Massa says Crashgate was like a fixed football match

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In the round-up: Felipe Massa says the kind of cheating perpetrated by Renault at Singapore in 2008 would have been punished more effectively in other sports.


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Felipe Massa: ‘Singapore was like a match where they pay the referee’ (The Guardian)

“What happened there is like in football when you have a match where they pay the referee. We see matches in football where they see they pay the referee and the team that loses goes to court. In Formula One nothing happens.”

Massa full of hope for life after Ferrari (Reuters)

“I am very optimistic that something will come. Very. I think we are going to find the direction. I don’t know where, but I am really confident that something will come and it can be good, interesting.”

Inside F1 – Japanese Grand Prix (BBC)

Mark Webber: “We’re qualified, I suppose in a way, to fly F18s, we’re not qualified to fly for British Airways. We want to push all the time, that’s our job.”

Vettel signals no change (Sky)

“We have had a little bit of a chat as some people for some reason seem to get offended [by his finger gesture], but I think the most important is you are who you are and stick to that.”

This was mentioned on Vettel’s radio at the end of the last race – see the radio transcript for details.

Raikkonen: Lotus pace has improved (Autosport)

“It has been better, more to my liking today, than it has been for the last few races, especially on one lap.”

Pirelli and McLaren F1 team to test 2014 Grand Prix tyres at Vallelunga (AutoWeek)

“Pirelli and the McLaren-Mercedes Formula One team will now test 2014-specification F1 tire compounds at the Vallelunga circuit, near Rome, Italy – and have invited other teams to participate.”

Korea 2013 – race edit (F1)

Video highlights from the Korean Grand Prix with a little extra team radio from a very frustrated Daniel Ricciardo.

End of the road (Darren Heath Photographer)

“Yeongam’s Korea International Circuit, whether Formula 1 continues to race there or not, will surely not go down in the annals of the sport as a great place for an F1 race.”


Comment of the day

Many readers expressed their sorrow and sympathy at the tragic death of Maria de Villota yesterday. Here’s a selection of the responses:

This is absolutely awful. My thoughts are with her family and friends through this time. It’s a tragedy.

I had so much respect for Maria, she made her way in a world which is exclusively male (sports are one of the worst areas in society for gender equality, and motor sport is one of the worst sports for that) and the fact she managed to have a career racing is an incredible testament to her talents and character. The way she handled her accident and her injuries from that was beautiful and inspiring too.

Not many would have achieved what she has since. This is a real shock and a big loss for the racing world.
Steph (@Stephanief1990)

This is so horrible. I’m very saddened. I met her in person and she was a gorgeous and intelligent lady who was out there to achieve the impossible. RIP Maria.
Aish Heydrich (@Aish)

That’s horrible news. I feel so awful for the de Villota family.

The one thing I will always remember about Maria isn’t the fact that was a test driver, but that she had such a wonderful nature about herself – always appearing bright and cheery whenever she was interviewed or on camera. Even after suffering a severe personal tragedy in her accident last year, the way she bounced back and just seemed to take it all in her stride was of testament to her strong character and I have nothing but respect for her for that.

A great loss for the entire motorsport community.

RIP, a strong woman with a kind heart taken too soon. Thoughts go out to her family and friends.

From the forum

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On this day in F1

Michael Schumacher clinched his sixth world championship despite a somewhat scrappy performance in the Japanese Grand Prix ten years ago today.

His championship rival Kimi Raikkonen needed to win but could only finish second behind the other Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello. At any rate Schumacher’s eighth place was enough to assure him of a record-breaking sixth title.

Here’s a recap of the frantic race:

Image © Singapore GP/Sutton

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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38 comments on “Massa says Crashgate was like a fixed football match”

  1. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    12th October 2013, 0:21

    Massa’s comments say more about Brazilian Football than F1.

    1. Well it’s the state of football and the state of F1. If you are going deep on details it’s not always as scandalous as crashgate but well you can argue that a certain team has monopolized F1 and it’s not the first team someone has done it but certainly not in such a way.

    2. @jackisthestig he could’ve used tennis or cycling, couldn’t he? but everything is fixed to some extent, as @peartree (Nirvana inspired nick?) says.

      1. What I think it’s curious is how we fans are aware to a certain extent of the lack of transparency in our favourite sports. @fer-no65 I like the tea, I kind of like the band but more importantly I love to joke around.

