According to a report published in the German publication Auto Motor und Sport, Nelson Piquet, Sr. is using current allegations against Flavio Briatore as leverage to extricate Piquet, Jr. from a long-term that currently binds the young Brazilian driver to the Italian impresario. Briatore, who has long been mentor and manager to many drivers on the F1 grid, apparently has a contract which would entitle him to as much as 20 percent of the young driver’s earnings over the next 15 years. Nelson Piquet, Sr. is now asserting that, because of Briatore’s alleged race fixing last year in Singapore, that contract has been breached.
Said Piquet, “Now I finally have something – contract violation – to put pressure on Flavio. If the FIA world council confirms the case, I will have a hold for going to court.”
It’s been clear from the start that Nelson Piquet, Sr. has been the engine behind the Crashgate scandal, and presumably he has been motivated by a desire for revenge. It has certainly appeared that he is doing everything within his power to destroy the careers of both Briatore and Pat Symonds, the former engineering head at Renault. In fact, it looks as though Piquet is trying to destroy Team Renault altogether. But it now appears that there is also a more practical, pecuniary side to his efforts.
The irony here, of course, is that, while Piquet, Sr. might be trying to break his son’s long term contract with Briatore, in order to recover that 20 percent slice of Nelson, Jr.’s future income, this action is obviously based on the assumption that Nelson, Jr. will actually have a future income as a racing driver. What seems more likely is that the young Brazilian will be unemployable, which means that his father is probably going to a lot of effort for nothing.
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