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Renault charged over alleged Singapore Grand Prix conspiracy 04 Sep 2009

Nelson Piquet Jr. (BRA) Renault R28 crashes into the wall.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Singapore Grand Prix, Race, Singapore, Sunday, 28 September 2008 Piquet spins and crashes into the wall Fernando Alonso (ESP) Renault R28 crosses the line to win
Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Singapore Grand Prix, Race, Singapore, Sunday, 28 September 2008

Representatives of the Renault Formula One team have been requested to appear before an extraordinary meeting of the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) in France later this month.

Renault have been called to answer charges that the team conspired with driver Nelson Piquet to cause a deliberate crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, with the aim of causing the deployment of the safety car to the advantage of their other driver, Fernando Alonso, who went on to win.

Piquet retired from Formula One racing’s inaugural night race after hitting the wall on Lap 14, just after Alonso had made his first pit stop. The subsequent safety-car period helped vault the Spaniard, originally 15th on the grid, to the front end of the field.

“The team asked me to push, which I tried to do and finally I lost the rear of my car,” was Piquet’s comment immediately after the race. The Brazilian is no longer with the team, having lost his drive in favour of Romain Grosjean last month.

Through their alleged actions, the charges against Renault include a breach of Article 151c of the International Sporting Code, which prohibits ‘any fraudulent conduct or any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition or to the interests of motor sport generally’.

The WMSC hearing will take place in Paris on September 21, the Monday preceding this year’s Singapore race. Renault will be making no commment prior to the hearing.