Nelson Piquet Jnr, Renault, Marina Bay, Singapore, 2008

Massa brings lawsuit against FIA and FOM over 2008 Singapore Grand Prix

Formula 1

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Felipe Massa has begun legal proceedings against the FIA and Formula One Management over the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

Lawyers representing the Ferrari driver named the two organisations, plus former F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone, as the subjects of his case.

Massa is seeking confirmation from the FIA that he would have won the 2008 world championship had the governing body investigated a suspicious crash in that year’s Singapore Grand Prix more promptly.

The arrangement behind Nelson Piquet Jnr’s crash on the 14th lap of the race came to light the following year. The Renault driver had agreed to crash his car on purpose in order to cause a Safety Car period which his team mate, Fernando Alonso, would benefit from. The plan worked and Alonso won the race.

Felipe Massa (BRA) FIA Drivers' Commission President.
06.05.2023. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 5, Miami Grand Prix, Miami, Florida, USA, Qualifying Day.
- www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com © Copyright: Batchelor / XPB Images
Massa believes he should have won 2008 title
Massa’s failure to score in the race, due to a botched pit stop which occured during the subsequent Safety Car period, was a setback for his hopes of winning the championship. At the season finale three round later he lost the title to Lewis Hamilton

The details of the plan came to light during 2009. No changes were made to the race result as the 2008 championship had already concluded.

However following comments made by Ecclestone last year, Massa believes the FIA knew about the plot early enough to take action. He claims the result of the race should have been cancelled, making him champion.

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Feature: Crashgate – The 2008 Singapore Grand prix controversy explained
Massa’s representatives stated: “Attempts to find an amicable resolution have been unsuccessful, leaving Mr. Massa with no choice but to initiate legal proceedings.”

Many of the top staff at the FIA have moved on the in 15 years since the race took place. Current president Mohamed Ben Sulayem, who was elected in 2021, is facing questions over alleged interference in a race last year.

The statement added: “Recent events naturally demonstrate that issues of transparency and integrity in Formula 1 remain relevant, and it is clear that serious work is needed to restore its credibility and long-term future.”

Statement from Massa’s lawyers

On March 11, 2024, Felipe Massa filed a lawsuit in the High Court in London, England against Formula One Management Limited (FOM), Bernard Charles Ecclestone, and the Federation Internationale de L’Automobile (FIA).

Mr Massa is seeking declarations that the FIA breached its regulations by failing to promptly investigate Nelson Piquet Junior’s crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, and that had it acted properly, Mr Massa would have won the drivers’ championship that year. Mr Massa also seeks damages for the significant financial loss he has suffered due to the FIA’s failure, in which Mr Ecclestone and FOM were also complicit.

As Mr Ecclestone has admitted, there was “enough information in time to investigate the matter” in 2008 and “cancel the race in Singapore”. Mr Ecclestone further affirmed that, had the results of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix been canceled, “Felipe Massa would have become world champion” and that Mr. Massa “was cheated out of the title he deserved.

Attempts to find an amicable resolution have been unsuccessful, leaving Mr Massa with no choice but to initiate legal proceedings.

Recent events naturally demonstrate that issues of transparency and integrity in Formula One remain relevant, and it is clear that serious work is needed to restore its credibility and long-term future.

Although the FIA investigation in 2009 concluded that it had “never before considered charges as serious”, even after the revelations brought forward last year, the results of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix still stand and remain officially sanctioned by the FIA.

Felipe Massa is represented in England by barristers Nick de Marco KC and Kendrah Potts, instructed by Richard Levett and Daniel Levy (Enyo Law LLP). The full team also includes Bernardo Viana (Vieira Rezende Advogados), Antonio J. Perez-Marques (Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP), Michele Bernasconi (Bär & Karrer), and Olivier Loizon (Gide Loyrette Nouel).

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121 comments on “Massa brings lawsuit against FIA and FOM over 2008 Singapore Grand Prix”

  1. Alonso gets disqualifies, everyone moves up a place, Massa still loses the 2008 championship.

    1. this is the best case scenario, other than some money compensation which will never happen. Most likely nothing will happen at all.

      1. He is going to get money compensation for lost revenu if he wins. How much maybe some milions depends on which country but the title he will never gets as that race doesn’t have any consequences on the title.

    2. As Mr. Ecclestone has admitted, there was “enough information in time to investigate the matter” in 2008 and “cancel the race in Singapore”. Mr. Ecclestone further affirmed that, had the results of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix been canceled, “Felipe Massa would have become world champion” and that Mr. Massa “was cheated out of the title he deserved.

      I think this is the key paragraph from Massa’s solicitors statement.
      In summary, the point they are making is the race was a shambles so the result (where Hamilton finished third) shouldn’t stand.

      1. In summary, the point they are making is the race was a shambles so the result (where Hamilton finished third) shouldn’t stand.

