Massa wants “justice” over Crashgate. But what penalty did it deserve?

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Felipe Massa has kicked up a storm by questioning the FIA’s handling of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver wants to know why Formula 1’s governing body did not take action sooner over the infamous race. It was won by Fernando Alonso after his Renault team mate Nelson Piquet Jnr deliberately crashed in order to cause a Safety Car period which would benefit the team’s other car.

“The right situation is to cancel the result of that race,” Massa has said. “It is the only justice that can be done in a case like this.”

While Renault’s plan worked, it had disastrous consequences for Massa. He was leading the race but headed for the pits when Piquet crashed. There a botched refuelling pit stop by his Ferrari crew not only cost him a chance of victory, but ensured he ended the day point-less.

Nelson Piquet Jnr, Renault., Singapore, 2008
Feature: Crashgate – The 2008 Singapore Grand prix controversy explained
That had significant implications for the championship outcome. Lewis Hamilton won the title by two points having scored six in Singapore. He ran second behind Massa before Piquet’s crash, and finished third.

Massa believes the FIA should have cancelled the result of the race entirely once it became known Renault had contrived a deliberate crash to win. Is he right? Should the FIA have handled this notorious case different – and if so, how?

The FIA World Motor Sport Council ruled on the ‘Crashgate’ controversy almost a year after it happened. They did not alter the result of the race, as by then the championship had long since concluded and the prizes awarded.

Massa is seeking to discover whether the FIA had the opportunity to expose the conspiracy before the formal end of the 2008 season, and therefore could have handled it differently and potentially issue a decision which could have altered the outcome of the world championship.

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The WMSC called Renault’s actions a breach of “unparalleled severity”. It imposed a series of penalties on the team and the staff members directly involved in ‘Crashgate’. Team principal Flavio Briatore was given an unlimited ban from participation in the championship (which he later succeeded in overturning) and technical director Pat Symonds was banned for five years. The team was also told it would be permanently disqualified from the championship if it committed a comparable breach before the end of 2011.

But the result of the disputed race stood. If the FIA had the opportunity to change it – as Massa now suspects they did – what should they have done about the outcome of one of F1’s most controversial grands prix?

I say

Deciding a fair sporting penalty for Renault’s actions in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix would have been difficult enough had it been done in the immediate aftermath of the race. Once the outcome of the championship was known, deciding a fair judgement is arguably made trickier still by the knowledge it had a bearing on the result.

But Singapore 2008 is not like Jerez 1997, Adelaide 1994 or the Suzuka controversies of 1989 and 1990. This wasn’t a collision between championship contenders which decided the destiny of the title – Massa was affected indirectly.

That, for me, is the key point as far as it relates to Massa. Yes, he was hard done by, but Piquet’s crash need not have caused him to fall behind Hamilton, which was the reason his championship hopes took a hit in Singapore.

There are no obvious precedents for this case. However it’s hard to imagine that, had the FIA acted earlier, they would have allowed Renault’s win to stand. At the very least the team should have had its result in that race confiscated.

The idea the entire race result should be nullified strikes me as illogical, as it would punish the nine blameless teams in addition to the guilty one. Had Renault set out to purposefully disadvantage Massa it would be a different matter entirely, but that is not the case – he was the unfortunate collateral damage in this sordid episode.

You say

Was the FIA right not to alter the result of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix or should they have revised the standings after Renault’s dubious tactics were exposed? And if so, how? Pick the option which best fits what you think they should have done.

How should the FIA have handled the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix?

  • No opinion (3%)
  • Declared the race result null and void (10%)
  • Disqualified Renault from the championship and confiscated the drivers' points (21%)
  • Disqualified Renault from the championship, but allowed the drivers to keep their points (22%)
  • Disqualified Renault from the race and confiscated the drivers' points (24%)
  • Disqualified Renault from the race, but allowed the drivers to keep their points (6%)
  • Left the result unchanged (14%)

Total Voters: 159

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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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  • 137 comments on “Massa wants “justice” over Crashgate. But what penalty did it deserve?”

    1. I really wish he wasn’t doing this.

      1. Before and after Brazil he was seen as a next Senna (for Brazil) nowadays he is very far from that nickname

        1. Coventry Climax
          14th May 2023, 18:14

          Don’t know who said that and/or saw him as that. Brasilian wishful thinking maybe, but nothing more. These are way too big a pair shoes to fill for Massa, who’s never come even remotely close to being ‘great’, let alone ‘outstanding’.
          I agree he’s not been done justice that race, but the great leave it alone and move on, while the mediocre will never stop sulking.

          1. Before his crash he was seen as a great driver, certainly more than worthy of a WDC. Sadly he got cheated out of one and had that gruesome crash.

            1. Sadly he got cheated out of one and had that gruesome crash.

              I couldn’t agree more about the effects of the suspension part in the face, he never drove the same again, I always got the impression his peripheral vision was lacking afterward.

              About the former, he was not cheated out of any championship, Ferrari did what they frequently do and cocked up – it’s almost like it’s designed into their season “where do we insert the championship ruining event?” and “what do we do to ruin things this year?”

              Some here have suggested that Massa is a whiner. I never saw him that way, and I really don’t know what’s triggered this episode now, after so many years.

