My dad can have your dad
NELSON PIQUET JNR has thrown Formula 1 into another bout of turmoil, with his dramatic statement explaining how and why he deliberately crashed at last year’s Singapore Grand Prix to help teammate Fernando Alonso win the race.
FIA President Max Mosley first heard about Piquet’s allegations from his father – three-times world champion Nelson Piquet Snr.
Renault team boss Flavio Briatore has announced that he will take legal action against Piquet and his father, over their accusation that the team ordered the crash.
Piquet Jnr is 24 years old, so surely it is time to step away from his dad’s leash.
When he began his F1 career in 2008 with Renault, it was the first time Piquet Jnr had driven for a team not set-up by his dad exclusively for his benefit.
And now with his Formula 1 career most definitely over Piquet Snr will attempt to transfer one of his titles to his son by deed poll.
Formula 1 has had more sons of former competitors on the track, than any other sport.
Former world champions Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve both had fathers who raced in F1, as do current drivers Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima (all four strangely given their F1 debuts by the Williams team).
Piquet owes much of his success to his father, but found it tough at Renault alongside double world champion Alonso.
On August 3, after the Hungarian Grand Prix, Piquet was inevitably dropped by Renault after failing to score a point this season.
Although Piquet never excelled with Renault, returning to the grid with another team was not impossible, especially with three new teams entering the sport next season and he was mentioned as a potential replacement for the injured Felipe Massa at Ferrari.
But since his axing he has driven nail after nail into the coffin of his Formula 1 career.
First he launched a stinging attack on Briatore calling him the “executioner”.
And now he has made this accusation, astonishing even by the standards of the soap opera that is Formula 1.
Briatore has always possessed the same Silvio Berlusconi-esque aura of a dodgy Italian wheeler-dealer, who would get hold of anything for you for the right price, and few would put this misdemeanour past him, especially in the ultra competitive world of Formula 1.
These allegations have rendered Piquet Jnr unemployable in Formula 1, so he has little reason to invent them, except to damage his foe Briatore.
Briatore, doing himself no favours, claimed this weekend at Monza that Piquet Jnr’s dislike of him, came from when Briatore forced him to end a relationship he was having with a 50-year-old man.
I personally think deliberately crashing is only an extension of the team orders Ferrari regularly instigated to help Michael Schumacher win, but any car crash has an inherent dangers, not just to the driver, but also to the spectators, marshalls and fellow racers.
If Piquet Jnr’s claims are is true, then he is not the victim here and must take an equal share of the blame.
Either way though, he needs to step free of daddy.