Mike Stevens | Sep 11, 2009

SPANISH SUPERSTAR FERNANDO ALONSO has admitted he is surprised at the accusation Renault F1 deliberately manipulated the result of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

Renault F1 has been summoned to appear before the FIA World Motor Sport Council to contest allegations the team requested former driver Nelson Piquet Jr to deliberately crash his car and force the arrival of a safety car.

Piquet’s incident occurred one lap after Alonso emerged from a surprising early pit stop, inflaming the paddock with rumour and innuendo.

While the whispers soon quieted, the issue reared its head again last month after a whistleblower, believed to be connected to Piquet Jr, informed the FIA that Renault’s Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds conspired to fix the outcome of the race.

Interviewed by FIA investigators during the Belgian Grand Prix weekend, Alonso said he was shocked by the situation and denied he was privy to any discussions surrounding the alleged plans to ask Piquet Jr to crash.

“I'm very surprised. I cannot imagine this situation, so as I said, I'm surprised, and it's time to think in another job, in Monza and the next grand prix because I'm not spending any more time on this,” he said.

“I will not comment too much about this, as the team said we will not comment. For me it's not even the time to think or to pay attention to this, because it's difficult to understand for me all this situation and this investigation.”

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Brawn GP star Rubens Barrichello said he was dumbfounded by the accusations levelled against Renault, suggesting the investigation could be part of a vendetta against Briatore.

“The only thing I can see is that somebody wants Briatore's head, that's all I can see now, because it sounds very strange,” he said.

“Very realistically speaking, I think it's easier to crash a Formula One car than drive a Formula One car, that's a fair point, because of the amount of power and everything. It's very easy to crash the car.”

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