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Wed, August 23, 2023

Former F1 driver Felipe Massa taking legal action over “crash gate”

Former F1 driver Felipe Massa taking legal action over “crash gate”

Former F1 driver Felipe Massa is taking legal action against F1 over an alleged conspiracy to deny him the 2008 world championship title. 

Massa’s legal team are seeking damages in the tens of millions of dollars who what they say was a conspiracy by F1 to deny Massa the 2008 World Championship which he ultimately lost by one point to Lewis Hamilton. 

During the Singapore Gran Prix Massa was leading the race but Nelson Pique Jr of Renault crashed out of the race which caused a safety car period. Massa pitted during the safety car but an error led to him leaving the pit with the fuel hose still attached to his Ferrari, forcing his retirement so he picked up no points. 

Pique later revealed in 2009 that his crash had been deliberate as it helped teammate Fernando Alonso get to the front and he ultimately won the race although an investigation found Alonso was unaware of the plan. An investigation led to Renault team boss Flavio Briatore and chief technical officer Pat Symonds being banned from F1 for a number of years. 

Former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone said earlier this year that he and then-FIA president Max Mosley knew that the crash by Renault's Nelson Piquet Jr which turned the Singapore Grand Prix on its head was deliberate but took no action. This has led to Massa’s legal team now taking action. 

Ferrari team principle Frederic Vasseur has said “I am not a big fan of changing the result 15 minutes after the flag [let alone 15 years].”

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