2 October 2009
Massa: Piquet crash cost me title
Felipe Massa afforded Nelson Piquet Jr a cursory handshake when the pair met at a Brazilian kart circuit this week, but repeated the claim that his countryman's 'accident' in last year's Singapore Grand Prix cost him the F1 world title.
Although Piquet attempted to greet the recovering Massa when they bumped into each other at the Kartodromo Granja Viana, the Ferrari pilot reportedly resisted the offered embrace and opted for a polite handshake instead. Piquet, clearly embarrassed by the awkwardness of the situation, left briskly and their paths did not cross again for the remainder of the day.
The pair were testing karts ahead of forthcoming 'all-star' events in Brazil, with Massa taking his first laps in anything since his horrendous accident in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix in July. According to Sao Paulo's O Globo, Piquet complimented his countryman on his recovery, but received short shrift in return, as Massa continued to brood on the outcome of last year's world championship battle having lost what appeared to be a certain win in Singapore when the safety car came out to recover Piquet's crashed Renault.
With the younger Brazilian now having claimed that he was instructed to crash in order to help team-mate Fernando Alonso take a much-needed victory for the regie, Massa believes that, despite later suffering a pit-lane incident that ruled out any points at all, he and the Ferrari team would not have been in that position had it not been for the safety car period.
Although neither driver wanted to comment on their brief meeting, Massa has already made his feelings clear in an interview with TV Globo.
"It was an ugly attitude for a team to tell a driver that he had to crash to have his contract renewed," he said, "Piquet knew he was going to be fired, so he was vulnerable.
"[His actions] created a lot of things, as the safety car meant that most of the cars had to go the pit. We had ten cars going in, and my stop went wrong [when] a mechanic pressed a button in a situation that would never have happened in a normal pit-stop. That's why it bothers me, Renault stole the win."
While he accepts that Piquet's revelation of the truth was a worthy act, Massa insists that he should not have waited so long to do so, especially as it meant that there was no chance of having the result - and the outcome of the world championship - adjusted.
"He only told the truth because he was fired," the Brazilian insisted, "Everything that happened that day was robbery, but the result remains the same and that is not right. It changed the outcome of a championship and I lost.
"I have seen referees take money to throw a game in football, and all the suspect results were annulled, but all they have done here is sent [Flavio] Briatore home. I don't think it is right."
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