Previously unreleased radio communications between Renault team chief Flavio Briatore and Nelson Piquet, during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, has been made public.
Dubbed Crashgate by the media: a sporting scandal perpetrated by the Renault F1 team who ordered Piquet to crash deliberately during the race at Marina Bay Circuit, to gain an advantage for his Renault team-mate Fernando Alonso.
On 28 September 2008, on the 14th lap of the Singapore race, the Renault R28 driven by Piquet crashed into the circuit wall at Turn 17, necessitating a safety car period to clear the wreck.
The other Renault driver, Fernando Alonso, had previously made an early pitstop and was promoted to the race lead as other cars pitted under safety car conditions.
Alonso subsequently won the race after starting 15th on the grid. Piquet described his crash at the time as a simple mistake, but since then revealed that he was ordered to crash under duress which resulted in a ban for Briatore and Pat Symonds.
Now recordings have emerged suggesting the flambouyant Italian inadvertently ordered the crash. Here is the full transcript of tapes that we have in our possession:
Flav: Good going Fernando keep-a dah pushing. I know-a it is getting dark and we do not-a have headlights, but keep-a dah pushing. No problem-o. Fernando: Hmmm (Click as Alonso apparently switches off his radio) Piquet: (Static crackling) What? Long pause with racing sounds and radio crackling in the background followed by a ringtone. After several rings. Flav: Pronto! Cara mia why you call-a me when-a I am-a working? Wife: Sweet heart I am calling because it is important. And I am your wife afterall! Flav: Yes I know you are-a my wife! Wait-a second darling… Nelsinho keep-a it steady, Fernando is strong-a and you just keep-a it steady. At least you are not-a last. If you finish-a last I will-a get-a some other guy to drive-a my car!!! Piquet: (Static crackling) What? Flav: Darling what-a is this-a problem-a that-a you must call me when I work-a? Wife: There is a big box which has been dropped off at our apartment that says V-I-A-G-R-A on the side in big letters. And my mother is here visiting and….. Flav: Why-a they deliver on-a Sunday my-a monthly supply. Imbeciles. Piquet: (Static crackling) What? Wife: What do you want me to do with the box? Flav: Put-a it in the hall! Piquet: (Static crackling) What? Wife: Are you sure you want it in the hall, my darl…. Piquet: (Static crackling) What? Flav: I say put-a it in the hall? (Shouting) Four or five seconds silence followed by a big crash sound followed by scraping. Followed by another several seconds of silence. Flav: Cara mia I must a-go. (Almost a whisper) We have-a big-a problem-o! (Click) Frantic indecipherable shouting. Flav: Nelsinho what-a you do? Piquet: (Static crackling) You said put it in the wall…. Flav: No stupido I was speaking-a with my wife!!! (Shouting) I say-s to her put-a it in the hall, my Viagra. You are-a stupido, cretino… Sound of headset being flung and many Italian expletives. Long pause. Piquet: (Static crackling) Sorry.
End of recording.
Note: This article was an April Fools spoof. Thanks Flavio Briatore!