Crashgate scandal is ‘tip of iceberg’

Corruption runs deep in Formula One and the only way to stop the rot is for a total break from the existing system, the man hoping to succeed Max Mosley as FIA president claimed yesterday.
Ari Vatanen, the former rally champion who is in a run off with Mosley’s preferred candidate Jean Todt in next month’s FIA presidential election, made the accusation on the eve of today’s ‘crashgate’ hearing in Paris.

The World Motor Sport Council is holding an extraordinary meeting to investigate what some are calling the worst case of cheating in the history of sport — conspiring to cause Renault driver Nelson Piquet junior’s deliberate crash at last year’s Singapore Grand Prix to help teammate Fernando Alonso win the race.

“What is happening here with Renault is more than just the tip of the iceberg, it is symptomatic of a wider problem," Vatanen told Britain’s The Sunday Telegraph. “The image of the sport has been battered recently. “Look at all the leaked dossiers. We have gone from ‘Spygate’ to ‘Crashgate’ with many other things in between. What the public see is a corrupt sport. They do not trust it and who can blame them."

Vatanen tells the paper that the WMSC is not the right body to hear the Renault case as members of the board like Formula One rights holder Bernie Ecclestone have “vested interests".

“For me we must introduce an absolutely independent body to arbitrate in these proceedings. The entire structure of motorsport justice must change," argued Vatanen.

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