Ex-Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa has slammed Renault’s ‘Crashgate’ penalty as “bulls***”, with the Brazilian set to take legal action against F1 and the FIA.
‘Crashgate’, was the name given to an incident which happened during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, in what is one of the biggest scandals in the history of the sport.
15 years ago, at the Marina Bay Circuit, Renault instructed Nelson Piquet Jr to crash on purpose, triggering a Safety Car which put team-mate at the time Fernando Alonso in a position to win the race.
Renault’s cheating was only announced to the world almost a year later, yet the results from the race remained.
Had they been voided given that a team fixed the result, then Massa would’ve won the 2008 title, not Lewis Hamilton.
Renault were slammed with a suspended disqualification from F1, whilst Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds were banned from the sport.
However, both bans were overturned, with Briatore currently being an F1 ambassador, whilst Symonds went on to work for Williams, where he interestingly worked with Massa.
Massa is insistent that Renault weren’t punished, with him insisting that “nobody paid” for the incident.
“The punishment was no punishment,” Massa told The Athletic. “Nobody paid for that.” For me, this is – sorry for the word – but it is bulls***.”
Massa wants the results to be voided so that he becomes the 2008 World Champion, whilst he is also wanting millions of euros in compensation.
He’s taking legal action against the FIA and F1 because he believes that it’s the “correct thing to do”, and because former F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone is quoted as having said that himself and former FIA president Max Mosley knew about the incident at the time but chose to remain silent.
The Brazilian is “pretty confident” that he will be successful.
“This is what we are fighting for,” Massa said. This is [why] we get together a group of lawyers to fight because this is the correct thing to do.”
“We are pretty confident [in] the situation. We will fight them to the end because it was not correct. It was not fair for the sport, what happened.
“Everything came out in [a] very difficult moment, you know, for me, with knowing about what’s happened [during] that race in Singapore, then my accident. Everything was together, so it was definitely not easy,” Massa said.
“The most important thing I had in my mind was to get back to the car.”