Massa’s problematic vision of Lance Armstrong-style justice over Crashgate

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Felipe Massa is looking into whether any action can be taken over a race which contributed to his world championship defeat 15 years ago.

The former Ferrari driver was beaten to the 2008 world championship by Lewis Hamilton, missing out on the title by one point in a nail-biting finale.

Massa won praise for the sporting attitude he exhibited in defeat. It was a world apart from the conduct of one rival team two months earlier in Singapore. The tactics Renault used to win that race “violated the very essence of sporting fairness but also demonstrated a total disregard for the safety of others”, according to the FIA when it delivered its verdict almost a year after the fact.

The team’s drivers Fernando Alonso and Nelson Piquet Jnr qualified a lowly 15th and 16th respectively in Singapore. In an effort to get Alonso to the front of the field, Renault instructed him to make an early pit stop and his team mate was told to crash shortly afterwards. The plot worked: Piquet’s crash triggered a Safety Car period which put Alonso in the lead, from where he won.

Massa wants to reopen the book on the Crashgate controversy
Massa was collateral damage in the episode which became known as ‘Crashgate’. He had taken pole position and was leading when his countryman Piquet spun his R28 backwards into a barrier at turn 17.

In response, Ferrari summoned him into the pits, but subsequently failed to disengage his refuelling hose correctly. Massa’s car tore it from the tank as he left the pits. He had been on course to turn a one-point deficit to Hamilton into a one-point lead; instead he finished 13th and dropped seven points behind.

Since retiring from F1 six years ago, Massa has been the FIA karting president and now heads up the drivers’ commission. However he is now raising questions over how the governing body handled the Crashgate episode.

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There was speculation over what Renault had done at the time. One team member who was not part of the conspiracy even challenged Piquet over why, instead of braking when he lost control of his car, he continued to accelerate.

Nelson Piquet Jnr, Renault., Singapore, 2008
Feature: Crashgate – The 2008 Singapore Grand prix controversy explained
Despite this Renault went unpunished for almost a year. The FIA only began actively probing the controversy after Piquet’s father, three-times world champion Nelson Piquet, formally contacted the FIA nearly 10 months after the race.

Max Mosley, the FIA president at the time, indicated he was aware of the questions surrounding the crash before then. The information reached him via Charlie Whiting, the FIA F1 race director at the time, who was previously Piquet Snr’s chief mechanic at Brabham in the eighties. Piquet told Whiting what had happened at that year’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

In an interview with Sky in 2013 Mosley indicated Whiting told him what had happened before 2009. “Charlie told me so we knew what had happened but there was absolutely no proof, no evidence,” said Mosley. “Then in ’09 Nelson Snr came to see me in Monaco and he told me the story.” However in his autobiography two years later Mosley indicated he first heard claims Renault had cheated in Singapore “early in 2009.”

But in an interview with F1 Insider last month Bernie Ecclestone learned of the FIA heard the accusations in 2008. Moreover, he said they had done so early enough that they could have taken action to overturn the results of the race.

“We had enough information in time to investigate the matter,” he said. “According to the statutes, we should have cancelled the race in Singapore under these conditions. That means it would never have happened for the world championship standings. Then Felipe Massa would have become world champion and not Lewis Hamilton.”

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Massa has seized upon those comments. “This is very sad, to know the result of this race was supposed to be cancelled and I would have a title,” he told Motorsport. “In the end, I was the one who lost the most with this result. So, we are going after it to understand all this.”

Massa had a 4.3-second lead when Piquet crashed
The results of the 2008 championship, including Renault’s ill-gotten win, are long since finalised. Massa is aware the “justice” he seeks will be hard to come by.

But, he points out, precedents exist in other sporting competitions. “We have already seen other situations happening in sports, such as Lance Armstrong, who was proven to have doped, and he lost all the titles. What is the difference?”

There are several differences, but the most significant is that while Armstrong (pictured top with Massa) cheated his way to Tour de France trophies, the 2008 F1 world champion was not part of the team which broke the rules in Singapore.

