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Flavio Briatore is one of the most enigmatic F1 bosses ever. That being said, he’s best known for the wildest controversy that has ever graced F0rmula 1. But what is crash-gate and why is Flavio Briatore the kingpin behind the biggest scandal to rock F1 and the motorsports world ever?

In 2008, Fernando Alonso, the man who won Briatore 2 World Championships for Renault, came back to the team again. However, with the team languishing in the midfield, they finally hit the jackpot at the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix. But Alonso had a penalty and started 15th.

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That’s when Flavio Briatore hatched his masterplan. Alonso‘s teammate Nelson Piquet Jr. crashed which brought out a Safety Car which allowed Alonso to pit before everyone else and eventually win the Grand Prix.

Rumors began that, “Briatore, Pat Symonds, and Nelson Piquet Jr. had plotted a scheme to help Alonso to win the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix by deliberately causing a crash to bring out the Safety Car.” After an investigation by the FIA, Briatore was banned for life from all motorsports.

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As it would appear, the Italian hasn’t given up on his grudge against the FIA. Recently, he had some pretty harsh words for how the FIA handled the Sergio Perez incident at the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix.

Flavio Briatore blasts “inadequate” FIA for Singapore GP gaffe

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Flavio Briatore was indefinitely banned by the FIA for his dealings at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. As it would appear, the Italian doesn’t seem to have made many friends inside the paddock or the FIA.

via Reuters

Perez was handed a retrospective penalty at the Singapore GP for falling more than 10 car lengths behind the Safety Car. Briatore slammed this decision. He said, “At the FIA they have inadequate people. Every race we have a problem, the same yesterday.” He went on, “If there was an infringement why wait hours when with all the technical stuff to draw on you can decide in a minute? It’s not F1’s fault, it’s the FIA’s fault, it has to change. You can ruin a race, the show and affect the World Championship.”

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The crash gate isn’t the only controversy to grace F1 ever. But was it the biggest blot in F1’s history?

Written by

Anirban Aly Mandal

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Anirban Aly Mandal is a Formula 1 Author at EssentiallySports. In his pursuit for a Bachelor's degree in Law from Symbiosis Law School, he has written multiple academic papers centered around the domain of motorsports. Not only that, but due to his love for F1, he aims to work as a legal advisor in the most prestigious racing series in the world some day.
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Edited by

Ankit Sharma