        In summary, they use the rules in existence at the time (and still) and DQ the drivers of the offending team. As stated many times by many people, this moves everyone else up one place, Rosberg gets credited with his first win and Massa still does not get a WDC.

        What they do not do is invent a new rule that says because one team cheated the whole race result is cancelled.

        1. It is unclear whether the court has that option. Raising everyone one place would still leave any number of injustices in place and encourage the FIA to deliberately manipulate future races (since the FIA itself would receive no consequences). The case is not simply because a team cheated, it is because the FIA (and possibly FOM) is suspected to have conspired in the cheating. Nothing in the FIA regulations is designed to handle that consequence.

          The options on the table would more likely be to either take the results from the last lap completed before the infraction, or cancel the race entirely. Either would leave Massa champion (the former because Hamilton wouldn’t score enough points, the latter because Massa was leading at the time of the crash).

          1. I think after the race there is very little that could be fairly done to punish those responsible without punishing other teams and drivers that honestly competed in that race, including McLaren and Hamilton @alianora-la-canta and even more so over the rest of the season, where with a different result other races might have had different strategies (notably McLaren’s careful over fast approach to the last race of the season at Brazil, which almost went wrong but not quite due to Toyota misjudging the rain by a few corners).

          2. They simply can’t ‘re-referee’ this.

            As it’s been alluded to. Let’s say they took the extraordinary decision to cancel the race, at the time of the incident. Then McLaren would simply have altered their strategy – as would have Ferrari, i.e. where a driver is is in The Championship effects what their tactics will be for the last few races.

            It’s a non-starter. Imagine if this is sanctioned!! Sporting bodies all over the world will be wanting rogue / controversial results cancelled.

            Plus it’s clear Ecclestone’s on a wind up!! Almost goading Massa to take this to court

          3. When Schumacher tried to cheat in 1997, he was thrown out, they didn’t cancel the race or cancel part of the race. If it goes to the court of Arbitration for sport only Alonso will be disqualified. Its like when they disqualified the 2000 US Olympic relay team because one of the members used drugs. They didnt cancel the race or part of the race

        2. Steve, I was sure that when drivers are disqualified retrospectively, e.g. Schumacher disqualified from the whole 1997 season, they don’t rewrite the record books in any way, i.e. the other drivers were not moved up by one place in the races he finished, no second place finishers suddenly became GP winners, no one scored any extra points. Is that no longer the case?

          1. Steve, I was sure that when drivers are disqualified retrospectively, e.g. Schumacher disqualified from the whole 1997 season,

            True.
            They most certainly did not annul the races he was deemed to have cheated in, either.

            The most important aspect though is not to punish the entirely innocent drivers (and teams). As I said elsewhere, 14 drivers finished, and of that 14 only one driver/team combination produced what would these days be a “slam dunk penalty” for an unsafe release.
            Run under current regulations, Alonso would be DQ’d the moment the wrong doing was discovered, and Massa would have been handed a 10-second penalty over and above the tribulations the whole circus clown act cost him.

            Even Alonso/Renault cannot be blamed for the massive delay that unsafe release cost him, and nothing about it justifies punishing every other driver that finished. If Massa truly wants a just result declared for that race, then Fisichella should be declared to have finished 13th, about 1.5 seconds in front of Massa (after the time penalty for the unsafe release is applied.)

          2. Schumacher was disqualified from the results of the 1997 championship, but not from the individual races. So he kept his race results but was stripped of second place.

            However, when Tyrrell were thrown out of the 1984 season for fuel irregularities, they were excluded from every race and their points redistributed. So it really depends on the type of penalty given.

          3. Andy, thank you for the counter example. I’d forgotten about that. My vague recollection of the 84 season was that Tyrrell were disqualified during the season, rather than after it, there was an opportunity for teams and drivers to react to the dq and change their strategies accordingly.

            Did the Tyrrel exclusion made any significant difference to the finishing orders or the race stats? Tyrrell didn’t win any races and scored only 13 points. Six of those were in the race where the offence was discovered and the exclusion occured, so a maximum of seven points changed retrospectively. McClaren finished about 80 points ahead of Ferrari, who were 10 ahead of Lotus, who were 10 ahead of Brabham. It might have made more difference to the lower order of drivers positions as only the top six finishers scored points back then. Mid-order drivers finished on single digit tallies for the season, and the lower order rarely scored points at all.

            So I’d say that the 1984 exclusion was only partly retrospective, and didn’t change anything of significance in the championships. And it is worth reminding people, at no point did anyone suggest cancelling the first ten races of the 1984 season just because one team had cheated.

        3. Given the events of 2021, the last thing the FiA and FOM want to do is start changing race results because of descision they knew and have been ruled to be lacking and start changing results.

