Definition of Crashgate

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"Crashgate" is a Formula 1 controversy revolving around the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

It emerged in 2009 that the Renault F1 Team had instructed their driver, Nelson Piquet Jr., to deliberately crash during the race to bring out a safety car. The deployment of the safety car would then give an advantage to Piquet's teammate, Fernando Alonso, who subsequently won the race.

In photo:  Fernando Alonso in his Renault F1 car.  The meaning of the term Crashgate is explained.  A scandal at the Singapore Grand Pirx 2008.The planned crash and the team orders came to light in 2009 when both Nelson Piquet Jr. and his father revealed the strategy after Piquet Jr. was dropped from the Renault team.

Following an investigation by the FIA (The Federation Internationale de l'Automobile), managing director Flavio Briatore and executive director of engineering Pat Symonds left the Renault team. The FIA subsequently banned Briatore from any FIA-sanctioned event indefinitely, and Symonds received a five-year ban. However, in 2010, a French court overturned the bans, stating that the FIA had exceeded its authority. Renault, as a team, was not penalized due to their swift action in admitting guilt and letting go of the involved personnel.


In more recent days the Crashgate scandal has resurfaced, because the driver Felipe Massa, who would have won the championship that year had the results of the Singapore Grand Prix been thrown out, is suing the governing body FIA and wants his title. We will see how this plays out in the courts.