Ex-Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa has insisted that the FIA and Formula 1 will not be granted another deadline to avoid going to court, ahead of this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
The former Ferrari driver is taking legal action against the FIA and F1 over the 2008 Drivers’ Championship, which both organisations were aware had been manipulated by Renault.
Ex-F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone revealed earlier this year that himself and former FIA president Max Mosley were aware of the ‘Crashgate’ incident at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix when it happened but chose to say nothing to protect both companies.
Massa believes that this is proof that the results from that race 15 years ago should be cancelled, something which would make him the 2008 World Champion, not Lewis Hamilton.
The FIA had until mid-October to respond to a letter before claim sent to them on August 15; however, Massa’s lawyers granted the governing body until mid-November to complete their internal investigation.
As this was the second time the FIA had been given an extension, Massa has now stated that a further extension will not be granted.
“We are waiting for their response to see if the case will have to go to court,” Massa told Reuters, as quoted by The Straits Times. “There will be no more requests. From now on there will be no such thing as ‘give us one more month’. A decision will have to be made.”
FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem acknowledged in October that he’d heard from Massa, who was leaving the situation with the governing body’s legal team.
In response, the FIA president told Massa that the company would “protect itself”.
“I answered him saying ‘It’s up to you, you do what you think is right for you but the FIA will have to protect itself’,” Ben Sulayem told Reuters last month.
Massa believes the FIA should be protecting the sport instead, something he believes it failed to do 16 years ago.
The former Ferrari driver – who retired in 2017 – has stated that he has been backed by some members of the Maranello-based team but that he’s yet to receive formal support from the Italians.
“I think the FIA should protect the sport, not protect itself… which didn’t happen 15 years ago,” Massa added.
“I know a lot of people at Ferrari – all the mechanics, engineers and fans are on my side. There is no reason for Ferrari not to be on my side as well. Right now that support has not yet happened but I really believe and hope I’ll get it.”