If you are anything like me NASCAR just really doesn’t do it for you. Watching countless cars make left turns isn’t your idea of a good time. Formula 1 on the other hand is something I can at least tolerate for a short period of time. Formula 1 is the highest class of single-seat auto racing that is sanctioned by the FIA (Federation international automobile). Crash gate was one of the most profound controversies to every happen in F1 racing.
Controversy and sports almost go hand in hand. But what made this situation so profound is the the personal safety aspect of it, namely the safety of the drivers and the audience.
Here’s what happened. At the Singapore Grand prix in September of 2008, Nelson Piquet Jr crashed into the wall on one of the turns on the 14th lap of the race, deploying the safety car due to the location of the crash. Pretty normal I would assume. Piquet’s teammate Fernando Alonso went on to win the race. Both racers drove for Renault.
About a year later, Piquet was released from Renault. He was extremely upset about it and later came out saying that the crash had been on purpose due to orders from higher up. Uh-oh, not good for anyone involved. What did this mean for the FIA, Renault, Piquet, or even the sport of F1, as something like this could certainly tarnish the sport.
The FIA took action right away disqualifying Renault from F1 and suspending them for 2 years. Managing director for Renault, Flavio Briatore, was suspended from all Formula 1 events and FIA sanctioned events indefinitely, and the executive director for Renault received a 5 year ban.
As you can imagine there was a lot of finger pointing as to who was really to blame and where these orders came from. So the FIA did what I feel they had to do under the circumstances to save their image.
And when it was all said and done, Fernando Alonso, the teammate who originally won the race, still won, it wasn’t taken from him.