411: Awards, Battles & Crashgate

I’m still in countdown mode (4 days!) but there is vital gossip to be discussed! Lotus and Renault is still being ironed out; Mark Webber’s book has hit the proverbial fan and Fernando Alonso has dedicated his face to Jenson Button.

Lots Of Trouble Usually Serious?:

Another development in the Lotus and Renault saga; this time from the Team Lotus garage. Tony Fernandes is still defiant about the name change; but has relinquished the new paint job. And did it while sending a warning shot over the Renault/Group Lotus ship.

Lotus Renault revelled their new livery colours…a very familiar black and gold. Team Lotus had announced they were intending to go full speed ahead with the transformation; historic colours included.

Black & gold...almost (Renault F1)

But someone got there first. Fernandes and the Team Lotus team took it in their stride; suggesting they didn’t want their livery associated with the tobacco industry. Ouch!

The FIA awards:

Now this is really just an opportunity for me to post a picture of Fernando Alonso and his facial fuzz.

Don't say it...

I saw this and onto the television popped a certain Nintendo advert…I wonder if Alonso is any good at plumbing?

The FIA gala night isn’t just about Formula One; it’s encompasses a huge range of motorsports, including the World Rally, World Touring Car and Formula 2 championships. Obviously Red Bull were awarded their Constructor’s trophy and Sebastian Vettel his Driver’s trophy.

Red Bull take their winnings (ITV)

Hitting the fan in spectacular fashion:

Mark Webber’s retrospective was published in Australia soon after the 2010 season came to an end. He took a novel approach to writing it bit by bit after each race; ensuring that the emotion on the page reflected the race itself. Hands up who wants to read the Turkey chapter!

The main thing to come out of the book is that Webber drove the last four races with a fractured shoulder. But this wasn’t the whole story; he could do that no problem. This is a guy who padded his harness when he had broken ribs; who carried on racing when he vomited inside his helmet; who asked for water when his seat was burning him…

So what caused the controversy?

Ah yes; Webber declined to tell his team (apart from the FIA doctor and his trainer Roger), leaving Christian Horner in the awkward position of facing the press. He was obviously disappointed; and wished he had been told. Has this shown yet more cracks in the Red Bull veneer? Only time will tell.

A Piquet of Justice:

The “crashgate” scandal started life back in 2008 when Nelson Piquet Jr. was driving for Renault along with Fernando Alonso. After he ploughed into the wall in Singapore Piquet revealed he was ordered to do so by Renault’s then boss, Flavio Briatore. Piquet Jr. also added that he was instructed to do this so Alonso could win the race.

Briatore made me do it!

At the time Renault F1 released a statement on their website saying that the Piquet’s were lying. Piquet Jr. was granted immunity by the FIA for his version of events and Briatore was subsequently banned from the sport (later overturned). But after being sued for libel in the UK, Renault retracted the statement. The Piquet’s were awarded substantial compensation; and hopefully a line will be drawn under the incident.

Later Rookies!

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