Massa looking into options to challenge 2008 result over 'crashgate'

F1 News

Massa wants to challenge 2008 result
4 April at 13:39
Last update 4 April at 16:29
  • GPblog.com

Felipe Massa has announced that he is looking into taking steps to have the results of the 2008 championship revised. Speaking to Motorsport.com, the former Ferrari driver says he believes it would be justified if he were retroactively named that year's winner instead of Lewis Hamilton.

The reason for Massa's action is the controversy surrounding the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, better known as 'crashgate'. Renault team boss Flavio Briatore instructed his driver Nelson Piquet Junior to deliberately crash so that teammate Fernando Alonso could win the race. Massa did not score any points in that race while Hamilton did, leading to Hamilton eventually winning the title by just one point.

Officially, the whole story of crashgate only came to light in 2009, but recently Bernie Ecclestone announced that, as the then-boss of Formula 1, he knew about the whole situation as early as 2008. Together with then-FIA president Max Mosley, Ecclestone decided to keep the story quiet just to avoid causing controversy.

Massa sees enough reason to challenge the results

According to Massa, this is reason enough to have the results of the Singapore Grand Prix declared invalid. Although Briatore and Renault were punished, nothing was ever done with the race results. Massa argues that this put him at the greatest disadvantage, and also denounces the attitude of Ecclestone and Mosley on the issue. "After 15 years, we hear from the former owner of this competition that he had found out about it in 2008, together with the president of the FIA, and that they did nothing to avoid tarnishing Formula 1's name. That is very disappointing."

Whether Massa will be successful with his objections is still doubtful. Cases like this have a statute of limitations, but depending on which country he will challenge it in, it could still be within the timeframe allowed. Massa also points here to cases from other sports, for example in the case of Lance Armstrong in cycling, where retroactively titles were also undone. However, Massa does make it clear that he does not want financial compensation or an apology. According to him, there is only one desired outcome: "It would be the right thing to cancel the result of that race, that would be the only justice in a scenario like this." So that would make Massa, 15 years on, still champion of 2008.