‘My case is manipulation’ - Massa on why '08 can't be compared to Abu Dhabi '21

Felipe Massa has hit back at claims that his legal pursuit against the 2008 F1 world championship could set a precedent for others, explaining why his case is completely different to Damon Hill’s in 1994 or Lewis Hamilton's in 2021.
Felipe Massa (BRA) FIA Drivers' Commission President. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 4, Emilia Romagna Grand Prix,
Felipe Massa (BRA) FIA Drivers' Commission President. Formula 1 World…

Massa’s lawyers announced earlier this year that they would be contesting the result of the 2008 season due to what happened in Singapore.

Renault fixed the inaugural race at the Marina Bay Street Circuit by ordering Nelson Piquet Jr. to crash out on purpose to aid Fernando Alonso’s chances. 

The crash resulted in an untimely Safety Car for Massa - who was leading the race at the time - but lost out at the pit stop phase after the fuel hose didn’t get detached from his car.

Massa would go on to lose the title to Hamilton in the final round in Brazil by a single point.

Nelson Piquet Jr (BRA) (Left) and Felipe Massa (BRA) FIA Drivers' Commission President (Right). Formula 1 World
Nelson Piquet Jr (BRA) (Left) and Felipe Massa (BRA) FIA Drivers'…

15 years on, Massa is pursuing legal action after former F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone suggested that he and ex-FIA president Max Mosely was aware of what happened in Singapore but didn’t act on it.

One criticism that has been put towards Massa is that his desire to get the result overturned through the courts could set a precedent for other controversial seasons.

For example, Hamilton didn’t win the 2021 title after an error by FIA race director Michael Masi, while in 1994, Michael Schumacher deliberately crashed with Hill to win the championship.

In an interview with RacingNews365, Massa explained why his case is completely different.

"It is the most important thing that people need to understand, that before you say: 'Oh if Felipe wins the case, every championship that has some grey areas will change,” he said.

"The only difference between all these championships and what happened was maybe a mistake [from officials], maybe crashes or maybe a result that was not corrected by the FIA on the sporting side because of a technical issue or whatever, these cases were related to that. 

"My case is related to manipulation, related to sabotage and it is a completely different situation.  It is a completely different situation and my case was investigated as the race in Singapore was manipulated. 

"This was a year after, and unfortunately there was a rule saying that if it was not in the same year, the result of the championship cannot be changed. 

(L to R): Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 with Felipe Massa (BRA) FIA Drivers' Commission President in Sprint parc
(L to R): Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 with Felipe Massa (BRA) FIA…

"But then after 15 years, we hear that Bernie Ecclestone said he knew in 2008, we hear that [former race director] Charlie Whiting knew in 2008 and they didn't do anything to not risk the brand of Formula 1.

"So my case is a manipulation case, it is not sporting, technical or anything else. You need to separate the difference between my case and all of the others. 

"I think maybe sometimes people don't understand the difference between what happened in my case in 2008 compared to maybe the other cases [such as 1994 or 2021]."

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