Analysis | 'Massa can blame himself with claim about 2008 title'

Analysis | 'Massa can blame himself with claim about 2008 title'

17-04-2023 20:30 Last update: 18-04-2023 08:09

Things have gone quiet. After Felipe Massa bombastically informed the media of his possible investigation into still challenging the 2008 World Championship result, the Brazilian seems to be in little hurry to make his case. Possibly Massa has now figured out that a legal action has no chance, as GPblog explained earlier. Or could it be because of an underexposed aspect of all this?

First the facts: at the Singapore Grand Prix, Nelson Piquet Jr. deliberately put his Renault into the wall after teammate Fernando Alonso had made an early pit stop. At the time, it was not allowed to enter the pits under the safety car, so Alonso took huge advantage. The competition had to go in later, Alonso moved up through the field and won the Grand Prix.

Morale disregarded

Felipe Massa - engaged in an exciting World Championship battle with Lewis Hamilton in 2008 - did not pick up any points that Grand Prix. In hindsight, this turned out to be an expensive loss of points, as he ultimately missed out on the world title by one paltry point. Massa has since understood that the Formula 1 management knew as early as 2008 that Renault had cheated. According to the then Ferrari driver, the Grand Prix result should have been declared invalid. In that case, not Hamilton, but he was the world champion. Recently, Massa said he was investigating whether that race could still be removed from the books.

In all the analysis made about the success rate of a possible case, an important moral aspect has been left out of the equation. Clever of Massa, by the way, who does not even mention it himself. After all, why did Massa not actually pick up any points in that particular Grand Prix? Everyone seems to have completely forgotten that.

Failed pit stop

Massa led the Grand Prix for quite some time, so he was driving ahead of Hamilton. Renault's foul play did allow Alonso to move up to the front. But even then, Massa could have kept Hamilton behind him. This failed because of a dramatic pit stop by Massa and his team. The Brazilian left his box far too quickly - whether or not on the instructions of his crew - while the fuel hose was still sticking in his Ferrari.

At the end of the pit lane, Massa pulled over his red car, meanwhile some mechanics were already on their way to him to remove the hose. The scene cost Massa about a minute and a half. On a street circuit where overtaking is virtually impossible, it proved disastrous for his winning aspirations that night. Moreover, Massa was a bit lucky. For the same money, he would have received a penalty for the dangerous situation he caused with the fire hose on his car and the leftover petrol flying through the pit lane.

Massa does not rule out trying to scrap the outcome of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. By focusing on other people's failures, he marks the clumsiness of the entire Ferrari team. To use a Dutch phrase, Massa has quite a bit of butter on his head in this matter. Or in other words, he is being hypocritical.