            2. I really don’t know what’s triggered this episode now, after so many years

              If I understand correctly, it has come to light recently that Bernie and others already knew that the crash was on purpose and chose to do nothing about it at the time (i.e. to cover it up). That, understandably, would spark a reaction from someone who already felt aggrieved about the incident.

            3. Coventry Climax
              15th May 2023, 20:22

              Seen as a great driver by whom? As far as I know, Massa was brought in as a promise, didn’t however deliver on that and then spent his days playing second fiddle in a role that seems to have been devised by Ferrari, or Schumacher, as Barichello fulfilled it for a long time as well: wingman. As a driver nothing special though.

      2. @bernasaurus I also wouldn’t put it past Bernie that he’s manipulating Massa into making a massive fuss in the press to distract the attention of the press away from the ongoing fraud case against Bernie.

        After all, the timing of his statements and the way in which he seems to have encouraged Massa in public to act have been rather effective in drawing members of the press away from reporting on Bernie’s trial and the latest events in the most recent hearings. Just look at this site – since Bernie pushed Massa into action, virtually nobody has commented about Bernie’s fraud trial, and there’s only been passing mentions of the ongoing hearings as part of that case, because the reports on what Massa was doing drowned out the news on Bernie’s trial.

        As far as Bernie is concerned, the more noise Massa can create and the more attention that is focussed in that direction, the better – because it means there’s far less attention being paid to Bernie, and maybe even the possibility that any future action by Massa could be used as a justification for Bernie to delay his own fraud case.

      3. Not a good optic.

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

      1. Absolutely. And whether or not Fernando Alonso knew about this schemes (which he denies) is irrelevant. The teams are the participants as per the Sporting Regulations, and they can field two cars.

        So whatever the merits of Alonso’s denial, the Renault team engaged in egregious cheating and should be stricken from the results. This isn’t new to either sport general, or F1 in particular. When Michael Schumacher was deleted from the 1997 World Driver’s Championship, nothing else changed.

        That last part is key, because this is being framed as a 2008 championship issue, which it can never be. It is unknowable how the race and the season would have played out had Renault not cheated in Singapore. But whatever else is true, Fernando Alonso and Renault did not win the Singapore GP of 2008.

        1. But Felipe doesn’t want that answer. He wants the race to be voided entirely.

          If Fernando were to be stricken from the results, moving everybody up a place, that would mean Lewis would be promoted to 2nd and collect 2 extra points. Felipe would be promoted to 12th, and still have no points. In that case Lewis would still win the championship, and by an even bigger margin.

          Felipe’s beef isn’t with any points or the race win Fernando might have earned. He wants *Lewis*, an indisputably innocent party, to be stripped of his points because of [checks notes] umm, not really sure. But can we just declare Felipe the winner anyway?

          1. You can always go with “Lance Armstrong way” – declare no race winner, and keep everyone else on their original place – so nobody 1st, Rosberg 2nd, Hamilton 3rd, and so on.

            1. Sure, that would be a completely reasonable outcome also (although I’m not exactly comfortable with reaching back this far to make any change in the first place). But that change isn’t one that Felipe wants.

    3. It was 12 years ago. Put an asterisk by the results and move on.

      1. Tim (@tsgoodchild)
        14th May 2023, 20:32

        * 15 years ago ;)

        1. Pre coffee math 😭

    4. I really don’t like to see Massa publicly flogging a dead horse. It is not improving his legacy.

      1. If Ron was still at McLaren there’d be absolutely no chance of him getting the trophy.

        1. Well, I don’t think ron no longer being at mclaren changes anything in terms of getting the trophy, it’s way too old to change and I don’t think a court would make the result null and void, they would probably target renault only.

      2. A legacy that is already hardly existing. Hands down the biggest whiner in F1 history. People like Massa downgrade the entire perception of the sport.

    5. I understand where he is coming from, but he is also purposely choosing the option that benefits him as opposed to the result that would only punish the cheating team.

      1. Exactly.

        Sucks that he got hurt by the safety car, but so did many other people, including Lewis (the only driver whose points Felipe really has an issue with here). Felipe also got hurt by his own team’s fumbles. That’s just how it goes; he’s not the first person to be disadvantaged by others doing stuff outside the rules, and won’t be the last.

        There just isn’t a provision in F1 where all injured parties somehow get made whole – only the transgressor gets penalized. If somebody gets impeded during qualifying and gets eliminated, the driver responsible gets penalized, but the injured party doesn’t get elevated (to the detriment of other uninvolved drivers). That’s just not how it works.

    6. Disqualify Renault and the drivers from the race. Other teams who didn’t participate in cheating should not be penalised for the actions of one team.

      Also, don’t know why Massa didn’t choose to pursue this when it all came out 14 years ago.

    7. Massa was ROBBED!!

      1. Not really. He and Ferrari screwed up his pit stop. If anyone was robbed, it was Nico Rosberg.

        1. Massa was leading the race comfortably before that crash. When the pit opened everybody rushed. It was mayhem. I feel gutted for Massa. Robbed in 2008 and cheated death in 2009.

