Mike Stevens | Sep 25, 2009

FORMER WORLD CHAMPION Kimi Raikkonen believes ‘crashgate’ fall-guy Nelson Piquet Jr may struggle to secure a Formula 1 seat in the future.

The Ferrari star said Piquet Jr’s role in deliberately causing an accident at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix could make the Brazilian a persona non grata in the F1 paddock despite acting as a whistleblower.

“He admitted (involvement) himself (in the scandal) but I think it will be difficult for him to get back after that kind of thing,” he said.

“It's not something I want to be involved in. If he comes back, it's going to be good for him, if not maybe there is a reason for it.

“It's not a nice thing for the sport but unfortunately some kind of scandal seems to happen every year. Hopefully it stops at some point and there's more about racing.”

Williams’ Nico Rosberg wasn’t as diplomatic when questioned over Piquet Jr’s actions, which may have ultimately cost the German a debut Grand Prix victory.

Rosberg said he was flabbergasted Piquet Jr, who stands accused of concocting the scheme, was able to escape punishment in spite of his role as one of the scandal’s main protagonists.

“I won the race because the team who finished first cheated. Now it’s the big Renault scandal. If we had protested, I could’ve won the race last year. But it’s too late now,” he said.

“It’s a pity for the sport that something like that has happened. The people responsible have been kicked out. The only thing I don’t understand is that Piquet didn’t get anything.

“For me, he’s just as involved as the others because he is the one who actually did it and agreed to it.”

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Meanwhile, Australian star Mark Webber has launched a stern defence of his manager and former Renault F1 boss Flavio Briatore.

Webber said Formula 1 will undoubtedly miss the flamboyant Italian’s influence, stating he is a person of the upmost integrity.

“I have had Flavio looking after me for 11 years. I have never looked at the contract after I signed it on that first day and there are not many people in this paddock you can do that with. He has been sensational for me,” he said.

“I won't work with anyone else in the future if I can't work with him.”

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