espionage event and now the Renault concerns over the Singapore Grand Prix.
I notice, on Twitter, Piquet sent a tweet to Juan Pablo Montoya last night asking him to call the young Brazilian as apparently Montoya doesn’t follow Piquet on twitter thus making the post/tweet public. He said the he needed to talk to him and wanted Montoya to send a direct message or call him. Maybe some advice from the veteran racer could come in handy or Piquet just wanted to go for ice cream with his old friend…who knows.