While the Singapore Grand Prix was one race which formed part of the 2008 world championship, the Tour de France is a standalone event held over 23 gruelling days. American cyclist Lance Armstrong won the race for seven years in a row between 1999 and 2005, but in 2012 was stripped of every one of his titles for systematically cheating the sport’s anti-doping rules using performance-enhancing substances such as erythropoietin.

Only the most basic parallels can be drawn between this case and Crashgate. Armstrong cheated and was stripped of his victories; Renault cheated and kept theirs.

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The UCI (International Cycling Union) reacted to Armstrong’s unmasking as a cheat by stripping him of his Tour de France wins. However, recognising that other cyclists also doped at the same time, they chose not to award the victories to anyone else. Officially, no one won the 1999 to 2005 tours.

Bernie Ecclestone, Interlagos, 2022
Hamilton criticised Ecclestone’s comments on Piquet and Putin
If the FIA could do the same (and there are distant precedents – no one finished second in the 1983 Brazilian Grand Prix after Keke Rosberg was disqualified for being given a push start) this would not result in Massa becoming champion. In order to do that the result of the entire race would need to be voided.

Of course, if the FIA had taken the logical route of disqualifying Renault from the race, Hamilton would have picked up two more points and won the title by a wider margin. Unsurprisingly, this is not what Massa is arguing for.

What Massa seems to want is something slightly different from the action taken against Armstrong: He wants the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix expunged from the record books. In this he is taking his lead from Ecclestone. The motivation behind the former F1 CEO’s words therefore requires consideration.

When Piquet Snr was found to have made racist and homophobic comments about Hamilton last year, Ecclestone leapt to his defence. Hamilton, speaking after Ecclestone had also defended Russian president Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, retaliated by saying the views of “old voices” should not be given a platform.

Ecclestone’s comments on Crashgate this year were transparently intended as a swipe at Hamilton. He claimed Massa was “cheated of the title he deserved while Hamilton had all the luck in the world.” Besides neglecting to point out Hamilton was not the one who did the cheating, the statement is hardly borne out by the circumstances of that year’s Belgian Grand Prix.

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Whatever steps Massa now intends to take, it’s hard to imagine the FIA editing the results of the 2008 world championship a decade and a half after the fact. The governing body has since had to react to the deeply controversial circumstances of the 2021 title-decider, following which former FIA F1 race director Michael Masi was shown the door after making an error which likely cost Hamilton a record-breaking eighth world championship.

It’s hard not to sympathise with Massa over the events of Singapore. Sadly, we never got to see the continuation of his fight with Hamilton in that race, or how a fair outcome to that grand prix might have influenced the final rounds of the year.

By the time the facts of Crashgate came to light, Massa was out of action. The day before Piquet Snr told the FIA his son was prepared to blow the whistle on the conspiracy, Massa was struck by debris during qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix and suffered serious head injuries. He returned to competition in 2010 and never won another F1 race. That might have been different had he not been ordered to hand victory in Germany that year to his new team mate – Alonso.

Does Massa believe Hamilton should lose his first world title?
The injustice clearly still rankles. Piquet Jnr has said his countryman blames him for the lost title. Massa has voiced his suspicions over who knew what and when regarding Crashgate before, and compared it to match-fixing in football. Whether his attempt to reopen the book on the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix will lead anywhere remains to be seen.

But as recent experience has shown, unpicking the championship implications from a single tainted race is extremely difficult even when the controversy occurs on the final lap of the season, never mind with three-and-a-half grands prix to go. Hamilton was no more the culprit at Singapore in 2008 than Max Verstappen was in Abu Dhabi a year and a half ago.

It’s one thing to take titles away from a disgraced cheat. But does Massa really believe Hamilton should be stripped of his 2008 world championship because another team broke the rules?

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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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80 comments on “Massa’s problematic vision of Lance Armstrong-style justice over Crashgate”

  1. I mean, the only real argument against Massa you can make is “why did you wait this long?” but other than that, that championship should, by all rights, be his and his alone.

