SEPTEMBER 12, 2023

Massa lawyers ask Hamilton for crashgate help

Lawyers are seeking the backing of both Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton as they push ahead with Felipe Massa's bid to be named 2008 world champion.

Felipe Massa, Canadian GP 2010
© The Cahier Archive

When Massa - now retired from Formula 1 and 42 - was racing for Ferrari some fifteen years ago, Nelson Piquet deliberately crashed his Renault in Singapore.

The saga became known as 'crashgate', but the revelations about the deliberate nature of Piquet's crash only emerged long after then McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton had the 2008 title in his pocket.

Massa's legal team is pushing for Ferrari's backing in their legal bid, but Frederic Vasseur insists that he is no fan of changing the race result even 15 minutes after the chequered flag.

Now, the lawyers are also seeking Hamilton's support - even though that may involve the Briton having one of his record-equalling seven titles stripped away.

I have a bad memory, Hamilton, 38, told reporters when asked about the saga at Zandvoort.

I'm only focused on the here and now and on how to help my team (Mercedes) to get back on top. I don't think about what happened 15 years ago.

However, Massa's lawyers are still pushing for the British driver's support.

We have absolutely nothing against Lewis Hamilton, Brazilian Massa's lawyer Bernardo Viana is quoted by Corriere dello Sport newspaper.

He is an important ambassador of sport throughout the world and has always defended sporting integrity. In Brazil, he is always welcomed in the best possible way as he is also an honorary citizen, so we hope he can support us in this battle.

The lawyers recently extended their deadline for a response from the FIA and Formula 1 to September 8.

Formula 1 and the FIA have promised us a response to our pre-dispute letter by mid-October, Viana is also quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport.