Nelsinho Piquet supports Felipe Massa, but says he doesn’t know if he would battery the car on purpose again

Pilot talks about the Singapore GP on podcast with Reginaldo Leme and is sincere when analyzing what happened

The controversy surrounding the Singapore GP 2008 continues to move the world of speed. After Bernie Ecclestone say last week that he knew about the scandal involving Renault It is Felipe Massa confirm that it will look for a way to contest the title that season, Nelson Piquet commented on the case. In an episode of On the Tracks podcast, the former F-1 driver was direct when recalling the situation.

“I’ve never said much about it. I think Felipe and his team have to do what’s best. It’s an opportunity to talk about what I went through. A lot of people judge without knowing what I went through. I left home at 16 , I won a Formula 3 with a Brazilian team, I started testing Formula 1 cars and got closer to the dream. I had the opportunity to be invited by the world champion team, in 2006, with a contract to be a test driver and then to be a team driver. In 2007, due to a change in the training rule, I practically didn’t ride. To help, Alonso had the confusion with Hamilton and in 2008, which would be my first year, he returned to Renault. If you think so he’s in Formula 1 today, imagine 15 years ago”, commented Nelsinho.

“I had a lot of difficulties, which I knew would happen, but it was even more. That way, with each race, the pressure was increasing and it was complicated. At each GP I was always three, four tenths behind Alonso and Flávio’s pressure (Briatori) was huge. When race weekend came they had me up against the wall and it happened. If you ask me today if I would do what I did, the obvious answer is no. But putting me in the same position as me I was, with all the pressure, everything they said at each race, I don’t know how to answer. I think what I can answer is that if I could change something, it would be not to enter Formula 1 completely alone as I did”, he analyzed.

Still remembering the whole episode, Nelsinho Piquet pointed out that, even though he was responsible for the accident that generated the whole issue of the Singapore GP, he was not banned from Formula 1 like the others involved.

“Everyone thinks I was banned from Formula 1 and that’s not true. It was Flavio Briatore and Pat Simmons. I didn’t stay because my time there made me lose the will to race, I lost the will to race. Thanks to God, after all, I got a phone from the US for a test in Nascar and after the test, the passion came back and I got everything that happened, with a title in Nascar and Formula E”, he explained.

Guest of the podcast Pelas Pistas em question, Reginaldo Leme, a journalist with more than 50 years of experience in Formula 1, questioned Piquet why he did not talk to his father about the pressure from Briatore and Simmons for him to crash on purpose in the GP from singapore.

“I don’t remember to tell you. It was too much time difference to call and I don’t remember for sure the moment when the two put me against the wall, if it was on Friday or Saturday”, he finished.

Understand Singaporegate

The so-called “Singapuragate”, one of the most rumored cases in the history of F-1, happened in September 2008, in the 15th of 18 races that season. At the time, Massa was disputing the title with Hamilton. It was the race’s pole position and he was leading the race when Nelsinho Piquet suffered a crash, which changed the course of the dispute. Fernando Alonso, from the same Renault team as Nelsinho, ended up winning that GP.

A year later, Nelson Piquet came forward to denounce that his son crashed on purpose by order of Flavio Briatore, then head of Renault, to benefit his teammate, Alonso. The case was investigated by the FIA, which punished those involved. Briatore was banned from F-1, although the decision has already been revoked, and engineer Pat Symonds, another responsible for the order for the crash, was suspended for five years – he is currently the technical director of F-1.

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