Ex-FIA president claims controversial race should have been ‘cancelled’

Jean Todt replaced Max Mosley as FIA president in 2009.

Ex-FIA president Jean Todt believes that the controversial 2008 Singapore Grand Prix was “rigged” and should’ve been “cancelled”, in response to Felipe Massa’s legal case action the governing body and Formula 1.

The 2008 Singapore GP is where the infamous ‘Crashgate’ incident took place, with Renault having ordered Nelson Piquet Jr to crash, significantly increasing teammate Fernando Alonso’s chances of winning.

Alonso did end up winning the race, whilst Massa tumbled down the order after a botched pit-stop by Ferrari when the Brazilian was in the lead, during the Safety Car period following the crash.

Ferrari’s error come the end of the 2008 season cost Massa the Drivers’ Championship, which was won by Lewis Hamilton.

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

Renault’s actions weren’t actually revealed to the world until mid-2009, by at which point Massa was told that it was too late for the results to be changed.

However, earlier this year, ex-F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone revealed that himself and former FIA president Max Mosley knew at the time that Renault had cheated but opted to say nothing to protect the sport.

This has triggered Massa’s legal action with him believing that it’s only right for the results from the 2008 Singapore GP to be cancelled, making him World Champion and not Hamilton.

Todt – who was Massa’s team principal at Ferrari in 2006 and 2007 – agrees with the ex-F1 driver that the results should’ve been “cancelled” given that it was “rigged”, with him now wondering if the sport “could have been tougher”.

Article continues below

The Frenchman was actually the person who replaced Moxley as FIA president in 2009, before Mohammed Ben Sulayem took his place at the end of 2021.

Todt was asked about Massa’s legal case recently and clearly signalled his support for his former driver, who he admits found is “psychologically” challenging coming to terms with the 2008 Singapore GP being purposefully manipulated by Renault.

READ: Sergio Perez warns F1 bosses as discontent grows

“I don’t get into the controversy,” Todt told La Stampa. “For him [Massa] psychologically it was very hard.

“Maybe we could have been tougher when this story was known.

“There is no doubt that the Singapore Grand Prix was rigged and had to be cancelled.”