Bernie Ecclestone responds to Felipe Massa’s $82m lawsuit over Crashgate

Bernie Ecclestone issues a response to Felipe Massa's lawsuit over the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix

Bernie Ecclestone, MotoGP race, Valencia MotoGP, 26 November
Bernie Ecclestone, MotoGP race, Valencia MotoGP, 26 November

Bernie Ecclestone has had his say about Felipe Massa’s new lawsuit over Crashgate.

Massa has started legal proceedings against the FIA, F1 and Ecclestone over the controversial 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

Crashgate was when Nelson Piquet Jr crashed on purpose to help Fernando Alonso, forcing race-leader Massa into a pitstop and eventually costing him the chance to win the title which Lewis Hamilton claimed.

“If he had asked me, I would have said it was the complete right thing to do, to sue, and to let an English judge decide what is right and wrong,” Ecclestone told the British Press Association.

“I cannot say anything about the outcome and what will happen.

“From his point of view, it is better that an English judge comes up with a verdict. It will be of more help for him.”

Ex-F1 driver Massa is seeking at least $82m in damages.

Massa’s legal bid was expected after he requested comment from governing bodies into the incident.

“I always said I was going to fight until the end,” Massa said.

“Since the FIA and FOM decided not to do anything, we will seek to right this historical injustice in court.

“The matter is now for our lawyers and they are fully authorised to do whatever is necessary so justice in sport is served.”

Ecclestone admitted in an interview with F1-Insider that, in 2008, he became aware that Piquet Jr crashed on purpose, but he chose not to investigate until it was too late to overturn the championship standings.

Crashgate became a public controversy in 2009.

Massa has accused the FIA of “a most serious form of wrongdoing”.

Massa’s filings also demand “a declaration that the FIA acted in breach of its own regulations in failing to investigate the circumstances of the crash promptly in 2008”.

He also wants “a declaration that if the FIA had not acted in breach of its own regulations, it would have cancelled or adjusted the results of the Singapore Grand Prix with the consequence that Mr Massa would have won the drivers’ championship in 2008”.

It is added: “The defendants’ actions caused significant financial loss to the claimant.”

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