Massa on 2008 Singapore 'Crashgate' result: I was totally WRONGED

‘I was totally WRONGED’: Felipe Massa  presses on with legal action to take the 2008 F1 title away from Lewis Hamilton over the ‘stolen Crashgate race’ in Singapore after Bernie Ecclestone’s admission

  • Felipe Massa insists he was ‘totally wrong’ during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix
  • Fernando Alonso’s orchestrated win in Singapore cost Massa the crown in 2008
  • Ex-F1 chief Ecclestone said the FIA knew about the suspecyrf ploy but did not act

Felipe Massa insists he was ‘totally wronged’ during the controversial 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, following Bernie Ecclestone’s bombshell admissions on the result.

The former Ferrari star lost the title that year to McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton by just a single point on the last lap of the final race of the season, in one of the most exciting finishes in F1 history.

However, Massa’s hopes for the title had already taken a massive hit in Singapore, when it later claimed that Nelson Piquet had deliberately crashed his Renault into the wall in a bid to help team-mate Fernando Alonso’s own championship ambitions.

Dubbed as ‘Crashgate’ the scandal saw Massa drop from first to 13th as Alonso won the race. It had pivotal implications as Massa eventually lost the championship by a point on the final day to Hamilton. 

In comments made last month, Ecclestone has indicated the F1 top brass knew about the Renault conspiracy ‘during the 2008 season’, when there would have been time to overturn the final result, only angering Massa.

Felipe Massa (left) is looking into challenging the controversial outcome of the 2008 world driver’s championship after bombshell comments from former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone

The 2008 Singapore race is remembered for the ‘Crashgate’ affair, which allegedly saw Renault plan for Nelson Piquet to deliberately crash in order to bring out a safety car (pictured)

Piquet (left) is said to have deliberately crashed to help his team-mate Fernando Alonso’s own title ambitions

And now the 42-year-old, who announced he was considering taking legal action against the FIA, has reiterated his desire to press forward with what he believes is a strong case. 

‘I consider myself with great chances of having had that title,’ he told esportelandia. ‘If you remember Singapore, it was a steal. After Bernie Ecclestone spoke about it, we are trying to understand, legally, if there is any chance of going back.’

And the Brazilian implied Ecclestone’s admission proved ‘Crashgate’ was fixed: ‘So it just goes to show that I was totally wronged by what happened that year, in a stolen race,’ he added. 

‘This made me lift the antenna and go after justice. I’m not a lawyer, but everyone knows, I was clearly wronged and I think justice is part of our fight to get what happened right. 

‘That was a stolen run. It was manipulation, which is a very serious thing. It wasn’t an engine that broke down. There was also an engine that broke, but that’s part of the game. They made Nelsinho Piquet crash because he wanted to help his team-mate, who was last in the race, to win. They totally did a manipulation for a result.’ 

Massa acknowledges that he might not have much luck with changing a result after almost 15 years, but he’s still interested in finding out what his chances are.

‘There are rules, and there are many things that, depending on the country, you cannot go back after 15 years to resolve a situation,’ he said.

Ex-F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone claimed that the FIA did not act on the alleged skulduggery

Ecclestone suggested he knew about the suspected Renault conspiracy ‘during the 2008 season’, when there would have been time to overturn the result (Massa is pictured racing in Brazil in 2008)

‘But I intend to study the situation; study what the laws say, and the rules. We have to have an idea of what is possible to do.’

Speaking to German website F1 Insider, Ecclestone recently reflected about ‘Crashgate’: ‘We decided not to do anything for now.

‘We wanted to protect the sport and save it from a huge scandal.

‘Back then, there was a rule that a world championship classification after the FIA ​​awards ceremony at the end of the year was untouchable. So Hamilton was presented with the trophy and everything was fine.

‘We had enough information in time to investigate the matter. According to the statutes, we should have cancelled the race in Singapore under these conditions.

‘That means it would never have happened for the championship standings. And then Felipe Massa would have become world champion and not Lewis Hamilton.’

The ‘Crashgate’ affair happened in the 15th of 18 races that 2008 season – with that Singapore Grand Prix remaining one of the biggest cheating scandals in the sport’s recent history.

The Renault team planned for Piquet to deliberately put his car into the wall in order to bring out a safety car that would benefit team-mate Fernando Alonso.

Lewis Hamilton (right) and Massa (left) were the main championship challengers in 2008

Lewis Hamilton celebrates after winning the 2008 title in dramatic fashion over Massa in Brazil

Massa, who was leading the race at the time, pitted under the safety car but a problematic stop saw him eventually finish back in 13th place, with Alonso winning and Hamilton taking third.

Prior to the Singapore race, Hamilton was only leading Massa by a single point and afterwards walked away with a seven-point advantage.

Massa is now claiming that the race in Singapore cost him the 2008 title.

The following year the cheating scandal came to light when Piquet revealed he’d been told to crash deliberately by his team.

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