According to the BBC, Nelson Piquet Jr. and his father Nelson Piquet have won a libel case against former employer Renault F1. The issue arose when Renault had accused the Piquet’s of lying in the wake of the Singapore “crash-gate” saga of 2009 that saw team boss Flavio Briatore and technical director Pat Symonds relieved of their duties at Renault. While Briatore has claimed innocence in the matter, it seems the Piquet’s were also done wrong by the statements the team made regarding the claims and suggesting it was attempted blackmail. Piquet attorney Dominic Crossley said in a statement
“Today the Renault Formula 1 team apologised in the High Court for defaming my two clients, the motor racing father and son Nelson and Nelsinho Piquet.
“They were both treated appallingly by Renault F1 when they dared to reveal the scandal to the governing body.
“Nelson Piquet dominated F1 during the early 80s and his reputation as a motorsport legend should remain untarnished by this saga. F1 has been deprived of the best of Nelsinho and it is to its detriment that his talent is now being demonstrated elsewhere.
“Whilst neither of them should ever have had to prove Renault F1’s allegations false they are both delighted with the successful conclusion of the case.
“This marks the start rather than the end of the long journey they are both taking to correct many of the wrongs that took place during last year’s “crash-gate” scandal.”
So there is work left to be done? Are there more lawsuits in store for the Piquet family? Or is that just leaving the door open for litigation should they feel motivated? I understand they feel they were treated poorly by Renault but when everything is boiled down to its basics; Piquet deliberately crashed and was a part of the conspiracy to cheat. Sorry, that doesn’t absolve him of any wrongdoing in my book and a victory against libel doesn’t change my opinion.
Should the Piquet’s be held in scorn for the rest of the living days? No, of course not. I think the episode was a horrible mistake on Nelson Jr’s part and perhaps he can find another career in racing but I also can’t help but think a lot of this is being spurred on by his father.
I get the impression Nelson Piquet Jr would just like to race and get on with life. Some things will always stay with us but the young man should be given a chance for redemption and getting this episode behind us is the best thing for him. Continuing litigation isn’t really the best path forward for the young man in my estimation as it always keeps the incident front and foremost in everyone’s mind. What he did was wrong, take the accountability and move on. Battling in court over semantics for your son, when was a participant in the incident, isn’t really doing anything good for his future in my opinion.