        1. @peartree when there’s money involved, it’s hard to overlook it, I suppose. Lack of transparency happens for a reason. F1, and all the other sports, are not about pure passion and glory these days…

  2. Get over it Felipe, you lost the title on other races.

  3. Massa is bitter about crash-gate, and rightfully so, he lost an easy win because of it, and in the long-run it probably cost him the 2008 WDC. I always felt that Felipe deserved the championship more than Lewis that year. People will often point to Spa as unjustified points that Massa gained and Hamilton lost, but Massa lost 10 points to Lewis in Singapore because of the race fixing, that was practically a WDC lost out of his control. Not to mention Hungary, where he lost another 10 points completely out of his control. Most of Hamilton’s points lost in 2008 were due his own mistakes, most notably Bahrain, Canada, and France, while most points Felipe lost were due unlucky misfortunes. I’m not saying that Lewis was not a worthy champion of ’08, but in my opinion, had Felipe won it, he would have deserved it more.

    Rant over. That was a great video highlight of Suzuka 2003! Quite a classic and underrated title decider.

    1. Unlucky misfortunes? Even here in Brazil people don’t defend him this way.
      Felipe spun out in Malasya, crashed two times in Australia, and in England he spun 7 times!!!!. His race in Italy was ludicrous, starting in 6th and finishing in 6th while Lewis come from 13th to 7th. He made a mistake in Monaco losing the lead to Kubica and got a win in France because of Kimi’s exhaust failure.
      In each one of this races (except France of course) had he done better he would have been champion. On Hungary Massa was unlucky, but so was Hamilton with a flat tyre.
      Ferrari had a better car through the most part of the year.

      1. I’ll just add that arguably Mclaren benefited from other lucky safety car moments.

      2. @edmarques

        Felipe spun out in Malasya, crashed two times in Australia,

        So? Who didn’t make a lot of mistakes in 2008, the first year of TC ban? Hamilton and Raikkonen both shunted far more often than Massa did in ’08, so did Alonso and Vettel for that matter, so what’s your point?

        and in England he spun 7 times!!!!

        5 times, but that doesn’t disprove the comment above.

        His race in Italy was ludicrous, starting in 6th and finishing in 6th while Lewis come from 13th to 7th.

        McLaren was much better than Ferrari in the rain that year.

        He made a mistake in Monaco losing the lead to Kubica

        While Hamilton crashed into the wall that race and got a fluky win out of it.

        and got a win in France because of Kimi’s exhaust failure.

        And lost two wins in Hungary and Singapore despite no control of the situation in his own hands.

        In each one of this races (except France of course) had he done better he would have been champion.

        And if Hamilton had done a better job in Bahrain, Canada, and France, he would have wrapped up the title with 3 races to spare.

        Ferrari had a better car through the most part of the year.

        But also less reliable.

        I recommend that you check out this thread;

        1. Is not Mclaren that was better in the rain, Massa is awful in the rain. The only time that i remember a good race in the wet was his fight with Kubica in Fuji 2007.
          My point is that he not lost the title by misfortune, but by his mistakes.
          The safety car was on the early stage of the race in Singapore, you can’t afirm that he was going to win the race. Hungary he was going to, as Lewis would finish second if not for his flat tyre. Different than Mansell in 87 and Senna in 89 that made little mistakes during the season and lost the championship mainly in mechanical failures, Massa made a lot of them and cannot simply say that he lost the title by misfortune.

          1. This “Massa is awful in the rain” stuff is just a myth, ok so in Silverstone that year he was, but it’s quite obvious that the Ferrari was crap in the rain that first year of TC ban. Where was Raikkonen in Monza? He qualifyed behind Hamilton, while Massa took it to Q3. But Massa’s best wet weather performance must’ve been 2009 in China, until the car once again falied on him…

          2. @oel-f1

            But Massa’s best wet weather performance must’ve been 2009 in China, until the car once again falied on him…

            I dunno, the his last race win in Brazil I would rate above that.

      3. Hamilton actually had one of his worse years in 2008. I wonder if that affects peoples opinions, because the year before he had been so much less erratic and error-prone, thus meaning he wasn’t at his best while Massa was (despite the fact that as you show, his year also had some terrible races as well great).

        Another point, didn’t Massa cause the contact with Bourdais in Fuji (regardless of the penalty)?

        1. *as well as great

    2. Massa is even poorer on analogies than on driving these days, but essentially you’re right. To me Massa is 2008 WDC, as far as the 19 non-farcical races of that year go.

