Massa, reacting to Bernie Ecclestone’s comments that the FIA was aware of a rules breach before the end of the 2008 season: “It’s really injustice and I think definitely we need to study everything that happened because It’s not fair what has happened.”
Felipe Massa has called for further investigations into the “injustice” surrounding the outcome of the 2008 Formula 1 world championship, following comments made by Bernie Ecclestone about the so-called ‘Crashgate’ controversy.
Nelson Piquet Jr deliberately crashed at the Singapore GP, helping his Renault team-mate Fernando Alonso win, with the Safety Car resulting in a botched pit stop that saw Massa fall from leader to a 13th-placed finish.
The incident had a significant impact on the outcome of the drivers’ title race, Massa missing out by a point when Lewis Hamilton overtook Timo Glock at the final corner of the final lap of the season in Brazil.
The deliberate nature of Piquet’s actions emerged publicly the following year, leading Massa to call for the Singapore GP result to be cancelled, but an investigation couldn’t change the result because of rules stating that Hamilton’s maiden world title could not be revoked after the FIA Awards ceremony had taken place.
Former Formula 1 chief executive Ecclestone this year claimed that he and then-FIA president Max Mosley were aware of a potential breach during the 2008 campaign and decided not to do anything. That revelation has left Massa looking at possible legal avenues to challenge the season’s outcome.
Speaking for the first time on camera since Ecclestone’s comments, Massa exclusively told Sky Sports: “You fight them to the last corner of the last race, pass the chequered flag as the champion and then everything changed. For sure, a fight on the track.
“Then you discover what has happened in Singapore. People, important people like Bernie, like Max Mosley, like Charlie Whiting – they knew in 2008 and they didn’t do anything.
“That is really a massive surprise for me. It’s really [an] injustice and I think definitely we need to study everything that happened because It’s not fair what has happened.”
Another exciting title race ahead?
Sergio Perez’s victories in both the first Sprint of the season in Baku and Sunday’s race leaves him just six points behind Max Verstappen going into this weekend’s Miami Grand Prix, with Massa hoping for a season-long battle between the Red Bull teammates.
“I really believed that Max [Verstappen] was going to be in front of everyone because he was doing an amazing job last year, even this year, but Checo [Sergio Perez] did a fantastic race in Baku,” Massa added.
“It’s another city track [in Miami] and he proved to be quite competitive in the city tracks, so I really hope he can have a chance. Us, as Formula One fans, want to see the championship finish in the last race.
“Having Checo there… [he] is the only one who can fight with Max [Verstappen] this year unfortunately. I really hope he can do a good job during the season and take this championship on fire into the last race.”
Alonso currently sits third in the standings after finishing no worse than fourth in the opening four races of the season, although Massa does not expect the Spaniard to be able to prevent Verstappen and Perez in the title race.
“Is he [Alonso] going to have the car to fight until the last race of the season? I think it will be difficult, knowing the difference between Red Bull and the others, but I’m sure he can have a great fight with Ferrari and Mercedes,” Massa explained.
“We know that Ferrari have a good car in qualifying but not a great car in the race. Mercedes didn’t start the way they wanted but let’s see how much they can improve the car over the season.
“What is true is that Red Bull has some good margins, especially in the races compared to the others, but I’m sure we’re going to have some nice races to watch.”
The Formula 1 season continues with the Miami GP this weekend. Watch qualifying at 9pm on Saturday with lights out at 8.30pm on Sunday. Get Sky Sports