Felipe Massa Sues To Be Handed 2008 Formula One Title

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Felipe Massa

Former driver Felipe Massa took legal action in London’s High Court on Monday against F1, the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone in a bid to win recognition that he should have been drivers’ world champion in 2008.

On Monday, 42-year-old Brazilian Felipe Massa filed a lawsuit in London’s High Court against Formula One Management (FOM), former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone and the FIA. The former Ferrari driver is seeking recognition of his 2008 world championship title and financial compensation.

The 2008 title, the first of seven won by Lewis Hamilton, was decided by a narrow margin, with the Brazilian finishing just one point behind the Briton. But Massa feels he was wronged at the Singapore Grand Prix, the 15th of the 18 races on the program that year, won by Spain’s Fernando Alonso (Renault).


An Intentional Accident

The Brazilian insists that in order to favor Alonso’s victory, his team ordered its second driver, Nelson Piquet Jr, to deliberately leave the track and drive his car into a low wall. Alonso, only 15th on the grid, had just refuelled at the moment of the accident, and the safety car’s intervention enabled him to overtake all the other drivers, who were in turn returning to the pits.

Massa, who was leading the race at the time of the accident, had a nightmarish pitstop of his own, restarting with the refuelling hose still attached to his car. He finished a distant 13th out of the points, while third-placed Hamilton scored precious points in his bid for the title.


The following season, Nelson Piquet Jr revealed that he had deliberately crashed his car on the instructions of his team. And Bernie Ecclestone, then F1’s head honcho, admitted in an interview last year that the Singapore GP classification should not have been validated and that the world championship title should have gone to the Brazilian.

“Mr. Massa is seeking statements establishing that the FIA breached its regulations by not promptly opening an investigation into Nelson Piquet Junior’s accident at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, and that had it acted appropriately, Mr. Massa would have won the Drivers’ World Championship that year,” explains the Brazilian law firm representing Felipe Massa in a statement.

“Mr. Massa is also seeking compensation for the significant financial loss caused by the failure of the FIA, in which Mr. Ecclestone and the FOM were also complicit,” the lawyers add.