      1. Does Belgium count as a non-farcical race?

        1. Yes, it doesn’t count.
          Lewis Hamilton penalty was completely deserved.

    3. Was the problem which led to Massa leaving his box early actually related to the goings on of the race? I don’t remember at all, and just assumed that it was something that could well have happened regardless of whether the pit stop was a reaction to a safety car or not.

    4. I’m a Massa fan but I just don’t understand what he’s trying to get at with these comments. To me it seems that ever since Ferrari sacked him he’s been using the press as a way to feel better about losing his seat, despite the fact that he was lucky enough to survive so long with Ferrari despite a raft of dismal races since his return in 2010.

      OK, the whole crash gate scenario was bitterly unfortunate but at the end of the day it was what, six years ago? It doesn’t really mean anything right now. Besides I don’t actually think it cost him the championship because you can’t just look at one race in a 19 race-season and say “that was where we lost the title” because there were races whereby Massa made some silly errors like Malaysia that year.

      Where is the Massa that lost the title in 2008 with such dignity and sportsmanship?

    5. David not Coulthard (@)
      12th October 2013, 5:36

      he lost an easy win

      An easy point, actually (he only needed 1 more to win the title).

      Having said that, on a completely unrelated note,if Vettel drove as slow as he could after passing Lewis at Interlagos Massa would’ve also won the championship.

      And the Tifosi’s would have a slightly softer spot for Vettel.

    6. Massa blundered off with the fuel line. He can only blame the team and himself for that.

      Also he kept lingering at the back of the field while Raikkonen made it back to P5. Although he kept pushing and ultimately crashed.

      Massa lost himself even more points in the first two races and Silverstone.

      He really has only himself to blame for not winning an easy WDC in what was then the fastest car. Especially when they changed it to suit him instead of Raikkonen.

      1. Also he kept lingering at the back of the field while Raikkonen made it back to P5.

        Because he got an additional penalty for the unsafe release, putting him much further back than even Raikkonen.

  4. So is Massa trying to say he should be Champion or he just wants to be critic to Alonso (who just yesterday said he was as good as Raikkonen, which is a lie). He comes off very NEEDY. Somehow that article must have been meant to the masses of Brazilian “fans” who want him to win, but never watch any F1, so he has to use an analogy (even if a bad one) to explain what happened.

  5. Massa is losing the plot. He says if not for crashgate he wouldve won? So somehow Renault also made ferraris pit crew stuff up his stop? Ridiculous, it was not the only time they screwed up pit stops that year, and was one reason in race refuelling was banned, and the sole reason they reverted to the lollipop method the following season.
    He also says he expects #1 status at any team willing to take him… Seriously felipe? You haven’t won a race in 5 years driving a ferrari, and don’t tell me its because they wouldn’t let you, team orders have only been imposed when Alonso was the only one with a realistic chance of taking the title, you had more than a chance to win races and prove you were more than a #2.
    So if he will only accept a drive where he will be given (not expected to earn, like everyone else) #1 status, where are his options? Grosjean is much quicker than Massa, so lotus is off the table. Sauber are unlikely to give him #1, even at marussia, bianchi would out do him, so why would they want him? Let alone give him preferential treatment?
    Be realistic felipe, you earned your #2 status at ferrari, so don’t expect handouts now.

    1. So somehow Renault also made ferraris pit crew stuff up his stop?

      Indirectly they did affect how Ferrari went about that pit stop.
      Because there was so many cars in the pits due to the SC Ferrari disabled the automatic mode on the light system.
      Had they left the Auto-Mode on like under a normal stop then the light would not have gone green until the fuel hose was removed so Massa would not have left with it attached.

      it was not the only time they screwed up pit stops that year

      It actually was. The incident at Valencia was purely down to Kimi exiting his pits while the light was still Red, That was 100% Kimi’s mistake & not the teams.

      1. But why disable it? Stupid choice by the team. Besides, felipe screwed up a lot of races that year on his own, who’s to say he wouldnt have done in Singapore as well. If ifs and buts were candy and nuts wed all have a merry christmas.

        1. But why disable it? Stupid choice by the team.

          They disabled it because the SC had brought everyone into the pits.

          On Auto-Mode the light went green as soon as the fuel hose was removed so it could have released him into the path of another car coming down the pit lane.
          They switched to manual mode to ensure the car was released when the pit lane was clear.

          Had Nelson not crashed & the SC not been brought out Massa would have had a normal pit stop with the light system in its normal automatic mode & it would have been impossible for the light to go green until the fuel hose was removed.

