Massa sues F1 and FIA over crash he claims cost him 2008 title to Hamilton

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Massa sues F1 and FIA over crash he claims cost him 2008 title to Hamilton

Former F1 driver Felipe Massa is seeking over $80m in damages from the FIA, Formula 1, and Bernie Ecclestone over the 2008 Crashgate scandal; Massa was leading the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix when Nelson Piquet intentionally crashed to help his Renault team-mate Fernando Alonso win the race

Monday 11 March 2024 19:02, UK

Felipe Massa has filed a lawsuit in London against the FIA, Formula One Management and Bernie Ecclestone over the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

Massa is seeking up to $82m in damages, which includes the prize money he lost and other potential deals he would have obtained as an F1 champion.

The former Ferrari driver’s representatives confirmed they had filed legal action in the London High Court on Monday.

Formula One Management and the FIA declined to comment when contacted by Sky Sports News.

The Brazilian has claimed since last year he was the “rightful” 2008 world champion due to the incident known as Crashgate at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix when Nelson Piquet Jr. deliberately crashed to help Renault team-mate Fernando Alonso win the race.

Piquet’s accident led to a Safety Car during which a botched Ferrari pit stop saw Ferrari’s Massa fall from leader to a 13th-placed finish.

The incident had a significant impact on the outcome of the drivers’ title race, with Massa missing out by a point when Lewis Hamilton overtook Timo Glock at the final corner of the final lap of the season in Brazil.

Law firm Vieira Rezende said in a statement that had the FIA “acted properly, Mr. Massa would have won the Drivers’ Championship that year”.

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In May 2023, Felipe Massa told Sky Sports News he would seek legal action

“Mr. Massa also seeks damages for the significant financial loss he has suffered due to the FIA’s failure, in which Mr. Ecclestone and FOM were also complicit,” a statement read.

“As Mr. Ecclestone has admitted, there was ‘enough information in time to investigate the matter’ in 2008 and ‘cancel the race in Singapore’.

“Mr. Ecclestone further affirmed that, had the results of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix been cancelled, ‘Felipe Massa would have become world champion’ and that Mr. Massa ‘was cheated out of the title he deserved’.

“Attempts to find an amicable resolution have been unsuccessful, leaving Mr. Massa with no choice but to initiate legal proceedings.

“Recent events naturally demonstrate that issues of transparency and integrity in Formula One remain relevant, and it is clear that serious work is needed to restore its credibility and long-term future.

“Although the FIA investigation in 2009 concluded that it had ‘never before considered charges as serious’, even after the revelations brought forward last year, the results of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix still stand and remain officially sanctioned by the FIA.”

Former Formula 1 chief executive Ecclestone last year claimed that he and then-FIA president Max Mosley were aware of a potential breach during the 2008 campaign and decided not to do anything.

He added he chose not to investigate the incident until the season ended, when it was too late to change the standings.

That revelation has left Massa looking at possible legal avenues to challenge the season’s outcome.

Sky Sports News has contacted Bernie Ecclestone’s representatives for comment.

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