          1. Yellow Baron
            12th March 2024, 20:14

            21 is not over. The fact that truth comes out, the NDA, and totos acknowledgment that Massa’s case isn’t even as good as the Abu Dhabi one is at least why

            And usually the attention is on the result being voided making no difference or even theast last being voided but perhaps this isn’t the only point to consider.

            -Like why did masi even make the change so suddenly and abruptly?
            No explanation has been given for this other than masi made a mistake. An admission btw.

            -why did he FIA have him sign an NDA before firing him?
            The NDA that was conveniently swept under the rug and barely mentioned by F1 media

            -Therefore raising eyebrows as to what control or influence does fom or the FIA have with the media?
            Especially considering they way they swayed and tried to squash it in the wake. One notable example being that Johnny Herbert was one person from sky who didn’t follow suit and go along with their line and in the end got fired.

            -why also were most drivers and team bosses very quiet and pensive about what happened as if it was the perfect time to use or speak and act as if they would be happy if the same happened to them?
            What does this mean about their understanding of what should and shouldnt be said or questioned.

            Regarding the NDA also

            -why if the FIA wants to be transparent and fair did they even have an NDA built up anyway? What is there to hide?

            -why did masi (or why was masi forced) to sign an NDA when he himself made comments about not liking abuse online and hate due to his actions?
            Surely clearing his name would be very important to him considering his dislike for the animosity against him, enough that he made comments about it to media.

            So what so strongly kept him from speaking his side? A side we have heard absolutely completely nothing about.

            These are just a few things that can and should be brought up in a case. Perhaps it was only the mercedes bosses that stopped toto going further, but as someone mentioned he himself said

            I strongly believe that had max been wronged instead, but still with the same majority support from fans and drivers, the aftermath would have been very very different.

            Ultimately it’s the fans that own the sport, it’s only some disunity and a lack of ability to focus any majority shared aggrievences that stops their majority stake from having any real power.

            The truth eventually comes out.

      2. Yeah, well, don’t we all know how reliable Bernie is when it gets to the stand – he would probably resort to “i don’t remember at what point I heard what” or “my memory is not clear on the issue” kind of statements. He could also add “you know I sometimes use some provocative language in the media”. Building their case on this is rather weaksauce.

        1. @bascb with regards to the question of his reliability as a witness – in the Constantin Media trial, the judge, in summarising Bernie’s testimony, rather bluntly stated that “I find it impossible to regard him as a reliable or truthful witness” and noted that Ecclestone’s own lawyer “did not maintain that Mr Ecclestone’s evidence had invariably been accurate.”.

        2. Exactly!!

          He’s on a wind up. Been his old mischievous self. I’m sure he was sat down stroking a cat when the made his stated. He’d love there to be some big showy trial – not least because it will undermine F1, which he doesn’t think has done well since he left. The fact he’s getting sued is water off a ducks back.

        3. Yellow Baron
          12th March 2024, 20:22

          Surprised the case isn’t partially against Bernie admitting that he knew being the head of fom. Maybe too much respect from massa

      3. Ecclestone has said he cant remember saying it ha ha ha ha.. Bernie just wanted to stir the pot. At the court of arbitration for sport will only disqualify Alonso

      4. But there’s no precedent for annulling an entire race vs moving everyone up if a driver or team is DQed.

        Nobody claiming the whole race should just be thrown away is able to point to any regulation that supports this as an option.

    3. How convenient that he wants the results that will make him champion.

      1. @yaru Courts generally only allow cases where there are demonstrable damages. Asking for a result that didn’t make Felipe champion would likely have resulted in the case being dismissed due to lack of demonstrable damages, and Felipe’s lawyer would doubtless have advised not putting forth the case had that been the only option.

        1. Which rather points to the meritlessness of his case (apart form questionable level of “evidence”).

          Because it is almost impossible to judge whether Massa and Ferrari would or would not have bungled their stop as badly and would have, or would not have made mistakes afterwards. Also, it is impossible to say how a different result of this race would have affected race strategies for others, specifically McLaren and Hamilton.

          Not to forget, as your mention – if the case is against the FIA and FOM, then any remedies should affect those parties. No judge can decide to give Massa a remedy that automatically, retroactively damages many other parties 8 years after the fact without. They would have to find a way to compensate those parties if they wanted to take away the result from them and arbitrarily decide that somehow this race being different would have made Massa / Ferrari world champions.

          And for simplicity sake, we would ignore that a world championship result cannot be changed like that after the fact anyway.

          1. This happened 16 years ago, not 8! All the more reason to throw this out of court.

    4. Chris Horton
      11th March 2024, 17:16

      Why would only Alonso be disqualified when the whole fields finishing order was directly affected by Piquet’s deliberate crash?

      1. Because it was his team that cheated to manufacture the desired result. Just like a driver pays the price for a dangerous pit release, worst case should be that Renault is DQed from the entire race.

    5. We cannot retroactively change results like that. I think the only thing we can do now is to call Alonso a cheater, and to erase him from the results, effectively making this race have no winner declared.

