Felipe Massa says he wants to understand more about what happened in the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix and whether it could potentially lead to him being retrospectively crowned F1 world champion for that season.
Renault’s order to Nelson Piquet Jr. to crash deliberately in order to open the door for Fernando Alonso to win the race in Singapore 15 years ago — known as Crashgate — was a pivotal moment in the season. Alonso’s victory came in a race that also saw original race leader Massa leave his pit stop with the fuel hose still attached during a hectic pit lane period, ending up failing to score while Lewis Hamilton finished third en route to his dramatic title success.
While Renault personnel were heavily punished when the Crashgate scandal came to light, Alonso was acquitted of any knowledge and kept his victory, with the result of the race standings, However, Massa has this year started investigating legal action, saying it was the comments of those in charge of F1 at the time that got his interest.
“It’s not like I woke up (at the start of) this year and was looking for that result in 2008,” Massa said during an event highlighting developments at Losail ahead of this year’s Qatar Grand Prix. “But we saw some interesting interviews from Bernie (Ecclestone) and also from (former FIA race director) Charlie Whiting, from (former FIA president) Max Mosley’s series that he did. And after that I thought what happened at the end was not correct.
“So I’m looking forward to understanding everything that happened. Because to be honest I fought them to the last lap, I fought them to the last moment. I used a lot of my heart to celebrate that moment. We fought until the end — I won the race in Brazil, but maybe something that happened in that race in Singapore was not correct, for the sport and for the justice I would say.”
There doesn’t appear to be a right to appeal the championship result through the existing sporting courts available to Massa, but when pushed on whether his main motive was to know what had happened in Singapore and who had knowledge of it when, the Brazilian added: “Yeah, it’s about understanding if what went on is correct or not.”