Last week was dramatic as far as formula one controversies go, Renault got a 2 year suspended ban from formula one. Pat Symonds got a 5 year ban from formula one and flamboyant Flavio Briatore got a lifetime ban from the sport of formula one. But there were 2 peculiarities.
First one being the suspended sentence for Renault, kind of reminds on McLaren punishments during the spygate. Even over there the team pleaded ignorance to the action of 1-2 individuals in the company and even in this case the Renault formula one team pleaded the same to Briatore’s and Symond’s actions. While these may seem like valid defences in the sense that they can let you off the hook, its quite safe to say that the defences though plausible seem like long shots.
So this also brings us to the questions whether Nelsinho piquet deserved to be banned alongwith the Renault F1 team and the 2 officials. Now, there are 2 sides to the debate, 1st is the legal one. Nelsinho Piquet got immunity from the FIA for deposing in the case, sort of a whistleblower to the whole incident. Most people agree that whistleblowers deserve amnesty. But was Nelsinho really a whistleblower, he was happy crashing into walls as long as he was getting paid and his seat was secured at the Renault F1 team , when he saw that Flavio was probably going to fire him anyway, he decides to come clean and become the whistleblower. As a fan I feel that Nelsinho Piquet alongwith Renault have brought F1 into a lot of disrepute. One often gives the Ferrari team orders example for F1 controversies, but Renault took it to a new level by telling Nelsinho to crash and that too at a specific point which would cause a longer safety car period.
They not only together cheated the fans, the game , but they also cheated themselves. Its a shame that Nelsinho wasnt banned, his stay is bad for the sport and its reputation. Needless to say after the scandal, formula one will never be the same again.