          1. Coventry Climax
            14th May 2023, 18:20

            Nevertheless, in whatever situation, a team is supposed to keep its cool, as that yields the best results. Ferrari didn’t and messed up – as usual, as they have a history loosing their cool. If anything, Massa should go and complain there, at the Prancing Pony.

            1. That pitstop was rushed because of that crash. A rigged race should not count for the championship.

            2. In a way this reminds me about germany 2018, the race after which vettel became significantly weaker, he’s been very criticized for his mistake, but people forget he was dominating the race until then and that he crashed in intermediate conditions with slick tyres: definitely difficult to manage and as soon as he crashed, SC was brought out, meaning there could’ve been more people making mistakes, but they weren’t allowed to do so, since the SC forces them to be far slower.

              This to me means vettel was unlucky to be the first to make the mistake, if you don’t bring out the SC likely 25% of drivers crash out unless they pit; likewise, in a rushed pit stop due to the singapore situation, other teams could’ve made the mistake ferrari did, it was a situation that shouldn’t have happened, so I can see why massa wants the title back.

            3. @carlosdavid But in that time they didn’t knew they cheated and still Ferrari failed the pitstop.. But removing Renault is enough as they cheated but the other teams were fighting for points and didn’t do anything wrong.
              But if he wanted to do something about it he should done it THAT year not 20 years later..

    8. What Massa is seeking is just an acknowledgement. Getting the trophy back from Hamilton?… It won’t happen, and he knows it.

      Is there any benefits on getting Briatore banned again?… Piquet’s family name and legacy is already gone thanks to father’s big mouth and son’s little ethics, so no point there as well.

      There was several reasons why Massa didn’t win that title. Some were Ferrari’s faults, some were his own, and crash gate just added to the lost opportunity. It wasn’t the sole culprit.

      I would agree that no one involved should ever do business in motorsports again, but It’s pointless now.

      Felipe has nothing to prove in my opinion: he was a monster at Sauber, was able to push Schumacher to the limit at Ferrari, and he could extract top results.

      He was champion material, like Webber, Button, Ricciardo… since there’s just one spot, some materialized, others didn’t.

        14th May 2023, 14:51

        Wishful thinking and skewed thoughts.
        Who cares about this story. It was overblown and distorted and won championships for the more clever of racers. You didn’t win Phil. Kind of silly 15 years later.

      2. An acknowledgement of what exactly? I still don’t get how this crash has any relation to him losing the championship or even the Singapore GP. Take away Alonso’s win and you still don’t have him getting enough points. It’s not like he was in 2nd and there was 1 lap to go. He gets no acknowledgement because there is nothing to acknowledge.

      3. Mark Webber was never Champion material, as proven by his throwing away his chances in the rain of South Korea.

        1. Didnt Vettel throw everything away both in Singapore and Germany in 2017 and 2018

          1. (1) That was after he had already proven to be Champion material. Four times, in fact.

            (2) No.

            1. Did Lewis throw it away during his rookie year?

            2. Absolutely.

      4. Agree with this, they sound exactly the kind of drivers that could win a title in the right circumstances; for webber, get a weaker team mate than vettel and he wins at least 1.

        1. Which one, though?

          Not 2009, RBR were too late to equal Brawn GP’s early lead.
          Not 2010, Mark threw that away all by his lonesome.
          Not 2011, Mark was worse than Jenson and almost got beat by Fernando that year.
          Not 2012, as it took all Seb had to beat Fernando in the end.
          Not 2013, when Mark couldn’t win a single race while his teammate won 13.

          I’d put Mark at roughly Rubens level of quality, but that may be too generous, as his 2010 run showed him to be more of an Eddie Irvine, not being able to capitalize on his teammate’s misfortunes while driving the quickest car.

      5. A mature view. Thankyou.

    9. The race result should be declared null and void. The race was manipulated.

      1. So if one team cheats, all 10 teams should be punished?

        That’s ridiculous.

        If you want to argue that Alonso’s points should be taken away for that race, I’m OK with that. If you want to argue that Rosberg should be declared the race winner, I’m not totally opposed, but I think it sets a bad precedent.

        But taking away Rosberg (and Hamilton’s) points for an excellent drive? No. Not in favor.

        1. Why would a rigged race count for the championship ? Also the way Bernie, Max Mosley and Charlie Whiting covered it up doesn’t sit right with me. You have the key people in FIA and FOM covering up a rigged race during the championship. That’s not right. I feel gutted for Massa.

          1. @carlosdavid it seems rather odd that you attack Bernie for being a manipulative and dishonest individual, only to then base your arguments on the testimony of somebody whom you’ve said should not be trusted. If Bernie is as untrustworthy and dishonest as you say – why do you believe him now?

            1. When the guilty party admits to wrongdoing than his testimony must be taken into account. Massa can sue Bernie for millions for this.

            2. notagrumpyfan
              15th May 2023, 7:24

              “When the guilty party admits to wrongdoing” they are most likely trying to distract the gullible.

            3. @carlosdavid or, more likely, he’s manipulating people like you into shouting and screaming so much about Massa that it drowns everything out, including Bernie’s fraud trial.

      2. So all the other teams that spent considerable time and expense to show up and complete the race should be punished too? Nonsense. Renault cheated and their results alone should be voided.

