Bernie Ecclestone breaks silence as ex-F1 driver seeks compensation for ‘moral losses’

Formula 1 is facing yet more controversy ahead of the sport's return at the 2023 Dutch GP later this month.

Former Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone has insisted that he cannot “remember” giving a very important interview, which is vital to imminent legal action.

Ex-F1 driver Felipe Massa is currently pursuing legal action against F1 and the FIA, following comments supposedly made by the 92-year-old.

Ecclestone is quoted as to having said that himself and former FIA president Max Mosley knew about the ‘Crashgate’ scandal when it happened, something which does in many ways question the accuracy of the 2008 World Championship.

‘Crashgate’, is the nickname which was given to a scandal which occurred at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, where Renault informed Nelson Piquet Jr. to crash on purpose, allowing team-mate Fernando Alonso to claim victory.

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The incident wasn’t revealed to the world until 2009; however, Ecclestone is quoted saying that he knew about it instantly yet chose to do nothing.

Had the results from the 2008 Singapore GP been ruled out due to the manipulation of the race, then Massa would’ve won the title, not Lewis Hamilton.

Concerningly for Massa’s imminent case, Ecclestone doesn’t remember saying what he did.

“I don’t remember any of this, to be honest. I don’t remember giving the interview, for sure,” Ecclestone said, as reported by Reuters.

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Massa took legal advice after Ecclestone made the comments he now can’t recall, with him now seeking millions of euros in compensation, which he believes he lost for having not become World Champion.

A Letter Before Claim has now been sent to FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem and F1 CEO and president Stefano Domenicali, who was Ferrari’s team principal in 2008.

This must be sent prior to a court hearing, as a legal requirement.

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“Simply put, Mr Massa is the rightful 2008 Driver’s Champion, and F1 and FIA deliberately ignored the misconduct that cheated him out of that title,” said the letter sent from the London offices of Enyo Law on 15 August.

“Mr Massa is unable to fully quantify his losses at this stage but estimates that they are likely to exceed tens of millions of euros.

“This amount does not cover the serious moral and reputational losses suffered by Mr Massa.”