As all of you racing junkies know, Crashgate has set a new all time low for motor racing, specifically F1. Never has the sport seen such a level of cheating before which ultimately resulted in the unlimited lifetime ban for Flavio Briatore, and the 5 year ban for Pat Symonds.
Looking at it from a fan’s point of view, Renault F1 got off very lightly. Some of us have dubbed it the "Great Renault Escape", and find it extremely unfair especially to the fact that they weren’t fined. If we go back 2 years ago to the ‘Spygate’ incident, McLaren were found to be in the wrong and fined $100 million with their championship points stripped.
Renault on the other hand received a ban which is now suspended for 2 years (this meaning that the FIA withdraws its’ ban but will enforce it if Renault commit a similar or equally serious offense within 2 years), with no fine, and no points stripping. It doesn’t take an aerodynamicist or a rocket scientist to see the contrast here. And if you are seeing it from my point of view, all I can conclude was that a legendary English team got one of the heaviest penalties of all time, while a French auto giant got the lightest penalties of all time. Very one sided when you take into account that the FIA is also French to begin with!
From a F1 driver’s perspective, a driver should not have been irresponsible to allow anyone to talk you into crashing your car. In the Crashgate case, it was the inaugural Singapore GP night race. NPJ (Nelson Piquet Jnr.) to me has lost his credibility and employability due to his irresponsible act.
Crashing your car purposely and deliberately at a street circuit in a night race? never mind fixing the race, but take into consideration that at that particular corner at that particular time, a crane was not placed for obvious reasons due to the Singapore circuit’s nature. When studied at a racing driver’s perspective, you shouldn’t be careless at that corner. There was no way a sane and concentrated driver would have loose control there unless there was a catastrophic mechanical failure or an equally catastrophic scenario i.e. a pile up. This is where the question “Where was ‘Witness-X’ to blow the whistle?” comes about among fans. I won’t touch that issue yet as of now.
NPJ ultimately put his life at risk, but also the lives of other people involved. There are 19 other drivers on the grid who were endangered. There were spectators’ lives risked, and not to forget the track marshals and FIA stewards’ lives too. This act alone was more than enough to have an F1 driver’s FIA Superlicense to be immediately revoked. Lo and behold, NPJ was granted immunity as a whistle-blower. Can you smell the one-sided-ness of this mess?
Ok, we can never put the blame for this solely on NPJ. The blame must be equal towards Symonds and Flavio too. I mean when you have a reputation in motorsport for over a decade (2 decades for Flavio), you should’ve lived through the era of Ayrton Senna, and the ill-fated 1994 San Marino GP weekend. As persons who witnessed that GP weekend, you should know better of the consequences of putting your drivers and grid compatriots at risk.
Too bad then for Flavio. My only message to Mr. Briatore and Mr. Symonds is that no matter how illustrious and revered your careers are in F1, you should’ve have known better. Nobody, even the fans, want to see revered professionals in F1 leave this way. Also, nobody in the community would want to see any driver suffer the same fate or an even worse one.
As a die hard fan of the sport, I only wish for the FIA to take future matters seriously and not try to ‘contain’ it anymore. We, the fans, have seen the demise of Honda F1, and this season we see the departure of BMW. Both occurred due to the current recession in the world economy. The sport, and the fans especially, do not need another scandal to ruin this recession-hit sport.
I only hope that the sport will maintain to be what it has always been, the elite series of the driving-sport. No matter the scandals and tragedies, it will always be slowly faded away into the history books as a reminder to all of us, by the sweet roars of 800 horsepowers at 300km/h. I only wish fans all around will share the statement I am providing below:
KEEP RACING FREE OF POLITICS AND SCANDAL-GATES!
Die-hard racing fan.
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