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Felipe Massa has officially sued Formula One regarding the outcome of Lewis Hamilton's 2008 championship win.
F1 Sport

Felipe Massa has officially sued Formula One regarding the outcome of Lewis Hamilton’s 2008 championship win.

Lewis Hamilton’s first Formula One world championship is the subject of legal action after Felipe Massa filed a lawsuit against Formula One, its ­governing body, the FIA, and the sport’s former supremo Bernie Ecclestone in London’s high court on Monday.

Massa believes he is the rightful winner of the 2008 title he lost to Hamilton by a point.

At the Singapore Grand Prix, Renault orchestrated a victory for Fernando Alonso by instructing Nelson Piquet Jr to deliberately crash in the other vehicle. As a result of Piquet’s accident, Ferrari’s Massa, who was leading the race at the time, ended up finishing in 13th place. This ultimately contributed to Massa losing the championship at the last round in Brazil.

Piquet admitted that he was directed to purposely cause a crash during the season. Despite this, Ecclestone, who was in charge of F1 for 40 years until his removal in 2017, stated last year that the sport’s leaders were already aware of the attempted concealment before the 2008 season ended.

Massa’s lawyers are requesting for the FIA to recognize their violation of regulations by not promptly investigating Piquet’s crash and also seeking compensation on behalf of Massa.

“The law firm Vieira Rezende Advogados, based in Brazil, reported that on March 11, 2024, Felipe Massa initiated legal proceedings at the High Court in London, England against Formula One Management Limited (FOM), Bernard Charles Ecclestone, and the Federation Internationale de L’Automobile (FIA).”

“Mr. Massa is asserting that the FIA violated its regulations by neglecting to promptly investigate the incident involving Nelson Piquet Junior’s crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix. He also claims that had the investigation been conducted correctly, Mr. Massa would have been the rightful winner of the drivers’ championship that year.”

Mr. Massa is also pursuing compensation for the substantial financial hardship he experienced because of the FIA’s negligence, in which Mr. Ecclestone and FOM were also involved. Despite efforts to reach a mutual agreement, these attempts have been unsuccessful, forcing Mr. Massa to take legal action.

Hamilton, who has won a record-equalling seven titles, said last ­September: “If that’s the direction that Felipe wants to go, that’s his ­decision.

“I choose not to dwell on the past, whether it was 15 years ago, 2 years ago, or 3 days ago. I am only concerned with the present.”

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Ecclestone said on Monday: “If he had asked me, I would have said it was the complete right thing to do, to sue, and to let an English judge decide what is right and wrong. I cannot say anything about the outcome and what will happen.

I am unsure, and I believe nobody is certain, but having an English judge issue a verdict would benefit him more from his perspective.

Source: theguardian.com