Reigning F1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton has admitted his 'shock' that recovering Ferrari rival Felipe Massa has sought to devalue his maiden drivers' crown by suggesting he was 'robbed' of the 2008 title by Nelsinho Piquet's deliberate Singapore crash.
Last week, Massa contended that the 'Singapore-gate' scandal had been akin to 'robbery' and that both the outcome of the top flight's inaugural night race and destiny of the 2008 laurels should be changed accordingly, something he revealed he had even considered pursuing legal action in order to achieve [see separate story – click here
The São Paulista had been leading the grand prix around the Marina Bay street circuit when Piquet's accident caused practically all of the drivers to dash for the pit-lane to refuel as the safety car emerged, but in the ensuing rush to ensure that he retained his advantage, Ferrari made a mistake and Massa drive off with the fuel hose still attached to his car, eventually taking the chequered flag well outside the points in an unlucky 13th. The 28-year-old went on to miss out on the drivers' trophy by just a single point to Hamilton – who has offered little sympathy for his rival's outspoken argument.
“I'm shocked to hear him say that,” the McLaren-Mercedes star told The Associated Press
, “because I've always felt him a fair driver and he knows that we had a fair battle right to the end – at least that's how I saw it.
“It's good to hear that he's recovering well and he's back on his feet and back to his normal self and feeling good. All we can say is that it was a tough season; things happened.
“There were lots and lots of 'what-ifs' throughout the season, so I'm a bit surprised to hear him say that because I thought we had quite a fair battle and I won it fair and square. It doesn't matter to me what he said.”
After spending some time convalescing at home in Brazil from the fractured skull and head and eye injuries he suffered in his accident at the Hungaroring back in July, Massa is set to return to the cockpit later this week [see separate story – click here