Bad news for Massa? Ecclestone ‘doesn’t remember’ key ‘Crashgate’ interview

Former F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone says he has no recollection of giving an interview where he admitted that he was aware Nelson Piquet Jr. crashed deliberately at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.
Bernie Ecclestone (GBR). Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, Race Day.
Bernie Ecclestone (GBR). Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain…

The incident allowed Fernando Alonso to win the inaugural race in Singapore from 14th on the grid - Renault’s first of the season.

A year later, it soon transpired that Piquet Jr. had crashed on purpose to aid Alonso’s chances.

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The effect of Piquet Jr. crashing deliberately was enormous for the championship battle as Felipe Massa was forced to pit prematurely.

During the pit stop, the fuel hose got stuck in Massa’s Ferrari, dropping him from race-winning contention to the back of the grid, with the race one of the reasons he ultimately lost out on the title to Lewis Hamilton.

15 years later, Massa is pursuing legal action with lawyers seeking compensation for what happened in Singapore.

Massa decided to go down the legal route after Ecclestone revealed in an interview with F1-Insider that he and former FIA president Max Mosley were aware of what happened but couldn’t act on it.

Ecclestone has since denied giving the interview.

“I don't remember any of this, to be honest. I don't remember giving the interview, for sure," he told Reuters.

What did Ecclestone say in the interview?

Back in March, Ecclestone told F1-Insider: “We wanted to protect the sport and save it from a huge scandal.

“At the time, the rule was that a world championship standings were untouchable after the FIA awards ceremony at the end of the year. So Hamilton was offered the trophy and everything was fine.

“I still feel sorry for Massa today. He won the final in his home race in Sao Paulo and did everything right. He was robbed of the title he deserved while Hamilton had all the luck in the world and won his first championship. 

“Today I would have settled it differently. That is why, for me, Michael Schumacher is still the sole record holder. Even if the statistics say otherwise.”

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