In the round-up: Felipe Massa could have been the 2008 champion without the Crashgate scandal, says Nelson Piquet Jnr
Massa could have won title despite ‘Crashgate’ – Piquet Jnr
Nelson Piquet Jnr says the crash he caused during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix needn’t have cost Felipe Massa the world championship that year.
Massa is seeking legal action over the race, which Fernando Alonso won after Piquet, his Renault team mate, deliberately crashed in order to cause a Safety Car period. During that period Massa pitted but suffered a botched pit stop which ended his chances of scoring any points.
Lewis Hamilton, who ran second behind his championship rival Massa in the opening stages of the race, finished third. He out-scored Massa by six points and went on to deny him the title by a single point.
Piquet insisted his crash wasn’t done “to affect a person directly – it was a team order to help someone within our team.”
“It wasn’t to disturb Felipe,” he told the Pelas Pistas podcast. “It was nothing like that. We don’t know what happened, you know? Felipe could very well have won that race if that hadn’t happened at the pit stop.”
Kamui Kobayashi set the quickest time in the second practice session ahead of this weekend’s Six Hours of Algarve at Autodromo do Algarve in Portugal, putting the number seven Toyota of Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez quickest, almost a full second faster than Toyota number eight team mates Sebastien Buemi, Brendon Hartley and Ryo Hirakawa, who had been quickest in the opening session.
The two Ferrari 499Ps were third and fourth, with number 50, driven by Antonio Fuoco, Miguel Molina and Niklas Nielsen ahead of the number 51 of Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado and Antonio Giovinazzi. The two Peugeots were split by the number five Penske Porsche, with Cadillac, Glickenhaus and the number six Porsche completing the top ten. The Vanwall hypercar was 13th, behind the two fastest LMP2 cars of Vector Sport and Inter Europol.
Mini fastest as F3 test ends
Gabriele Mini set the fastest overall time in the two day FIA Formula 3 test at the Circuit de Barcelona as the running came to an end.
The Hitech driver’s best time in the morning session of a 1’26.319 was half a tenth quicker than Taylor Barnard, while championship leader Gabriel Bortoleto was quickest in the final session in the evening, also ahead of Barnard.
F3 will test again next week in Imola. The next round of the F3 championship also takes place at the Imola circuit during the Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix weekend.
"For me, being teammates with Lewis is such a golden opportunity. Especially now that the car isn’t performing as we want, having him as my teammate has saved me in some regard, because if he had retired or left the sport when I joined the team, and we took this step backwards, people would be pointing the blame towards me! But I feel like now I’ve proven my worth and I’ve proven what I’m capable of, so there’s no pressure in that regard."
"The lightweight land rocket, a Ferrari F1-2000, had brought the racing team its first world title in more than two decades, and it set up Schumacher to win four additional championships with Ferrari in the following consecutive years. Initial estimates valued the car at $7.5 million to $9.5 million, a spokesperson for Sotheby’s confirmed — an elite sum that won’t surprise anyone who pays attention to the obscure world of decommissioned race cars."
"I must say, I’ve enjoyed the year so far, even if it’s been far from perfect. Right now, being in that top 10 mix is where we are on outright performance. That said, we definitely have reason to be positive after the pace we showed in Australia… more on that later."
"otor sport has also lost a true character, a man who brought a smile to the stages and service parks of the world, whose enthusiasm touched so many people and whose determination knew no bounds. Smiles were never in short supply, a cup of tea never far away. Runner-up on Rally Sweden in February, Breen was preparing for next week’s Croatia Rally when he lost his life at the age of 33."
"One of Europe's biggest celebrations of retro motorsport, the Donington Historic Festival, returns on 29/30 April with a special collection of historic F1 machines for the 30th anniversary of the 1993 European Grand Prix."
"Beginning this year, the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach has been dubbed by organizers as 'Southern California’s 200-mph beach party.' And it will be hard to miss the beachy vibes if you attend the party this weekend. Those who visit the Grand Prix, which runs Friday to Sunday, April 14-16, will see the beach theme represented in the concourse’s color scheme – bright orange, sky blue and sunset yellow."
"With our team due to move in next month, take a tour inside our new factory with Project Manager Guy Austin, as he showcases the near-complete Building One, and the progress on our Wind Tunnel - due to be finished in 2024."