Flavio Briatore

Indy-gate, Crash-gate, lie-gate, spy-gate. Anyone watching F1 should be familiar with these terms. But have you ever wondered why the suffix gate is tagged onto all of these scandalous events?

It isn’t really an F1 thing. It all originated from an event known as the Watergate scandal back in the 1970s, which led to the resignation of US president Richard Nixon. The name Watergate was taken from the Watergate office complexes in Washington DC. Another incident soon after involving wine was reported by the media as “Winegate” (an easy connection as wine and water are both liquids we drink). But later, somehow it became the norm to add the gate suffix to other scandals such as Koreagate, Bonusgate, etc. You basically just add the word gate to a keyword related to the scandal.

F1’s latest scandal is the Crash-gate scandal which surrounds the Renault team. Things don’t look too good for them and it has resulted in Flavio Briatore and executive director of engineering, Pat Symonds leaving their team. The team will face the FIA World Motor Sport Council today in Europe. The team also announced that it will not dispute the recent allegations made by the FIA concerning the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

Basically it has been claimed that Renault ordered its struggling Brazilian driver to “accidentally” slam his car into a concrete wall so that his teammate Fernando Alonso could win the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

ING will not be sponsoring them next year and with this latest scandal, who is going to fork out the money to sponsor them next year? But first they will have to deal with what kind of punishment will be dished out today. If they’re lucky – and since the culprits have left – they can escape with a large fine and a disqualification from the constructor’s championship.