      3. If the race organiser had manipulated the race then I agree, but it was one team that cheated

    10. Chris Horton
      14th May 2023, 14:06

      Massa is correct in that the current result should not stand. I’m just not sure what the correct course of action is.

      In my opinion there is a strong case for cancelling the entire Grand Prix. Renault’s actions affected pretty much everyone’s race, therefore their positions are based on the result of a 3rd party cheating.

      If Massa were to win his case and be awarded the world title, it would be hollow now anyway, but we don’t have the opinion in society that justice shouldn’t be sought when a crime is committed because it doesn’t undo the harm done the victim. Why shouldn’t he fight for what he believes is an injustice?

      I think a lot of you would, if you were in his position. Objectively, he is right.

      1. Objectively, he’s claiming that if one team cheats, the entire race result should be thrown out.

        That’s never happened.

        And he wouldn’t be claiming it in this case if it didn’t help his championship standing– I’m sorry, but Massa’s race wasn’t screwed up by Alonso, it was screwed up by his own team.

        He’s just trying to screw everyone else, and that’s beneath him.

        1. It’s a bit like if hamilton was arguing about cancelling abu dhabi 2021: masi didn’t cheat, but made a mistake, which influenced that race and the championship unfavourably for hamilton.

        2. Ah, wait, it’s not even enough in hamilton’s case due to countback.

        3. Chris Horton
          15th May 2023, 17:49

          Yes he is suggesting that one team cheating should result in the entire result being thrown out.

          That’s because the entire result was affected by one team cheating. It had a huge impact on the Grand Prix. It’s the nature of the sport.

          1. Yes he is suggesting that one team cheating should result in the entire result being thrown out.

            That’s because the entire result was affected by one team cheating. It had a huge impact on the Grand Prix. It’s the nature of the sport.

            With the number of seasons Ferrari were using an illegal PU, RBR playing fast and loose with cost cap rules…
            How many results do we have in the last couple of decades?

            It’s one thing voiding a whole result or set of them when the cheaters have prospered over everyone else, but this comes overs punishing the victims along with the cheaters

    11. Why should a rigged race count for the championship ?

      1. Whatever Renault did, it was not aimed at sabotaging the results of any specific other team. Whether or not the race was going Massa’s, Rosberg’s or Hamilton’s way didn’t matter to Briatore, Symonds and their cronies.

        So the race was purposefully disrupted to Renault’s benefit, but not fixed. It was still up to the other participants to do well with the situation that emerged during that race, and in that sense it was no different from any other safety car situation.

        1. Bernie, Max Mosley and Charlie Whiting covered it up during the 2008 season. That is not right. Massa was cheated.

          1. That’s what Ecclestone claims now, but whether or not that’s true, it still didn’t make a difference on the day of the Singapore GP. The race was disrupted, but not fixed. All the other teams had the same opportunity to react to the Renault-instigated safety car and some did that better than others. That’s a normal part of F1, even if the cause of the neutralization was later revealed to intentional.

            If, as Ecclestone claims, he and his FIA counterparts put pressure on Piquet, via his father, to keep this story from becoming public during 2008, then that’s definitely tough for Massa and just another one in a long list of reasons that F1, for all its current problems, has made progress in terms of governance and officiating.

          2. Bernie mentioned two people who aren’t alive to defend themselves
            How ironic!!!

      2. Stop spamming the comments. Even if your opinion was reasoned and reasonable it would be extremely annoying, and it’s not.

    12. In the end punish FIA. In their books it was wrong so why they ignored it and said nothing. As in any sport every team is trying to bend the rules. If the rulebook bends itself then there is no right or wrong anymore.

    13. Electroball76
      14th May 2023, 16:08

      Put the guilty to work in a photocopy shop.

      1. You want to put the ‘crashgate’ boys with the ‘spygate’ boys?

    14. The only thing I can think of which could be remotely considered a precident for this is 1997 when Schumacher was deleted from the championship, but it didnt change any of the results for the preceding races. Rubens Barrichello didnt suddenly win the 1997 Monaco Grand Prix for example.

      Therefore I feel that here even if we were to punish Renault, i don’t think that necessarily changes the championship result or indeed the results of that race.

      1. The precedent was 1986 Rally San Remo. Peugeot were unfairly disqualified appealed the decision, the Rally was declared null and void and won the Championship on countback.

        1. It was declared null and void in 2001? This is ridiculous as Ferrari weren’t disqualified and Massa finished the race.

          1. In this case the CEO of F1, Bernie Ecclestone admitted to covering up the rigged race with his friend and FIA president, Max Mosley and race director Charlie Whiting.
            This is the biggest cover-up in the history of F1 and it involves all the key people.
            Massa was robbed !

            1. Max Mosley and Charlie Whiting are not here to defend themselves

        2. It’s a good precedent, I think massa should give it a try in court, not much to lose, some people say the reputation, but it’s not like he was considered the next senna (I know a comment says that, but I disagree) before 2009.

        3. @carlosdavid that Rally you brought up doesn’t appear to be a good example. It’s far closer to Abu Dhabi in terms of what happened.

