Hamilton has ‘no focus’ on Massa’s Crashgate legal action

RaceFans Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: The 2008 F1 world champion says he is not paying any attention to Felipe Massa’s legal action over the ‘Crashgate’ episode.

In brief

Hamilton has ‘no focus’ on Massa’s Crashgate legal action

Lewis Hamilton says he is paying no mind to former rival Felipe Massa’s legal action against the FIA and F1 over the ‘Crashgate’ incident during the 2008 season.

Nelson Piquet Jnr, Renault., Singapore, 2008
Feature: Crashgate – The 2008 Singapore Grand prix controversy explained
The former Ferrari driver has begun legal proceedings over the controversial incident in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix when Renault driver Nelson Piquet Jnr deliberately crashed his car. Massa suffering a calamitous pit stop during the resulting Safety Car period, leading to him scoring no points in the race, which occured during his close title fight with Hamilton.

However Hamilton, who scored the first of his seven world championship victories this year, said he is paying no attention to Massa’s legal efforts. “I have a really bad memory so I don’t really remember a lot to be honest,” he said when asked about it.

“I’m really just focussed on here and now and helping the team get back to the championship and the race and not really focussed on what happened 15 years ago.”

Leclerc in no rush to thrash out Ferrari extension

Charles Leclerc says he is in no rush to sort out a contract extension with Ferrari, but says that his “intentions are clear” to his team.

He is in his fourth season of a five year contract with Ferrari which began in 2020. Asked by RaceFans when he wanted to begin contract discussions with his team for 2025 and beyond, Leclerc insisted he was not eager to rush to the negotiating table.

“Honestly, I don’t even have any deadlines,” he said. “I’m not that rushed.

“I still have a year-and-a-half, which seems little in a way, because I’ve had a contract for five years. So now we are getting closer to the end, but it’s still plenty, plenty of time.”

Zhou can see impact he’s having on F1 in China

Zhou Guanyu, F1’s only Chinese driver, says he can already see the impact his presence in the sport is having on F1’s popularity in China.

The Alfa Romeo driver returned to his home city of Shanghai over the summer break. Despite no F1 race having taken place in China since 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic complications, Zhou says the growth of the sport’s profile is evident.

“It was actually great to be back there,” he said. “It’s just great to see so many people turn up for some events and the popularity also of motorsport is just growing. Especially, I think, for the younger generation.

“Back in China, people 10 years younger than me, five years younger, they know so much about Formula 1 in general so it just shows how much this platform has been improving – not just in the US, also back home in Asia. It’s good to have that, and most importantly, the home race is coming back next year, so I’m really looking forward to what’s coming.”

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Comment of the day

Haas’ announcement that they are retaining both Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen for the 2024 season has some wishing the team took a gamble on a rookie like Felipe Drugovich or Theo Pourchaire, but Dex doesn’t share that view…

I don’t think either of those two show promise the way Oscar Piastri did to begin with. Before, teams had their reasons to gamble on youngsters (one young talent to “sell” to bigger teams, one pay driver to finance the operation in the mean time). Now they aren’t forced to take risks and they aren’t desperate for money. We’re in such phase until things change.

Haas can’t “sell” talents (they already have contracts with senior teams, even if they don’t drive in F1), they have no ambition to win or compete for anything at all (that’s got to do with the owner’s own mentality) and they are happy just where they are. They don’t make or design their own cars, they already sold their name to Alfa Romeo, they never had exciting drivers or above average talents, they have no fans and no passion for the sport.

The owner is a pure businessman who cares more about American racing and uses F1 for marketing purposes only, his right hand who takes care of the team is also from business and without passion for sport… That team is doomed to be sold, and it should be.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Scalextric and Michael Williamson!