    1. @sjaakfoo It doesn’t work like that. Retrospectively removing the Singapore points would be an injustice to Hamilton (and everyone else) since subsequent races played out on the basis of that Singapore result. The next race was Japan where Massa collided with Hamilton (would Massa have done so if he was ahead in the championship?). Same goes for China and Brazil after.

      The thoroughly obnoxious Ecclestone – Putin-sympathiser, Bolsonaro-sympathiser and racist-Piquet-sympathiser – is just stirring trouble.

    2. Hi Bernie…

    3. @sjaakfoo Massa doesn’t have any proof apart from the claims of Ecclestone – an individual whom you have previously described as a manipulative liar and someone who shouldn’t be trusted. Why do you now suddenly want to believe Bernie, after all the years of disparaging and criticising him?

    4. True. I don’t understand why so many fail to see that fraudulence event should not ever be counted.

  2. It’s complex because Hamilton and mclaren didnt cheat. A third party did.

    It wouldnt be fair to them.

    But massa should go after this as far as he can. His career would be much different and better, had he won that year.

    1. His career would have much different and better if Barrichello’s Brawn wasn’t shedding components at Hungary.

  3. This is all somewhat ridiculous and the only real outcome I can see is Massa’s reputation being trashed, even if he did somehow “win”.

    1. Matt Wooding
      6th April 2023, 14:27

      Could they both be declared champion? It seems impossible to unpick otherwise.

      Or, over the winter, they could re-run the rest of the championship. Buy, borrow or un-mothball the relevant cars and drivers and dot it all over. I’d watch it 😊

  4. High Chaparral
    5th April 2023, 14:10

    Why is completely cancelling the race result more correct than DQing Alonso and either re-distributing the points or leaving the race win vacant?

    1. Disqualifying Renault was the only sensible option here and given the facts came to light much later (I don’t take ecclestone seriously at all now), this was presumably deemed a bit pointless. I don’t recall who finished second, so they might have something to do say about it, but it would and should be of no benefit to Massa, given where he finished. If his pitstop had gone correctly he might have scored points that day – that’s the real reason he didn’t win the title. To win a title, you need to be able to absorb setbacks – you have to overwin to be a true champion. If you can only win when everything goes your way, then you don’t belong at the top of your sport.

  5. The problem with his views is that Ferrari themselves still made a mess of that pitstop. Without it, we don’t know what the result might have been. The cause of the safety car is another matter. It could’ve been an honest mistake and the result would’ve been like this anyway.

    The only possible outcome, had Piquet Snr blowed the whistle in time, was for Alonso to be DSQ, as you say. And Massa, as sad as it is, because he was brilliant that year, would still lose the title.

    1. Doug Webster
      5th April 2023, 15:40

      Yes. This.

  6. Well it’s even less likely to happen than Hamilton being retrospectively awarded the 2021 title.

    1. Although who knows, they could do it all in one go. Take away the ’08 title from Hamilton and give him the ’21 title. Thus, Massa gets his title and Verstappen can win plenty more anyway. :)

      1. Except removing Abu Dhabi from the 2021 results doesn’t give Hamilton the title, it’s still Verstappen’s.

        1. @sjaakfoo Unless only the last lap got voided & or all driver-team points for Red Bull from the first post-budget cap breach GP onwards.

          1. If only the last gp was voided it wouldn’t work, as the person above said.

          2. Ahh, last lap, nevermind.

    2. Lewis Hamilton the sixth time World champion!

  7. They obviously should have investigated at the time, but considering the crowd of characters involved at the time it’s no surprise they didn’t.

    Sadly there’s no way to fix this one retroactively.

  8. No.
    He was gifted points at Spa that year.
    It would have tainted the title if had he won it then even more so than 2021. End of.
    Sorry Filipe.

    1. Hamilton was only able to pass Kimi at La Source by short cutting the Bus Stop chicane – that was penalty worthy, and he received one. Hamilton’s Bus Stop move messed up the end of that race, but I wouldn’t support any championship revision.