      Lance Armstrong way.

      1. What proof do you have that it was Alonso who cheated?

      2. You mean Beneton team because Alonso wasn’t involved…….

    6. Shouldn’t Massa be too busy crashing his car into a barrier at Monaco to have time for something like this?

    7. Wrong.
      Learn to read.
      FIA protocol at the time dictated that the results of that event be stricken from the championship.

  2. This will go nowhere; it’s impossible to declare that ‘Massa would have been champion’. No judge is going to sign off on such fan fiction.

    This angle is unfortunate, because a claim directed at the FIA and FOM is quite interesting. If Ecclestone’s claims are true that they did indeed cover this up during the season, then that’s a very problematic situation for both parties to be in, especially given their previous antics together.

    And of course the cheaters should be scrapped from the results.

    1. I think the most interesting aspect of the case will be the disclosure of whatever evidence FIA/FOM have relating to Ecclestone’s statements. Although if it was especially damaging, they may well have settled with Massa’s lawyers rather than risking a court case.

    2. @red-andy The court could, however, declare that a race was wrongly handled by the FIA/FOM, deem either the entire race, or the part of the race that followed the infraction, to be invalid, and require recalculation based on the consequences of their findings. That is very much in the court’s power, if its findings support Massa’s position.

      1. Sorry, but I am VERY sceptical of your claim here:

        claim that deem either the entire race, or the part of the race that followed the infraction, to be invalid, and require recalculation based on the consequences of their findings. That is very much in the court’s power

        I am not even sure they would have standing in deciding on anything but maybe damages. Changing the results of that race in such a way would hurt all other drivers who DID finish the race, and would pre empt the court somehow being able to rule whether the team and Massa would have been better able to keep their heads and avoid their OWN critical mistakes. Also, there is no precedent for the FIA changing a championship result like this at all, let alone to address a hypothetical situation in which it would not have happened.

        The court cannot decide that the FIA “would/should have” disqualified Alonso (especially since the FIA absolved the driver of involvement, whatever we might think of that) and/or Renault from that race and go from there. If anything, it might need the sporting courts to get involved and it would probably take the form of instructing the FIA to rethink it’s judgement. And it would get messy immediately, because anything but damages would affect all other teams on the grid at the time and open an endless nightmare.

      2. In English law, a declaration made in civil court proceedings is just that – a declaration. On its own it does not compel anyone to do anything. The court could, in theory (subject to having jurisdiction etc) make a mandatory order compelling the FIA to change the result, but Massa hasn’t asked them to, and they are very unlikely to do so on their own initiative.

        1. The court could, in theory (subject to having jurisdiction etc) make a mandatory order compelling the FIA to change the result

          That’s something else that is puzzling me. The complaint seems to be directed at the decisions made by the FIA, but surely the FIA is registered in Paris and the British court has no jurisdiction over them. FOM is in the UK but they are not the pricipal target.

          1. Without having any detailed knowledge of the case, other than what’s been reported in the media, I would guess that the case has its basis in some international commercial contract, which are often expressly governed by English law. The English courts would then have jurisdiction to uphold and enforce terms of the contract, but not over any of the FIA’s powers that do not originate from that contract.

            It is of course possible that the jurisdiction issue will form one of the defences to the claim. The other obvious defence is limitation – in most cases an aggrieved party has only six years to bring legal action, starting from the date the matter occurred. It is possible to extend the limitation period where there has been fraud, so the six-year clock does not start running until the fraud had been discovered. In this case I expect Massa will be arguing that he could not know about the possibility of legal action earlier because of the FIA and FOM’s cover-up, so the six years should not start running until Ecclestone’s statements revealed that the fraud had taken place.

        2. I would have thought it more likely that the court would look to award monetary damages, compensating him for lost earnings, damage to reputation, things like that.

          1. The statement does say that Massa is also seeking financial compensation, so that is definitely a possibility. But what it doesn’t say is that he’s seeking an order to change the result of the 2008 championship.

    3. MichaelN,
      The funny thing is that the cheaters are now VIP F1 personalities; Flavio is an ambassador of the sport working on the entertainment side with Liberty and Pat Symonds is the technical director of the sport. Massa on the other hand has been banned from the F1 paddock.

      1. Yellow Baron
        12th March 2024, 20:38

        Funny that he’s working on the entertainment side. Apparently masi was too.

        Did you see Heinz Harald Frentzen’s tweet from today??

        https://twitter.com/frentzen_hh/status/1767466584723820617?t=JJNWYkUyaQ8k4dWg5P4F8w&s=19

        His job description when entering a foreign country for a race was for entertainment lol

        Makes me wonder what is F1 listed as now by liberty, a sport or entertainment?
        Eg the NFL I believe is listed as entertainment which allows them to fix results without any repercussions

        It’s obvious F1 isn’t a sport anyway but I do wonder how it’s listed in the US at least.

