The accusation that Renault instructed Nelson Piquet to crash on purpose at last year's Singapore grand prix did originate from the now-ousted Brazilian driver, it is reported.

The accusation that Renault instructed Nelson Piquet to crash on purpose at last year's Singapore grand prix did originate from the now-ousted Brazilian driver, it is reported.

Reports in British newspapers including the Mirror and the Times claim Piquet informed the FIA that he agreed to the race-fixing.

The crash was reportedly discussed in a pre-race meeting with Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds - but not Fernando Alonso - and agreed by Piquet because he thought it might result in a new contract for 2009.

FIA investigators were also informed by Piquet that Symonds, Renault's veteran engineering director, told the 23-year-old driver specifically that the crash should occur on lap 13 or 14 to activate Alonso's race strategy.

Turn 17 was selected as the crash site reportedly because the lack of nearby cranes would mean removal of the damaged car would be difficult and deployment of the safety car therefore more likely.

Documents lodged in reply to the accusations by Briatore and Symonds confirm the pre-race meeting but Symonds insists it was Piquet who suggested the crash be staged during the "conversation".

The Times newspaper said Briatore, who in his submission reportedly completely denies the charges, is likening the situation - with Piquet's father believed to have been the first to contact Max Mosley with the claims in late July - to "extortion".

It is also reported that, a few days after his last race for Renault in Hungary, Piquet Jr travelled to Paris to lodge the accusations in writing with the FIA.

 

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