      1. I don’t agree. He lost momentum by handing the place back which erased any benefit of cutting the chicane. His well calculated risk taking is what got him the place back at la source.

    2. Absolutely not. Spa 08 was a fair penalty, though unexpected. The fact that the culprit got away with absolutely everything imaginable before Spa 08 (and mostly afterwards) does not change it.

      1. Pavan Kumar
        14th April 2023, 7:14

        Who was the culprit? And what did he get away with? Before and After?

  9. If Massa wanted to win that championship, he could have simply not spun on lap 1 in Australia, clash with David Coulthard in Australia, spin out in Malaysia, spin in Silverstone, spin in Silverstone, spin in Silverstone, spin in Silverstone, spin in Silverstone, clashed with Hamilton in Japan. Blaming an unrelated crash’s impact on his own team’s fuel rig doesn’t make for the strongest case.

    1. Exactly this.

    2. Blaming an unrelated crash’s impact on his own team’s fuel rig

      I guess his argument would be that if the intentional crash hadn’t happened he wouldn’t have been called into the pits at that time & under a normal pit stop there wouldn’t have been the panic that took place (As you always see with everyone rushing into the pits at the same time under a SC) which contributed to the error.

      Not saying it’s an opinion I necessarily share but I can see the line of thinking.

      I think both Felipe & Lewis as well as both Ferrari & McLaren made some silly errors that year which ended up making that championship far more competitive than it probably should have been. Without the errors you listed Felipe would have been champion but without some of the errors Lewis made he’d probably have won the championship a race or 2 early.

      1. All very fair points. Though I would maintain that Ferrari had persistent issues with their new traffic light system for pit stops across the year, and the next failure was a matter of “when” than “if”!

    3. Well, it’s worth noting that he was heavily unlucky having his retirement due to engine issue on him when he was comfortably leading the Hungarian Grand Prix with only 3 laps to go. That result alone would have guaranteed the title later even with crashworthy and Timo Glock being overtaken. I mention this because every time everyone says that Hamilton should be the champion in 2016 but it wasn’t due to engine issues, they tend to forgot the same happened to Massa in 2008 in a much evident way (3 laps to go, easy lead).

  10. Biskit Boy (@sean-p-newmanlive-co-uk)
    5th April 2023, 14:51

    There are lots of controversial happenings in all sports. Are all results now going to be provisional until for years to come? That would be crazy.

    The Lance Armstrong thing is a bit of a special case. He was proven to have cheated, in a sport was strong action was needed where drugs used for a personal performance gain were rife. The 2008 WDC is a totally different scenario, with one obviously questionable incident in which neither Massa nor Hamilton were at fault.

    I feel sorry for Massa because he deserved to win that year and did not, just as Hamilton deserved to win in some other years and did not.

    Deserving the win and actually winning are two different things.

    1. I can’t help but feel Lance Armstrong would have been better off winning just 2 tour de France. He mightn’t have raised such suspicion… haha

  11. Verstappen will have to fear being stripped of his title until 2036 !

    1. Itsmeagain (@)
      5th April 2023, 16:50

      Yeah great comment,… but next time try to keep focus on the subject.

  12. This is very sad. After all this time, Massa still can’t let go of a dream. However much it fades into the distant past he can’t let it go.

    But his logic is fallacious. If you were to cancel that Singapore race and then look at the point at the end of the year Hamilton is still champion. And that’s assuming nothing changes in subsequent races in this alternative reality that Massa is creating.

    As far as I know, the rules are once the result of the championship has been announced at the annual FIA gala, then that’s it. The end.

    If Massa continues with this, then it will be even more sad because he’ll be making himself look ridiculous.

    It would also open up a can of worms, including Ferrari’s perceived advantage in those years they seem to get from the FIA (that famous Ferrari International Assistance). There are other dubious incidents along the way in the Ecclestone Circus other drivers might not like digging up. You know Ecclestone? The man with the highest integrity in the world who always tells the absolute truth, and never shows any resentment at Hamilton equalling his hero, Schumacher.

