I know this is a relatively old story but with not much happening in F1 today I thought I'd throw in my own opinion on it - that's what this Blog is all about after all.
It makes me laugh to see that Nelsinho has said he won't drive in F1 again. His performance was never great on the track and the way he handled the "crashgate" saga didn't show any particular strength of character.
What I found most interesting about that scandal was the way in which it all came out. No-one knew anything about it until Nelsinho was dropped by Renault in mid season 2009 at which point the story spilled out over the papers.
Now - I know he was very young at the time and that Flav put him under serious pressure to perform the dastardly deed (in conjunction with Pat Symonds for whom I had great respect and hope that he was also put under pressure by Flav), but, the fact is that he kept it secret while he had the drive. When this is considered alongside his poor performance behind the wheel it is enough to preclude him from the sport for his lifetime. He simply is not a good enough driver for teams to overlook his past history.
If he had come out straight away and told the truth, or better yet had refused to consider crashing in the first instance, then his slate would be clean and other teams might have considered him. The fact is that he kept it quiet while it suited him. Should relationships between team and driver sour (as they tend to do) the last thing the team wants is an ex-driver with a history of trying to get back at the boss.
Alonso and Schumi have had their brushes with the dark side in the past (spygate, 1997) but both drivers have enough talent for their flaws to be overlooked when it comes to hiring drivers: Piquet does not.