On this day in motorsport

Sebastian Vettel began a run of nine wins in a row today in 2013

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

12 comments on “Hamilton has ‘no focus’ on Massa’s Crashgate legal action”

  1. 2008 is a bad-faith argument. It was, ultimately, a competitor breaking the rules. Which happens all the time. And when it happens, an offender is penalised according to the rules and other competitors work around it. Crashgate was not prejudicial to the Massa/Hamilton battle.
    Massa and Hamilton were presented with the same scenario and Massa was the one who ended up driving off with his fuel hose attached. 🤷‍♂️
    2008 was a season decided naturally by the actions of competitors. Completely unlike 2021, which was manipulated unnaturally by an official.
    The punishment for a team cheating, which happens regularly, is the team getting punished. There is no clause or precedent for the voiding of a race. So if we rewind the clock, and punish either Renault or Alonso, either by removing their points from that race, or from removing their points from the entire season, with every single permutation, you still end up with Hamilton as WDC.

    Massa has no leg to stand on, and is being used as a pawn to try and put shade on the frequent, regular, and strong calls about Abu Dhabi 2021 being rigged. I dont blame Massa but for the fact that he hasnt recognised that he is being used to attack Hamilton’s claim to 2021.

    And, at the end of the day, Massa got fucked because of a mechanical fault in the fuel hose. That hose was going to fail the next time it was used, whether it was gonna be during a safety car pit stop or during regular running, and Massa did not, obviously, have the fuel to reach the end of the race. It was inevitable.

    1. The situations are nothing alike. In 2021 Mercedes used their rights under F1’s regulations to challenge the result in Abu Dhabi, ultimately unsuccessfully. In 2008 Massa and Ferrari were (allegedly) deprived of those same rights because of a cover-up by FIA and FOM officials.

      It’s not really a case of reconstructing the 2008 race to understand what might have happened if Piquet hadn’t crashed, more of understanding how Ferrari might have reacted had the full facts been available sooner, within the timeframe where it was still possible to challenge the result, and what the outcome of that process might have been.

      1. Makes sense the way you write it. But in that case it would be Ferrari challenging/suing FIA (not FOM) to review/alter the single race result.

        In this case it’s Massa (driver) though suing FIA and FOM(!) regarding a FIA World Championship.

        I think Massa would have a better chance suing Ferrari regarding the botched pit stop, or Rosberg suing FIA his lost win. Yet both chances of success still round to zero.

      2. @red-andy

        It’s not really a case of reconstructing the 2008 race

        Except it is ‘informally’: if Hamilton had been race leader when Piquet crashed, would Massa really be claiming now he was ‘rightful champion’? It would seem far more arbitrary: let’s cancel one race and its points entirely because Alonso benefitted from a Renault plot. Oh and that makes me champion. Cool.
        It doesn’t really work does it? On the other hand, the ‘what ifs’ work all ways. If FIA knew of the ‘race tampering’ while the season was still going, perhaps immediately after Singapore 2008, then all the competitors could and would have made other decisions. The idea that just Massa was harmed is ludicrous. But it’s not unknown for teams to cheat – and the recourse has always been to penalize them or the driver/s, not annul the entire race or competition.

      3. Red Andy, you are right, the situations are nothing alike. In 2021, Mercedes appealed (unsuccessfully) because they were directly involved in the disputed incident. In 2008, Ferrari were not involved in any greater way than any other competitor. If you think Ferrari were entitled to call for the race to be voided in 2008, then you have to say that for just about every GP, someone bumps someone else off the track, is judged to have committed a foul, brings out a safety car, and every car on the grid who didn’t do as well as they hoped would be appealing to have the race voided because without the SC, they think they mght have done better. We’d have maybe one or two races a year counting towards the championship.

  2. Why would Hamilton have any focus on it? He’s too busy trying to emulate Michael Jackson, walking in the paddock with 1 glove. Utter bell.

    1. Worried and whinging about what someone else wears. Your life must be miserable.

    2. It’s quite a clever negotiating tactic for his contract extension with Merc really. I for one hope het gets the raise so he can afford the other glove.

    3. @jimgogo Really, do we need a return to this sub-racist trolling again on the site? Thought we were past that with the Verstappen ascendency.

  3. Funny snack & while I largely agree with the COTD, the part about Alfa Romeo is inaccurate because nothing such has happened, but only rumors about a sponsorship deal, which is different from actually selling the team.

  4. Good for him, seems a useless ‘I want some media attention’ effort from anyway from Massa. Its similar to us not paying attention to Hamiltons next year contract process. Or his ‘My tires are gone’ statements.

Comments are closed.