    1. The man with the highest integrity in the world who always tells the absolute truth, and never shows any resentment at Hamilton equalling his hero, Schumacher.

      Ecclestone is the only reason Hamilton was even around to claim the 2008 title.

      If Mosley and the WMSC had their way, McLaren would have been kicked right out of the 2007 and 2008 seasons.

      Whatever Ecclestone’s personal opinions, he wasn’t going to stand for England being denied its superstar driver. Or in Ecclestone’s terms, miss out on all that sweet TV revenue.

  13. Whatever your views are on who should rightfully be the 2008 world champion, I think we can all wish Felipe the best of luck in screwing a large sum of money out of Bernie and Mosley over this, after all they’ve admitted knowing the rules were broken and covering it up. Hopefully he can make a defamation style case for the lost earnings associated with not being able to call himself a world champion for the last 15 years.

    1. Except Mosley is quite dead and Bernie might be too by the time proceedings get underway.

    2. Anyone who succeeds in getting money from Bernie is superhuman. Though it would make for very entertaining viewing and I’d love to see him try :D

      1. Anyone who succeeds in getting money from Bernie is superhuman.

        HMRC are trying, but even in that instance I wouldn’t give good odds of success.

  14. Make no mistake, Massa knows this is fruitless and makes no sense. The intent is simply to join Bernie in ganging up on Lewis. Brazilian drivers in all of motorsports are 100% politically aligned with Piquet and wouldn’t miss a chance to attack the opposition while selling fans the idea that a Brazilian driver could sort-of-maybe-hopefully retroactively get a title.

  15. It’s still ridiculous that Fernando Alonso is listed as the winner of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

    1. What about the WDC? Who knows, maybe one day we’ll find Ron Dennis orchestrated all that and managed to blame Flavio.

    2. It’s still ridiculous that Fernando Alonso is listed as the winner of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

      While that one is a bit of a burr in many people’s side, what would you do to punish the offender while leaving other people out of the effects?
      Remove Alonso from the race standings and move everyone up one place?

      Speculating about what might have happened, or not, is pointless.
      This was a refuelling cock-up by Ferarri. He needed more fuel to finish the race and can anyone say, hand on heart, that Ferrari wouldn’t have managed the exact same cock-up at a stop later in the race?
      Do bear in mind that the ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory is second nature to Ferrari.

      1. Using Lance Armstrong-style justice, we’d just void the race winner, leaving everyone at the same place they finished. So – no winner of that race, Rosberg 2nd, Hamilton 3rd.

        That’s incredible he wasn’t banned for that, but F1 always loved cheaters.

  16. Electroball76
    5th April 2023, 16:31

    If they removed every race where someone cheated then the record books would be a record pamphlet.

  17. Now that we are at it, is there not anything fishy about the Merc titles before 1955?

    Just asking

    1. Now that we are at it, is there not anything fishy about the Merc titles before 1955?
      Just asking

      Asking whether the Constructors existed before 1958?
      Asking whether Fangio cheated in 1954?

      Or just trying to stir?

      1. Tsk, how humorless the world has became. Now, I would never think of El Chueco as a cheater, he was a true gentleman and his sportsmanship was unrivalled. About Merc the team I’m not so sure but anyway my point is that changing the result of a race after 15 years is a bit like trying to change the result of the battle of Hastings.


      Here is the fascinating tale of the allegedly ‘fixed’ Tripoli Grand Prix of 1933, told from two different perspectives.

  18. Nobody is changing the outcome of the 2008 season. As has been mentioned, Massa himself lost a ton of points so focusing on that one race as somehow crucial is a stretch and a half. None of the top contenders covered themselves in glory that year, it was one of the least impressive seasons in modern F1. Shame on BMW for ruining their campaign, too.

