• Singapore Grand Prix

Alonso takes tainted win

ESPNF1 Staff
October 12, 2008
Nelson Piquet Jnr's crash seemed innocent at the time... © Sutton Images
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A year after the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix came confirmation of a new way of helping your team-mate. Fernando Alonso's Renault won, thanks to an early pit stop on lap 12 of the floodlit race and then a safety car period two laps later, after his crash-magnet team mate Nelson Piquet Jnr smashed into the wall.

As everyone else pitted, Alonso assumed the lead. And there he stayed for his 20th career win. Twelve months on Piquet confessed that he had been asked to crash at a corner where there was no crane to remove his car, in order to ensure a safety car period to help Alonso's strategy. Piquet agreed and helped to devise the biggest professional foul in F1 history. Alonso, who knew nothing of the plot, drove a superb race to score Renault's first win of the season, while Nico Rosberg, another safety car beneficiary took a popular second for Williams.

Lewis Hamilton was third and championship rival Felipe Massa 13th after another Ferrari pit stop bungle. He was released with the fuel hose attached and took it - and personnel - for a ride down the pit lane before he realised what had happened. The delay put him out of the points giving Hamilton a seven-point cushion in the title race.