          It’s been difficult to find much about it but one link did come up to explain what happened. Scrutineering attempted to disqualify the Peugeot cars to let Lancia win on home soil and help Markku Alen to the title. It’s not obvious if the Lancia WRC team requested it, helped out or were innocent. But it appears to have been initiated by the chief scrutineer, who apparently also attempted to kick out Opel from the Italian Rally championship in 1980 for daring to have been the first manufacturer to win the Italian

          The key difference is that the actions of scrutineering happened before and during the event itself to force the situation (i this case he scouted the Peugeot’s 7 weeks earlier at a different event, declared them legal at that rally, then declared them illegal in San Remo claiming that he’d only been checking the brakes & suspension). In the case of Singapore 2008, any such knowledge that Ecclestone or Moseley had appears to have come after the race. It may have been the 1 year originally implied, maybe days after. Doesn’t matter, there’s no evidence I’ve seen that implies they knew before or during.

          If you want to go down this rabbit hole, I’d happily throw Belgium 2008 into the ring – a race where Lewis got a 25 second time penalty for not returning an advantage for an illegal overtake, when the “you must wait until after the next corner” requirement wasn’t in place and was only clarified immediately as a result of that incident – only for Kimi to crash out on the following lap rendering the problem impossible for Lewis to correct. And Massa benefited by 6 points (gaining 2, Lewis losing 4). That’s one that should have been “it’s fine under the rules as written but it’s not what we intended, so we’ll rewrite the rule for the next race so that it’s clear”.

          Regardless, Massa’s attempt here doesn’t make sense. Everyone apart from Renault was an innocent party to the cheating. The Rally you cite led to a driver being declared champion despite cars being illegally DQd. Which was corrected the same year. As I’d argue Abu Dhabi should have been.

          @darryn not sure where you got the 2001 date from – the Rally was declared void 11 days after the end of the championship.

          1. @skydiverian I think that 2001 was mentioned for being 15 years after the event, similar to the timeframe under discussion here

      2. ILoveConspiracyTheories
        15th May 2023, 7:14

        This is not comparable. Schumacher did not cheat the races. His results were gained correctly. His rewards (points) for those results were strikken, not the result itself. Furthermore the FIA did not punished him years later knowing all these years that he did something wrong.

        Concerning the fact if the race result should be declared void or only take out the result of Renault depends on the Rule book of that time. Bernie said that the complete race result should be taken out according to the rules. If that is true and correct then that season becomes a whole new ball game.

    15. Re-run the race, in whatever current cars the original / descendant team can rustle up. So Mercedes could supply the “Honda”, Aston Martin the Force Indias… maybe Toyota could finally race that unraced car they built – or since you never noticed them anyway, we could do without the Toyotas.
      A bunch of forty and fiftysomethings trying to make a Grand Prix distance on a hot Singapore night would be way more entertaining than not-Max-again.

      1. @bullfrog I like this. This should be proposed by the FIA. The pressure on Ferrari to not screw up the race again would be huge.

        But I think they could manage it. They always do.

        1. Coventry Climax
          14th May 2023, 18:27

          You’re funny.
          Or in a confused state.

      2. Interesting idea indeed, to be honest though, I think hamilton might have a considerable advantage over massa compared to 2008, simply because he’s been driving consistently and massa is out of f1 for several years, you don’t just get back that feeling suddenly.

        1. On second thoughts, Alonso might wipe the floor with the lot of them – which would defeat the object of re-running the race…

    16. I chose the third-highest option, although I also thought about the one below because both are close to my favored outcome, which is Renault getting disqualified from that single race results, i.e., effectively only meaning Alonso losing the race win & thus ten points from that race with all drivers moving up one position by default, so a normal approach that has zero effect on all other points, driver & team, achieved from the relevant season.

    17. As, according to Massa, it’s Ecclestone who has set the cat amongst the pigeons here, in a typical attempt to get his name back in lights, I suggest that the authorities cast a fresh eye upon another world championship-winning transgression which only came to light years after the event, namely Brabham-BMW’s use of illegal rocket fuel in the latter races of 1983, which transformed Bernie’s cars’ performance sufficiently to steal that season’s drivers’ title for Nelson Piquest from under the nose of Alain Prost. And that’s quite a nose, of course.
      I demand retrospective justice at two levels:
      1. Strip Piquet of the 1983 world championship and give it to Prost;
      2. Ban for life the relevant team principal, one Bernard Charles Ecclestone, from the F1 paddock and from all further interaction with the sport, so that if nothing else we do not have to suffer his toxic interventions any longer.

      1. First of all the rigged Singapore 2008 race should be declared null and void. After that we can go after Bernie for everything he did. The way he covered up the rigged race during the 2008 season doesn’t sit right with me.

      2. Nose, Alain Prost:
        Nelson Piquest from under the nose of Alain Prost. And that’s quite a nose, of course.
        What a nose but what a racer ,what a champion.
        Despite not liking him (not for his nose)You,and I; must give credit to the phenomenal talent of that shorty!!!
        Rightfully rewarded with 4 world drivers championship or maybe 3 because of the sena dispute.
        Not quite the same nose for Massa but a very,very strong racer that Massa!!
        Very good racer.
        As for 2008?
        who knows anything is possible these days in F1 ,including embarking on a time machine back to 2008.
        Anything goes.