    But! If this scheme somehow means that Fernando Alonso, the driver who had been booted out of McLaren just months before for being neck-deep in spygate along with his now Aston Martin buddy Pedro de la Rosa, but who, let’s repeat again, had absolutely nothing to do with his team’s shenanigans, nothing whatsoever, never even heard of Piquet or Symonds or Briatore, no definitely not involved – is finally stripped of his ill-gotten win, then some good will have been done.

    1. It’s hard to tell if posts are sarcastic or not; I’m hopefully assuming yours is. Have to say, sometimes it’s good to just let things go. I’ve gotten past a divorce where my wife stole money – we have a wonderful daughter and I want her to know both parents support and love her and that involves communicating in a good way with the ex. If I can get past that, maybe F1 results, which really aren’t important at all, are something to just let go of at some point…..

  19. Driving down the pitlane trailing a fuel hose will never be the look of a champion.
    Is Alonso an “old voice” yet?

  20. It’s disheartening to see this site STILL implies that Masi was shown the door for an error which likely cost Hamilton the 2021, while the result of the FIA investigation in the matter was that Masi’s error only wronged Sainz and the three lapped cars – Ricciardo, Stroll, Mick – not allowed to unlap, not the title challenger duo. As it has been stated time and again, Article 48.13 of the rules overrides the safety car having to do another lap, as the stewards confirmed after the race. Letting Ric, Stroll and Mick also unalp themselves wouldn’t have magically forced the race director to finish under safety car conditions.

    1. @palagyi Although overriding regular procedures is effectively only allowed with a strongly justifiable reason based on safety & entertainment doesn’t count as a justifiable reason to any extent.

      1. Make sure you tell this to the stewards, they’ll slap their foreheads and say “well I’ll be!”.

        On a more serious note: a lack of reason for the SC to stay out as long as previously estimated it would need to is an issue perfectly within the boundaries of safety.

    2. No 48.13 has never given the rave director carte blanche to do whatever they want except when using a interpretation Masi took for one race that is completely at odds with all other precedents. Masi was bundled out of the way due to the embarrassment he caused the FIA. They couldn’t sack him as they were scared of admitting the multiple mistakes that occurred cheated the rightful winner of the race. To this day I wish Mercedes went to arbitration and had that race result expunged from the records. Verstappen might still have been champion but it would have at least proven for all time what a fix the race was.

  21. I say, Why cant we say that we have two world champions that year, its 15 years ago. They both deserve it.

    I would argue that Hamilton and Verstappen both deserve to be champions over the 2020 season aswell.

    Non drivers did the things that changed the outcome from both championchips.

  22. I am sorry, but none of these lines matter in light of the crux: a proven manipulated result should be void.

  23. Some of our hearts (including mine) Massa is a world champion. It seems like in his mind that isn’t enough.
    The difference between 1st and 2nd is same as 17th and 18th. One place. I don’t know does that change Massa’s life if he will become champion. I don’t know what Lewis will think about this.

    It’s been 15 years. For my point of view they can delete Renault from that year but it shouldn’t affect the championship but I’m not the one who decides the outcome.

  24. There are so many championships won through cheating, with 1994 being the most obvious example, so the idea that the only one that would be changed would be the one where the cheating was done by a team in no way connected to the title fight is absolutely insane.

    And although the safety car caused the extra pressure in the pits, it was still the same situation for both Ferrari and McLaren and it was Ferrari who messed up their stop. So Massa is not the rightful champion of 2008. If we are saying that the whole race should be declared null and void because we don’t know what would have happened without the cheating, you can say the same thing about the entire championship, what with there being three races after Singapore, and so arguably if it is right to cancel the Singapore Grand Prix it would also be right to cancel the entire 2008 championship.

    But if we are looking at Felipe Massa’s argument, think about just how many other things would have to change in history. We are effectively saying that any race that one team cheated needs to be wiped from the records. So that includes the first 13 races of the 1984 season because of Tyrrell’s cheating, and makes Alain Prost the rightful champion based on his performance over the final three races which are the only ones that should count for the championship.

    But if that doesn’t count because Massa thinks Tyrrell didn’t actually affect things, there are still other championships that need changing. If Harry Schell hadn’t cut a corner in qualifying in Sebring 1959 to get on the front row, Tony Brooks would instead have been there and wouldn’t have been hit by von Trips at the start, so would have continued without a pitstop, won the race and the championship. So does that title need to be reversed as well because of the cheating from a completely separate party? A more far-fetched example would be 1982. In Rio, if Nelson Piquet had not been racing with illegal water-cooled brakes, perhaps he wouldn’t have been challenging Gilles Villeneuve for the lead and so Villeneuve wouldn’t have spun out and crashed, and instead would have won. With those extra points, maybe Didier Pironi wouldn’t have disobeyed team orders to beat him in Imola and Villeneuve would have won there as well, so wouldn’t have gone out at all for his final lap in Zolder because he wasn’t angry, and wouldn’t have died. So he then would have won the title in 1982 and 1983, and perhaps many more times in the future. It is ridiculous to retrospectively change the results of championships because of cheating from drivers and teams not involved in the title fight, whether they might have had an effect on it or not.

    If anything were to happen, perhaps to remove Fernando Alonso’s victory would be the only fair outcome, without promoting those behind or really affecting the rest of the results in any way. But even that would be somewhat extreme and over the top considering it happened 15 years ago. I say, just leave history as it is; everyone knows that Renault cheated to win that race and it makes an interesting story. But if Hamilton’s title is taken away, it will be a complete and utter travesty. Not that it will happen, of course, on this occasion I am sure sense will prevail.

    1. 1994 being the most obvious example

      That’s just patently untrue.

      While the allegations have been out there since 1994, nothing substantive was ever found to support them.

      It’s been 29 years. I’m not holding my breath for fresh revelations.

      1. While I felt Schumacher deliberately took out Hill and the footage seems to back that up, the FIA did some serious interfering to get that championship to the last race of the season so on balance it was probably the right result.

      2. I dare say the video footage was plenty of evidence! For mine the confirmation he cheated was his disqualification from the 1997 championship. No way could he be seen to get away with it twice!

    2. If anything were to happen, perhaps to remove Fernando Alonso’s victory would be the only fair outcome.

      Exactly. Strip Alonso of his ill-gotten win. That’s about all that could happen (and still probably won’t).

    3. While a agree that things happen and cheating happens, I think you may have missed the point.
      1. Under the rules at the time, the race should have been removed from the championship.
      2. Point 1 is dependant on them knowing there was cheating in time to remove it before seasons end.
      So the only point of discussion her is.
      3. Did they know what had happened in time to remove it from the championship?

      That’s it. All the other arguments about the history of cheating, who should and shouldn’t, are irrelevant to this incident. 2 wrongs don’t make right, but fixing 1 makes 1 wrong, 1 right.

  25. Well I beg to disagree. My point is Alonso did not cheat. His team cheated behind his back. They needed to gat him a win so he wouldn’t leave the team, where he was the best asset

    How is that connected with Massa’s loss? Very thinly. Massa had to refuel anyway. Maybe the sudden SC made everybody jumpier, but hard to tell.

    For me stripping Alonso of his victory is not fair. I’d really like to see Massa crowned as WDC but that wouldn’t be fair either. The Renault team is the guilty party so maybe a hefty fine for them would be the fairest outcome. But not sure how it applies to Alpine anyway.

    1. If you assume he didn’t know about the plan, you’re assumign Alonso for a brief moment (or maybe always) was unable to use his brain, because team asked him to do a short first stint, on a street circuit (having an experience of street circuits like Monaco and Valencia – no overtaking opportunities whatsoever, despite Valencia being built to make that easier). That required a lot of overtaking in that short stint (which he knew would be barely possible, remember – no DRS back then), and after his early stop he’d return dead last, with heavy car – which means he won’t be able to gain any time, because heavier car on fresh tyres was slower than lighter car on used tyres. Alonso is known for being clever in terms of race strategy, so we’re assuming he just became an idiot and if we assume that everything was done behind his back – why didn’t he ask any questions?