        Wasn’t there some discussion about this entertainment thing due to some comments made about it being so by a notable figure in F1? I don’t quite recall

        Massa is banned from the paddock??

    4. Yellow Baron
      12th March 2024, 20:26

      This could be a precursor to some needed developments for AD21 scandal of entertainment-washing

      21 is not over. The fact that truth comes out, the NDA, and totos acknowledgment that Massa’s case isn’t even as good as the Abu Dhabi one is at least why

      And usually the attention is on the result being voided making no difference or even theast last being voided but perhaps this isn’t the only point to consider.

      -Like why did masi even make the change so suddenly and abruptly?
      No explanation has been given for this other than masi made a mistake. An admission btw.

      -why did he FIA have him sign an NDA before firing him?
      The NDA that was conveniently swept under the rug and barely mentioned by F1 media

      -Therefore raising eyebrows as to what control or influence does fom or the FIA have with the media?
      Especially considering they way they swayed and tried to squash it in the wake. One notable example being that Johnny Herbert was one person from sky who didn’t follow suit and go along with their line and in the end got fired.

      -why also were most drivers and team bosses very quiet and pensive about what happened as if it was the perfect time to use or speak and act as if they would be happy if the same happened to them?
      What does this mean about their understanding of what should and shouldnt be said or questioned.

      Regarding the NDA also

      -why if the FIA wants to be transparent and fair did they even have an NDA built up anyway? What is there to hide?

      -why did masi (or why was masi forced) to sign an NDA when he himself made comments about not liking abuse online and hate due to his actions?
      Surely clearing his name would be very important to him considering his dislike for the animosity against him, enough that he made comments about it to media.

      So what so strongly kept him from speaking his side? A side we have heard absolutely completely nothing about.

      These are just a few things that can and should be brought up in a case. Perhaps it was only the mercedes bosses that stopped toto going further, but as someone mentioned he himself said

      I strongly believe that had max been wronged instead, but still with the same majority support from fans and drivers, the aftermath would have been very very different.

      Ultimately it’s the fans that own the sport, it’s only some disunity and a lack of ability to focus any majority shared aggrievences that stops their majority stake from having any real power.

      The truth eventually comes out.

  3. Why doesn’t he sue Ferrari for pit-stop failure? This is ridiculous…

    1. Why doesn’t he sue Ferrari for pit-stop failure?

      These days, Ferrari would get an “unsafe release” penalty and the offender that disadvantaged Massa would be a clear cut case = Ferrari
      The commentary team would be talking about a “slam-dunk” 10 second penalty, and probably a big fine”

      Of course dear old Felipe would have to shoulder some of that blame for pulling away before they released him.

    2. Because pit stop failures are legal (if undesirable).

      Conspiracies to defraud athletes, the public and companies associated with F1 are illegal.

    3. The sporting angle; yes. The alleged conspiracy between the FIA and FOM; not so much.

      This is a very touchy subject because these two groups have been instructed very clearly what their respective roles ought to be.

  4. Felipe does not have smart people advising him. The lawyers will certainly win though.

    1. Don’t they (the lawyers) always? Poor Massa, he has never stood just how tough life in F1 is and always was.

      1. He was a cry baby during his career and apparently still is. It’s probably his life style.

  5. Nobody wants to see Massa in this light. I think the lawyers who have convinced him this is a good idea should be ashamed of themselves.

    1. Nah, this on Massa mainly. He wants this, the lawyers just tells him his chances of success but the desire for this is on him.

      1. the lawyers are using Massa for some exposure and the potential to shake a tidy sum from F1. Massa wants it, like some people want a case of beer in one night.

        1. Yellow Baron
          12th March 2024, 20:39

          If massa wins a couple dozen million I can see toto and Lewis doing so with 10 fold

    2. I think the lawyers who have convinced him this is a good idea should be ashamed of themselves.

      It would seem they have their share of 80 million reasons to give him bad advice.
      I would guess that they aren’t on a “no win, no fee” agreement.

  6. Alonso should be disqualified from the race results, his team cheated. But that will make Hamilton’s WDC winning margin bigger, which is not what Massa wants.

    1. @flyinglapp It also wouldn’t make sense on its own, given the reason it’s even possible to revisit the case this long after the fact is the behaviour of the FIA and FOM is under question, not Renault’s.

  7. This more or less puts to bed the idea that Massa could retrospectively be awarded the 2008 championship. From the press release it appears he is only seeking a declaration from the court, which would not change the outcome of the championship on its own. He could have sought an order from the court to the FIA to change the result – but it is unlikely that the English High Court would have jurisdiction to make such an order, even if they were inclined to grant one. So it looks like a financial remedy is the most likely, if Massa is successful.