    18. Races can never be a level playing field. Drivers are always liable to be collateral damage to someone or something else. Hamilton would likely have won an eighth WDC if a Williams hadn’t crashed. Massa might have been WDC if it hadn’t rained buckets at the end of the Brazilian GP. Drivers often get taken out through no fault of their own. That’s the nature of motor racing. You can’t go back and ask for a race to be wiped out of the results because circumstances didn’t favour you. If you could, we’d be down to deciding WDCs on who got the fastest times during practice.

      1. But a rigged race shouldn’t count for the Championship. A rigged race is a disgrace to the sport.

      2. Speaking of Latifi’s Williams, I believe they got away without investigation there. Jost Capito has VW and Redbull ties. Enough meat there for investigation.

        1. In the case of Massa, there are testimonies from the guilty party that show that all the FIA and F1 bigshots knew and covered it up.

    19. Disqualify Renault from the 2008 constructors championship, disqualify the Renault drivers from the Singapore 2008 race (Alonso’s win void). But all points remain the same. Too late to change everyone’s 2008 final rankings.

      I disagree with trying to alter history the way Massa is implying. Had FIA acted within a few days, knowing what Renault had done, I still think the correct decision would have been to annul Alonso’s win (and points) but not annul the race. Incidents happen and drivers and teams have to react accordingly. Lots of illegalities have influenced titles in other ways (Ferrari’s fuel flow tampering for example) and there are always knock on effects beyond control. History can’t be reversed. The other teams participated in good faith and its an injustice to cancel a race because of one rogue team: they’re the ones who should have received a far harsher penalty.

      1. But all the FIA and F1 bigshots knew about it in 2008 and covered it up. That’s the thing.

        1. @carlosdavid If so it’s an issue. But it doesn’t mean the fair or just recourse now is to annul the Singapore race or award Massa the title. Also we need to question the fact that it’s precisely one of those ‘bigshots’, Ecclestone, who is making the claim: if so, why? What’s his motivation?

    20. Massa and Ferrari made plenty of errors which cost him more points in the championship so blaming the Renault Singapore Event is not the sole reason he lost the championship so should be ignored and everything left as is. If1 B. Ecclestone hadn’t brought it back up the thought would never have occurred. Ferrari are very quiet on the matter and that says a lot.

      1. Ferrari are very quiet on the matter and that says a lot.

        There’s no benefit to them being involved at this point. And of course Ferrari, as a constructor, did win the 2008 championship.

        It’s true that Ecclestone got this story back on track, but it wasn’t just one of his random comments; he admitted that important people in F1 and the FIA knew that this had been orchestrated by Renault very soon after the race, and during the 2008 season. That was new information, and (if true) it means that rather than F1 not being able to change the result when Piquet made his claims public in 2009, they actually choose not to in 2008 and actually helped Renault cover it up.

    21. Tim (@tsgoodchild)
      14th May 2023, 20:34

      Remove Renault from the results. Williams gain a race victory and Rosberg’s first win is amended. Its a happy day all round.

      1. I think the “is that glock” meme would also die, because if that happened in singapore, hamilton wouldn’t need to overtake glock to win.

      2. But why keep the results of a rigged race ? Why ? In what motorsport does a rigged race count for the Championship ?

        1. There are hundreds of “rigged” races in motorsport where the results have been allowed to stand, stop being so obtuse and naive. Literally any time a team has invented a new cheat and raced it and its took time to be spotted is them driving cars in a race that skewed the result. Ultimately the correct course of action in 2008 and now should have been to disqualify Renault and its drivers from the standings. Personally I’m not a fan of shuffling everyone up the order as it messes up how the rest of the year might have paid out for ALL other competitors so that is the fairest course of action. Massa will lose in court.

          1. What are you on about ? Hundreds of rigged races ? I am talking here about a driver crashing on purpose so that his teammate can get a beneficial pitstop and win the race. Massa was leading the race comfortably before that happened and that destroyed his race and skewed the results of the Championship. All the bigshots from F1 and FIA knew about it and covered it up to the benefit of McLaren and Lewis Hamilton.

            1. I’m literally trying to explain to you who seem to have no comprehension of motorsport that ANY form of deliberate act of cheating influences the outcome of races and in almost every case they never nullify the results of the whole race. When BAR were caught running their cars underweight, their performance on track would actively affect how rivals ran their race too. It’s exactly the same as a driver crashing and causing other drivers to react. Should we go back in history and nullify ever race result when a single car or team were proven to have cheated.

              Lets say we go back to 2021 and find a result happened whereby one team cheated when Verstappen scored a lot more points than Hamilton, would it be correct to nullify the race result in that instance and award the title to Hamilton? Of course not, that would be ludicrous, you would expect the correct course of action is to exclude the cheaters.

              The only person that destroyed Massa’s race was the guy who let him go from his pit when he had his fuel line still connected and Massa for planting his foot while still clearly having his fuel line in place. The FIA did not cover it up to benefit McLaren or Hamilton as it was clear at the time they had an agenda against McLaren, it was 100% self preservation that they’d been made to look complete fools by one of the teams.

