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Last Updated: Friday September 04 2009 17:47 GMT

Renault in trouble for 2008 crash

Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso drives in this year's championship

Formula One team Renault could be in big trouble after rumours that one of their drivers crashed on purpose in a race in 2008 to help his team-mate win.

The incident happened at the Singapore Grand Prix, when Fernando Alonso drove his car to the chequered flag.

He took advantage of a big crash on the 15th lap which meant the safety car had to come out, helping Alonso win.

Now it seems Nelson Piquet Jnr may have been ordered to crash his car by team bosses to force the safety car out.

Renault have been ordered to a meeting in Paris, France on 21 September to explain their side of the story.

If the sport's officials decide the team did tell Piquet Jnr to crash his car, they will be seriously punished.

Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso celebrates winning the Singapore Grand Prix in 2008

They could get a massive fine, banned from a race or even kicked out of this year's Formula One championship.

What happened in the race?

In the race in Singapore Renault used a strategy that meant Alonso had to stop to refuel after only 12 laps.

Piquet Jnr then crashed just three laps later, bringing the safety car out. When that happens all the cars have to drive slowly and end up very close together again.

When the other cars refuelled Alonso steadily moved further up the field, as he didn't need to stop again, until he was in first place.

Had the safety car not been required at that time, it's unlikely Alonso would have been in such a strong position.