  6. Glad to see vettel sticking to his guns on the whole “1 finger salute” thing. Ridiculous how people clutch at straws suggesting that is somehow a reason to hate him lol. As a ferrari fan, I don’t like seeing ferrari get smashed every weekend, especially by a drinks company (and a disgusting drink at that lol), but you have to give credit where its due. It takes very petty individuals to hate someone simply because he’s beating your favourite driver/team. I actually like vettel for his off track personality as much as his on track talent. And would love to see him in red. As much as I respect alonsos talent and think he is the best racer on the grid, his personality is perhaps comparable to his one lap pace – not bad, but not as good as vettels ;) keep doing the finger seb, if for nothing else, just to annoy the haters lol

    1. @fangio85 @KeithCollantine I am not from Europe but here in Americas I never found there was any inhibitions towards the index figure gesture in any forms of life as far as it is not middle finger.

      Honestly I have this question. Is the Middle Finger Gesture something offensive in England and rest of Europe ? If so what is it trying to convey wrong ? More than anything I just wanted to know about it personally to understand the culture.

      BTW a suggestion to Vettel Nay Sayers – Read the comments from the sky Sport article that keith has shared. There is a whole lot of trashing of Vettel for just about everything. Some have gone to the extent of saying that Vettel is the biggest Liability for Red Bull and how RBR is ruing signing Vettel !!!!!! It was fun reading that and seeing to the extent people say stuff !!!!!

      1. I’m from England and as far as I’m aware there is no problem with showing an index finger (around here or in Europe). I too don’t agree with how people can get agitated by this finger other than the arrogance it shows by suggesting that he is #1 (Hence the one finger), but even that is a poor excuse to boo him for it.

        I’m not sure its the finger that people are booing but how he has run away with the championship early and more likely the way Vettel treated Webber with the ‘Get him out of the way’ comments and obviously the whole Malaysia incident.

        Also I wouldn’t read too much into the multi-sport news websites and their commenters, these people post ridiculous stuff either because they are very young and cannot get over jealousy, or just like to play up to the ‘troll’ trend we are seeing on the internet nowadays.

  7. I’m not a Vettel fan but I’m actually glad he’s not changing the way he is. But the fact that the team even considered it makes me worried, public perception shouldn’t be this important.

    Also It’s very hypocritical fom Red Bull to try to change one of their drivers personality when what they should be doing is look at themselves and see how they’re also damaging F1’s image, for example by opposing to cost control measures.

  8. I’m very glad Vettel isn’t changing his finger style celebration. Sod it if people hate it, it’s his own way, and he’s doing it when he wins, let the guy celebrate the way he wants.

    Schumacher used to jump like a clown everytime he won, and conduct the orchestra with the italian hymn. Webber jumped like a cangaroo from Silverstone 2010 onwards. Alonso used to flicke his fingers during Renault days.

    Everyone had it’s own ways. At a time when people complain about drivers being robots, holding a winner back and not letting him celebrate the way he likes (which I don’t find offensive, tbh), it’s hypcritical.

    I understand Red Bull, tho, it’s the same as “big f smile” to Grosjean last weekend. Public image is everything for the teams and sponsors. And to be booed isn’t funny, I suppose, even if they show like they don’t care…

    Respect to them anyway. Maybe if the other teams are capable enough, we’d get less finger and more of other stuff.

    1. I fully agree with that. Just as most drivers have their own helmet design, how they celebrate winning is their thing (as far as its not meant to be rude or something).

      Why on earth should Vettel change the finger. Just because some people don’t like it? I don’t like seeing the finger all the time, and I think its sad that Vettel and the team keep doing their enthusiastic victory cries over the radio again and again, but unless someone does a better job (or FOM starts giving us different radio comms instead) its not Vettel who has to change his ways!

  9. Now that Massa is the dead horse, in front of which there is a long queue of people ready to do some beating, here we are again, saying that what happened in Singapore wasn’t that bad after all and that Massa is losing the plot.
    What happened in Singapore is among the lowest points in F1 history, simple as that. And yes, Massa lost 10 points to Hamilton because Renault manipulated the rules so Alonso can win. That was shameful and Massa is right to complain. He is not saying that Hamilton need to be stripped of his title, he is saying that what happened was awful.
    And it was.

    1. I still believe Massa has some good amount of racing left in him if given proper respect and motivation. If he is given his due importance and not treated like a door mat he will definitely do some good stuff. Much better than Perez or Grosjean et all for sure. !!!!

  10. Nice watching the Korea race Edit after today’s qualifying. “rise like a phoenix” with Webbers car going up in flames and now he is on pole :-)

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