    1. Right, and the successful (!) cover-up orchestrated by the FIA and FOM seems more interesting, as the FIA is bound to uphold the regulations and, if Ecclestone’s claims are true, deliberately did not do so in collusion with the commercial rights holder. I’m sure there are some folks over at the EU whose ears just perked up… they have some history with these two groups.

      Anyway, it’s unlikely it’ll come to much. Mosley and Whiting are no longer alive, and the FIA can brush this aside with the assurance to do better in the future and all the usual bla bla.

  8. I fail to see how one could make the conclusion to annul the entire Singapore ’08 result, rather than to only disqualify Alonso’s (fabricated) result.

    1. @nmgn Simple. If the people responsible for running the race assisted in the fabrication, then removing the fabrication outright requires removing at least part of the race. In that situation, there’s more precedent for annulling the entire event than part of it (even if the partial version would at least recognise that some of the race was done legitimately – I don’t think there is any true objection about laps 1-13).

      1. Fourteen cars finished the race, of those, one was from the single team that cheated. He obviously should be disqualified. This is the simplest remedy to the situation and the rules to allow for this disqualification

        One team failed to prepare one of their two cars well enough to finish the race and failed to co-ordinate with the driver of the other car when refuelling and changing tyres, and the driver ended up finishing 13th of 14 finishers.
        This driver now wants the result annulled. Would the driver want the result annulled if he had finished in the points? Does he consider his team entirely blameless for the unsafe release? Does he consider himself entirely blameless for that unsafe release?

        Twelve other drivers had pit stops under the same time pressure and completed the task without problem.

        I’m sorry for Felipe, but the blame for the pit stop cock-up sits entirely with the Ferrari team, how much is the engineers that worked on the car and how much is Felipe would take much analysis to check who did not follow the procedure fully and correctly.
        None of the blame lies with the other drivers and teams, other than Alonso and his team. Punish the offender, not the other victims.

  9. Massa, you’re just embarrassing yourself. Give it up.

    1. I agree. What is his motive here? Is he just doing it for money, or is he expecting a handing over of the trophy on the Brazilian podium, 15 years later? No one wants to see that and it would be meaningless all round.

      1. If it’s been given to the wrong person it’s never too late for justice, I applaud massa for going till the end and not listening to the “give it up”, “let it go” comments.

        1. if he were to take the trophy from Hamilton, through this lawfare, it would only end up on a mantle, with noone to share it with. This is the direction this whole selfish thing is going.

          And to be honest, Massa didn’t deserve to win that year, because the previous year in Brazil when he was running away with the race and his teammate, MSC was suffering with reliability issues, he could have with his superior pace, slowed down the front runners and given Michael a chance to catch up. But he didn’t. Because hes selfish, and he only cares about himself, hes not a team player.

    2. At least he is consistent. Back then he was embarrassing himself on bi-weekly basis as well.

  10. I thought this matter had stopped being pursued.

    1. Thankfully not.

      1. You’re going to be very disappointed. Ha ha ha.

    2. From various sources and multiple journalists I have understood the family Schumacher is behind this in an attempt to get Lewis down to 6 WDC…. (you see what I did there? Exactly the same the media have been doing lately around an internal matter at RedBull).. I will keep posting this and I bet some shady newspaper will refer to me as credible source since it fits their revenue/clicks objective..

  11. It’s fun that Fernando is in the middle of every dirty F1 episode in the last 20 years.

    He’s like Prost, without the skills and the brain.

  12. Tracey Novak
    11th March 2024, 18:06

    Of course a large payout of compensation would be quite affordable to FOM, the multi billion dollar company which receives a handsome income from F1, and very unaffordable to the FIA, whose assets and revenues are tiny by comparison.

    Those two parties aren’t getting on so well these days, in case anyone hadn’t noticed. So who has really instigated this action and persuaded Massa to file a suit? Someone with enough info to know know his case could be winnable who wants to put the president of the FIA in his place??

  13. There are 2 things I remember from the 2008 championship battle.
    1. The last corner pass on Glock that clinched the WDC title.
    2. The exemolary conduct of Massa after so cruelly losing a title. He took it on the chin like a big man there. The champion of the heart.

    It is 2024 and we nox know that some men do get smaller as they grow older.

  14. He didn’t lose the race due to Piquet’s crash. He lost it due to Ferrari’s buggy lights system in the pitlane. Arguably he would have found himself in the same situation when he came in for his mandatory pitstop anyway. It’s all moot anyway. He lost the championship in Australia and then in Malaysia and then in Britain all of his own doing. The team then lost it for him in Hungary!

    1. Exactly. It was Ferrari’s botched pit stop that cost him in Singapore, not the crash.

    2. Here’s the pit stop in question. (Hope it’s OK to post the Youtube link.)
      Light goes green & Massa naturally thinks he’s clear to take off:

      https://youtu.be/Txp7ORtCqdg?si=4iAwekfMar9lLECd&t=175

  15. I hope Massa wins just so it sets precedent and other injustices get considered for legal action. People think too much in terms of the regulations and FIA’s rules as if they are the law. But they are often unfair and unjust from a competitors perspective.