        2. The *race* wasn’t rigged. One team’s was.

    22. Massa, why didn’t you appeal the decision 15 years ago?
      There are countries in Europe where a murder prescribes in 15 years.
      It is absurd to think that you can review a sports decision 15 years later.
      Don’t be ridiculous!

      1. You must be joking ? There’s new evidence that showed that Bernie Ecclestone, Max Mosley and Charlie Whiting knew about the rigged race in 2008 and they covered it up. The testimonies of Charlie Whiting who was the race director at that time and Bernie Ecclestone are undeniable evidence. Bernie said that Nelson Piquet came to him and admitted that the race was rigged but Bernie told him to keep quiet about it. That’s an admission of guilt.
        Massa was robbed.

        1. It’s not new though. It was in Max M book. They told Nelson they needed solid proof to act legally, which they later got and then they chose to randomly interview Renault staff when they had no warning- I think at Spa.

          Bernie timeline is slightly different but I’d trust Max with his legal knowledge on this one

        2. Rubbish, Nelson Piquet approached Bernie after his son was sacked by Renault in 2009, your just Clutching at straws, the best that will happen in court will be to strip Alonso the race win.

          1. No. Nelson Piquet told Bernie Ecclestone and Charlie Whiting in 2008. They knew about it and covered it up.

            1. Proof????

            2. Michael Schmidt of AMuS has reported that what happened was confirmed to himself by Nelsinho on the day of the race in Singapore and that Charlie Whiting was informed before the last race of the 2018 season.

              From that, he inferred that Bernie, too, would have known for sure (I think few walked away from Singapore 2008 without heavily suspecting foul play) when Charlie was told.

              Mr Schmidt was also adamant that Max Mosley was not told about the situation until Nelsinho lost his seat during the 2009 season and that Mr Mosley acted swiftly once Mr Piquet Jr came forward.

            3. *2008 season

    23. So Lewis is at his 6th Championship and no longer the Goat.
      No going to happen in this day and age.

      1. If F1 starts changing race results, I’m sure McLaren would like them to take a second look at those irregular fuel samples from Brazil 2007. If that hadn’t been the last race, and McLaren hadn’t cheated throughout the 2007 season, one has to suspect that race result would look rather different from how it ended up in the history books.

      2. Ha ha ha … I believe you heard Damon Hills comment about going after the 1994 Championship
        Lewis going after both 2007 and 2021 titles

        1. Chuut, quiet ;silence Ola Ray :you do not want to bring 2021 titles here.
          Nothing to say or to see 21??what?

    24. I wonder whether Renault’s somewhat lenient penalty for Crashgate (a suspended ban from F1) was a reflection of the fact that it could and should have been sorted much earlier. Perhaps it was a plea bargain of sorts, with Renault agreeing not to contest the charges and to keep quiet about the fact that the FIA knew about the scandal before the end of the 2008 season in exchange for a modest penalty. If they had been hit with a more meaningful sanction they could have made life very difficult for the FIA in the immediate aftermath.

      As for now, I think the only reasonable outcome is to leave things alone. The Ecclestone/Mosley/Whiting era is long over, thankfully, and we can view Singapore 2008 as one of those unpleasant episodes of injustice that has occasionally marred the history of F1, alongside the likes of Monaco 1984, Adelaide 1994 and Silverstone 2021.

      1. I agree, Hamilton getting a penalty for Verstappen turning in on him was a huge misjustice.

        1. Troll.

          1. Indeed you are

    25. Null and void. Renault fixed the race, so every result of it was fixed, direct or indirectly. But I can’t stop thinking that because there are Alonso/Hamilton names in the picture, then the lenient thinking enters.

    26. That race was a disgrace. Massa was leading comfortably. That crash caused Rosberg and Kubica to take stop-go penalties because they had to pit while the pitlane was closed. Everything was skewed, the drivers had to conserve fuel, when the pitlane finally opened drivers had to queue.
      Due to the chaotic pitlane the normally automated pitlane was manually operated. This was the cause of Massa’s early release. If Piquet hadn’t crashed that wouldn’t have happened. This is how Alonso who was in 15th place won the race.
      After reading all this, tell me how on earth could the results of that race stand ? HOW ? This is not an act of God, it’s not rain it was a premeditated action to make one driver win.

    27. Assuming it was known at the time that the crash was on purpose, Renault and Piquet should definitely have been disqualified from the championship. If Fernando knew too, so should he. This was one of the worst incidents of cheating we’ve ever seen in F1, on a level with Schumacher deliberately crashing out opponents to win championships (and probably worse).

      I feel for Massa, but if we are going to start reviewing decades-old championships the way he wants, we’d need to start looking at quite a lot of them. If I remember correctly, there are 2 championships Schumacher won by deliberately crashing out a competitor which should be dealt with similarly. I’m not saying we should or shouldn’t do something about things like this, but it really does open a whole can of worms.

      On the other hand, all those involved in this cover up (assuming Bernie is telling the truth) should certainly be banned from taking about further part in F1, and probably sports in general. In fact, with an admission of this kind, there should probably be a criminal prosecution. Most countries have laws against manipulation of sporting results, and this could even come under corruption.