      Let’s think about it in a wider context – there was a lot of frustrations, when Alonso returned to Renault and the car wasn’t as quick as it used to be in their championship years. Everyone around him was able to get some luck and score a podium:
      – Rosberg/Williams in Australia, with Alonso finishing P4.
      – Coulthard/Red Bull in Canada – after Alonso crashed out from P3!
      – Trulli/Toyota in France, when Alonso was starting from P3, but got jumped by Trulli on 1st lap
      – Barrichello/Honda in Silverstone, in rain conditions which was supposed to suit him very well
      – Glock/Toyota again in Hungary, Alonso in 4th again
      – Vettel/Toro Rosso even scored a victory in Italy, Alonso in 4th again!
      And what’s more, in Belgium he missed the podium by just 4 seconds after Hamilton’s penalty.

      He was so desperate to get that moment of glory, he even went for underfueled car in Spain, to get a moment of glory in Q3. He didn’t bother about the race, he wanted some short-term glory. Why we know that was the purpose? Because he did exactly the same thing in China one year later!

      And what’s more, Nelson Piquet got incredibly lucky in Germany, after Timo Glock crashed he was able to stop before pit lane entry was closed, and got catapulted straight into the podium, even leading the race for a brief moment. Alonso meanwhile, despite going in the points before that SC, got screwed and finished P11.

      So they took the inspiration from that race, and paid Alonso back with his own moment of success. Obviously behind his back, because he’d never agree on anything illegal.

      Except for reviewing other team’s car documentation, especially when it’s a direct championship rival. Which he never was punished for, just like with crashgate.

      You’re just very naive to deny his knowledge there. He’s just too clever.

      1. Opinions, opinions. Everybody has one. Particularly I believe that with 2 WDCs under your belt you would hardly go for such a plot, risking the integrity of your teammate, just for another race wins. And Alonso maybe many things but not an outright cheat, I believe.

        But enough of beliefs and opinions. I never ever came across the slightest piece of evidence than Mr. Fernando Alonso Diaz was actively involved in the Crashgate plot. You may believe what you want but if you have any fact to show for it, please do now.

    2. If you genuinely believe that then I’ve got some lovely organic snake oil for you

      1. I’ll take that after you

  26. Obviously Massa is still hurting from his loss in 2008. Maybe he should sue bernie and the FIA for damages!
    If Bernie’s claims are true, then Massa should go ask him why he and FIA didn’t investigate it in 2008?!

  27. BW (@deliberator)
    5th April 2023, 22:37

    As much as I think Massa is on a pointless vendetta, this does somehow seem like the most likely chance Ferrari has of winning another driver’s title any time in the next few decades.

  28. Leonard ‘Big Lenny’ Persin (@)
    5th April 2023, 22:56

    This is just to stick two fingers up at Hamilton

  29. If 2008 is still legit, then 2021 is still legit.
    That’s just what F1 is.

  30. I would say this is consistent with the reputation of Massa. So it won’t get him anywhere, as it never did.

  31. I am a fan of “the deserved” champion mentality and hence the following championships should just be altered without any further consultation:

    2006 – Schumacher
    2008 – Massa
    2016 – Hamilton
    2021 – Verstappen (yes, I know, no change)

    1. 2014 – Ricciardo
      2012 – Alonso
      2010 – Alonso
      2005 – Raikkonen
      2003 – Raikkonen
      1988 – Prost
      1986 – Mansell
      1984 – Prost

      and so on

  32. DeeAnn Hopings
    12th April 2023, 20:24

    The UCI (International Cycling Union) reacted to Armstrong’s unmasking as a cheat by stripping him of his Tour de France wins. However, recognising that other cyclists also doped at the same time, they chose not to award the victories to anyone else. Officially, no one won the 1999 to 2005 tours.

    This seems like a bit of a Red Herring. Two thoughts here:

    If they had concrete evidence that would have acted on it.

    Or, they were so focused on Armstrong that they really didn’t give a crap about anyone else.

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