    The only reason they get away with it is because competitors know they will be retaliated against given the political nature of motorsports. A retired party is the perfect instigator of legal action. That being said I think he’s unlikely to win given the historical nature of the offence and likely severe lack of contemporaneous records.

    “I don’t recall” would be popular evidence.

    1. What exactly is the offence here?

      1. What exactly is the offence here?

        Well, Ferrari seems to be breaking the laws of probability by managing to muck up at least one pit stop every season.
        It surely can’t be accidental that they have pit stops that affect their championship hopes every year.

        However, that isn’t limited to just the 2008 season, and thus weakens Massa’s case.

    2. Tristan, this is the best post you’ve ever made on this forum :) I wholeheartedly agree.

      “A retired party is the perfect instigator of legal action.”
      – One only wishes it’s done sooner rather than later.

  16. I hope Massa gets wat he wants. It sucks, but in some way it’s fare. It does help that he is the moral champion of that season for a lot of people. Just like in cycling and athleticks, F1 should have the guts to change the past if somebody cheated.

    1. When Lance Armstrong had his TdF wins cancelled no one was promoted to winner, and the past wasn’t changed.

      1. That was because he confess that he used drugs on All his races so they took him out the results. If he would said some races he used dope that was not possible to take all his prices…..

      2. But plenty of other TdF results were changed.

      3. Also, the IUC is officially “undecided” whether to reassign those races to different winners.

    2. “he is the moral champion of that season for a lot of people.”
      Let me update that for you:
      “he WAS the moral champion of that season for a lot of people.”
      All that credit for his magnanimous demenour on the Brazil podium, and now this legal case just throws all that away.
      What a loser.

      1. If he was supposed to be the champion, he’s right going for legal action to make that right.

        1. He’s suing the wrong people.
          No one outside of the Ferrari team mucked up his pit stop, and it was the pit stop circus that put him well behind everyone else.

          What percentage of that blame you lay on the people refuelling and changing tyres, and what percentage is laid on the driver of the car, is something you could debate for quite a while.
          Even the cheaters in the race can’t be blamed for that.

        2. “Supposed” doesn’t come into it, however much you wish it did.

      2. And don’t see much of being a loser if he wins the case and championship.

        1. @esploratore1 If so, it’ll be much the same as him ‘winning’ Spa 2008 despite, very clearly, being the inferior driver on the day.

  17. Had Massa scored more points during the rest of the season and became 2008 WDC, he wouldn’t be contesting the results and/or validity of the Singapore race now. In other words, he desperately needs to overturn the results of that race to become the champion he thinks is, rather than admit that he underperformed in other races.

    1. On balance he drove as well, if not better than hamilton in 2008, so if you want to look at underperformance, you can do the same for hamilton.

      1. Thank you for your uninformed yet biased opinion.

  18. Very slippery slope, this.
    Let’s walk the second mile too and bring down the entire hillside:

    The 1958 Portuguese GP could also be retroactively altered and Mike Hawthorn’s penalty reinstated. This would make Stirling Moss the retroactive champion in 1958.

    1. I remember that and I agree moss deserves that title, would’ve preferred if he had still been alive to see that though.

      1. Moss deserved the title, but in the end Hawthorn got it and the result stands. Hawthorn is the rightful champion in 1958 but Moss is also remembered as one of the true greats, much thanks to his own attitude and sportsmanship. Win-win.

        My main point is that if results are now to be changed retroactively 15 years after the event… then anything in history can, and will, be rewritten. The road of rewriting history leads to a place where there are no winners at all. Guaranteed lose-lose.

        I like Massa and I really felt for him in 2008, but he’s really not doing himself any favours here.

  19. Genuinely bizarre that they’re even trying this on. The best they could possibly hope for is that the FIA decide they haven’t got time to waste on this and offer him some money to go away. If they do decide to fight it, he hasn’t got the slightest of chances of winning anything. Even if the court finds that the FIA should have cancelled the result of this race, they won’t be able to say that doing so would have meant Massa would have ended up as Champion.

  20. World’s gone mad. Would have had a better case against Timo Glock.

    1. That’s a myth: glock had tyres not suited for the conditions at the time hamilton passed him, it was only because of him not stopping that he was that far ahead, so in an alternate universe he would’ve pitted for wet tyres earlier and hamilton wouldn’t have passed him cause he would’ve been ahead already.

    2. I don’t think Glock had any “dark scheme” plotted here. It was just “one of those things”.
      I saw a driver who simply chanced it and stayed out on slicks when it started to rain and most other cars pitted, hoping to hang on to his 4th place until the end.
      It didn’t really work out since the rain got considerably heavier and Glock had to choose between backing off or going off. Vettel also passed Glock on the last lap, it wasn’t just Hamilton.