    28. The justice required will be Alonso / Renault stripped of their win and give the win to Rosberg / William-Toyota

    29. I don’t want to open those cans anymore but back then I was wondering why on earth was that a big deal. Teams are trying everything they can to win. If they purposly crash one of their two cars on the wall they need to repair that, it costs money, working hours etc. Their own driver could get hurt. It’s completely different thing to crash to other driver which is ban worthy trick. But if you crash your own car its pure stupidity or a very sneaky way to win.

      Back then one of the drivers I backed was Alonso and also Massa.

      1. Yes someone else could also get involved if they run over the debris but then we can ask questions should we ban all crashing so none could get hurt. I get it purposly and accidentally are totally different words but in the end crash is a crash. If you drive a bit too fast and crash that also can be ticked as a crash on purpose cause you knew you could do that if you take too much risks.

      2. but back then I was wondering why on earth was that a big deal. Teams are trying everything they can to win. If they purposly crash one of their two cars on the wall they need to repair that, it costs money, working hours etc. Their own driver could get hurt.

        It’s funny that so many people completely reject the action and implications of a team purposefully crashing their own car into the wall to take advantage of the rules – yet simultaneously support the use of team orders to engineer specific strategies and race results.
        These are two sides of the same coin.

        By the wording of the sporting regulations, both types of actions are illegal – yet one is commonly accepted and even encouraged as “part of the essence of Formula 1.”
        Interesting double standard.

        1. Other teams e.g. could send out damaged cars to cause safety cars. Sounds quite familiar.

      3. Piquet wasn’t supposed to crash into the wall, he was supposed to spin and stall, like he did in practice. So it was the same level of cheat as Perez Monaco 2022, Rosberg Monaco 2014, Schumacher Monaco 2006. Schumi’s wasn’t very convincing, but otherwise it’s been normal for F1 to pretend it was accidental, even when the telemetry shows clear as day it wasn’t.

        And once they started with righting past wrongs, where would it end? There must be quite a few other dubious moments in F1’s long and not always glorious history.

        1. notagrumpyfan
          15th May 2023, 11:10

          And once they started with righting past wrongs, where would it end?

          I suggest FIA uses the year-end driver ranking of this site to award the trophy.

      4. @qeki It was worse than usual cheating because Renault’s management were exploiting the willingness of a junior driver to sacrifice his own race – and risk injury – by spinning on purpose to assist the senior and the team. So it wasn’t just about being ‘against the rules’ or ‘unsporting,’ it was an abuse of power and deliberately creating risk and potential danger.

    30. Why would they make the race null and void? Should they have made every race where anyone has ‘cheated’ retrospectively null and void? That would change a few championships!

      Maybe they should also revisit the penalty they gave LH at Spa to give Massa more of a chance in the championship?

      Where would it end? Maybe he should just accept that the team/himself messed up in the pits and it cost him a lot of points.

      1. Generally speaking, if 2 drivers are fighting for the title, one driver is behind that race and cheats, then this idea to make races with cheating null and void would benefit cheaters, cause in this case rather than a driver 1st and cheater 2nd, no one scores points and he maybe is ahead next race, so yes, I don’t think races should be null and void when there’s cheating.

        1. I mentioned it earlier but where do you draw the line if you start nullifying races. Does a driver who finished 2nd in the championship start accusing every other team of cheating in the race in the vain hope they can get results nullified to remove the race from the record despite the driver who beat them having no part in the cheat.

    31. Masa was not impacted by this directly. His title hopes were decided by other events. This is history, move on.

      1. That crash influenced everyone’s race. Massa was leading comfortably. That crash caused Rosberg and Kubica to take stop-go penalties because they had to pit while the pitlane was closed. Everything was skewed, the drivers had to conserve fuel, when the pitlane finally opened drivers had to queue.
        Due to the chaotic pitlane the normally automated pitlane was manually operated. This was the cause of Massa’s early release. If Piquet hadn’t crashed that wouldn’t have happened. This is how Alonso who was in 15th place won the race.
        After reading all this, tell me how on earth could the results of that race stand ? HOW ? This is not an act of God, it’s not rain it was a premeditated action to make one driver win.

        1. @carlosdavid Yes everything was skewed. But ‘unskew’ the race, imagine Massa had won (which itself is a big hypothetical: many things could still have happened in the race) and then the subsequent races become skewed: teams and drivers would have taken different decisions based on the results of the Singapore result. You can’t unravel time like that. Not to say that this shouldn’t be investigated, though I don’t really see how that happens when Ecclestone is apparently incriminating himself and the only one offering evidence so far.

          1. Not really. Only 3 races remaining. Lewis and Massa fought for victories. It doesn’t change anything.
            However Singapore 2008 was a rigged race and it doesn’t sit right with me to have a race like that decide the Championship. Not only was it rigged but there was a huge coverup effort from the higher ups in FIA and FOM.
            Massa was ROBBED !

    32. This, I would think, falls under a “statute of limitations” thing. Sr and Jr have had plenty of time to do this way sooner!!!

    33. Massa should remember some really bad races he made in 2008, especially Silverstone when he spun like 7 or 8 times (a pure profesionnal misconduct).
      He didn’t deserve that title, and I think he’s an overrated driver.

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