Former Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa has expressed his desire for justice in the long-standing ‘crashgate’ controversy that surrounds the 2008 Formula 1 season.
While Massa harbors no ill will towards Lewis Hamilton, his former F1 rival, he remains steadfast in his belief that the championship title rightfully belongs to him due to the manipulation that marred the season.
In the lead-up to the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, Lewis Hamilton was confronted with the news that Massa’s legal team had reached out to Formula 1 authorities, indicating potential legal action over the ‘crashgate’ scandal.
Responding to the development, Hamilton stated, “I have a really bad memory, so I don’t really remember a lot, to be honest.”
He further emphasised his focus on the present, saying, “I’m not really focused on what happened 15 years ago.”
The controversy in question stems from the ‘crashgate’ scandal that unfolded during the 2008 season, involving a deliberate crash orchestrated by Nelson Piquet Jr. during the Singapore Grand Prix.
The revelation that Formula 1’s former chief, Bernie Ecclestone, was aware of the orchestrated crash has fueled Massa’s call for retroactively awarding him the championship title, as well as seeking damages for the manipulation that occurred.
Felipe Massa, who was a prominent contender for the 2008 title, believes he was wrongfully denied the championship due to the manipulation that transpired.
He voiced his perspective, stating, “I had the title in my hands. That title was ours.
“And it was taken from us due to manipulation.
“Without a doubt, it is something very serious for the sport, for justice, in a sport that we always think is clean, but it wasn’t.”
Massa remains resolute in his conviction that he was unjustly denied the championship title.
Massa clarified that his stance is not directed at Lewis Hamilton but rather at the broader context of the ‘crashgate’ controversy.
He stressed, “I have nothing against Hamilton.
“The fight is about a rigged race. Someone paid for the price for it and it was me.”
Highlighting the perceived imbalance in consequences, Massa expressed his frustration with the handling of the ‘crashgate’ scandal.
“In the end, nobody was punished for what happened,” he lamented.
While key figures such as Pat Symonds and Flavio Briatore faced bans, they eventually returned to the sport.
Massa feels that he bore a disproportionate brunt of the controversy.
Ultimately, Massa’s aspiration is to be recognized as the rightful champion of the 2008 season.
“I feel like the champion,” he asserted.
“And I think all the Brazilians suffered in that last race of the year.
“I certainly feel like the true champion.”