  21. Protest Spa 2008 while you’re at it Felipe!

    While a fantastic driver, this is just silly. To other previous comments point…the greatest result of change is they recommend Alonso loses a win here, nobody was complicit in running the race unfairly…they played the hand Flávio dealt. It’s a bit sad, in the stages of grief anyone needs to find acceptance, Lewis seemed to find in the months after 2021, yet 15 years on Felipe has not gotten there – despite being the benefactor of a strict call against his opponent that year.

  22. 15 years later? Seems like throwing good money after bad.

  23. This makes no sense. If Singapore had been handled differently, Massa might have gone to every subsequent race with a different mindset, which might have affected his subsequent results; same for every other driver that season.

  24. I don’t like Hamilton but Massa is such a mug. The FIA will walk all over him in court.

  25. McLaren 2007
    12th March 2024, 6:07

    The FIA penalized McLaren for stealing the Ferrari design by forcing them to give up 2007 title (keep Hamilton out till his tyres gone bald) and give it Ferrari for a guaranteed 2008 title, hence the instructions to Tim Glock move over. Notice also that both Toyota cars had an almost the same lap times on that last lap. The 2007 Champion (Kimi Räikkönen) was totally unexcited and ashamed of the way he was handed the title immediately in his interview after the race. FIXED by any other name. Also McLaren were slapped with a 100m pound fine only to be reduced to 50m and paid by Mercedes, not Ron Denis at all.

  26. I haven’t written here for a long time but by doing this Massa can be seen as a “whiner” by a newer fans. Some who were born in that era. They don’t remember seeing him race and the only thing they hear and see is this some random brazilian old guy going to a court over a race result. Don’t be like this Massa or who am I to tell him. I saw him as a champion but now only thing I read is about court, court, court. This time bad publicity is bad.

    1. I think he is being rather consistent. Back then he was also always whining and complaining and pointing at others. He basically is still the same old Massa.

  27. It worries me that Massa thinks this all worth the inevitable fall out, when he doesn’t get to be an F1 champion.

    He’s been manipulated by both lawyers and Ecclestone – who’s almost teasing him with his “completely right thing to do” laughable comment.

  28. Massa should never be crowned champion after 16 years or even get compensation. Hamilton rightfully won the 2008 championship on the track. However, the FIA and the FOM should not evade punishment for their shady behavior.

    1. If Mass had won that title, it would have been tainted by the points he was gifted at Spa.

  29. Full blown soap opera 2024 season is. Red Bull will win all races while imploding. Crazy.

  30. notagrumpyfan
    12th March 2024, 10:46

    Different question/doubt:
    Is a case like this even admissible in an English court?
    FOM and BE were based in the UK, but they can easily claim that they are not involved in the sporting/competitive part of F1; they have no formal say at all regarding infractions, penalties, race results, championships.
    FIA is based on France, and maybe CAS can get involved.
    The race was in Singapore.
    And I doubt Max being English makes this a case for the English courts.

  31. I can’t help but think that this is only going to reflect badly on Masa and taint everything he achieved in the sport.

  32. No true champion tries to become one in a courtroom.

    Filipe` has gone from being a dignified, sporting runner-up to being a bitter, whining loser. if he wants to known forever as an unworthy paper champion, that’s his bag. The only injustice that year was Spa, which he befitted from himself, and if Massa had won the title that year, that result would have forever tainted it anyway.

    1. He never was particularly dignified. The Brazilians have a saying, para inglês ver, ‘for the English to see,’ just show, which applies well here. His comments in Portuguese for a home audience were always more acerbic. Raikkonen was clearly the faster of the two Ferrari drivers but really never seemed that bothered about winning a title (even 2007 kind of fell into his lap because of the McLaren meltdown). He even let Massa past in China for some extra points.

  33. Mark Sinclair
    12th March 2024, 12:26

    Mr Massa is seeking declarations that the FIA breached its regulations by failing to promptly investigate Nelson Piquet Junior’s crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, and that had it acted properly, Mr Massa would have won the drivers’ championship that year.

    How do the lawyers know that Massa would have won the championship. There were another 3 races to go after Singapore. Massa could have had DNF in all three of them.

    1. How do the lawyers know that Massa would have won the championship.

      Kite flying. If the FIA “had acted properly” Alonso would have a DQ instead of a win.
      From that point there are two scenarios:
      1. Everyone moves up one place – Hamilton wins the championship by a greater margin
      2. Everyone retains the positions that history records – Hamilton wins with the last corner nail-biter finish to the WDC

    2. Mark, yes that is really the essence of sport. If Massa had a bigger lead going into the last three races, maybe he’d have tried to play it too safe and choked. You cannot surgically wipe out one result in isolation and predict what the remaining results would be.

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