Massa Sues F1 Over Infamous 'Crashgate' Incident That Cost Him World Championship

Tuesday, 12 March 2024 at 12:00
massa felipe rbcp1
Felipe Massa, a former F1 driver who finished as runner-up in the 2008 Championship, filed a lawsuit against the FIA, Formula 1, and Bernie Ecclestone.
Felipe Massa lost the 2008 Formula 1 World Championship to Lewis Hamilton by a mere one point after the season's last race. However, it was later revealed he lost possibly 10 points due to the Crashgate scandal.
Fernando Alonso's teammate, Nelson Piquet Jr., deliberately crashed his car during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix to give him the Spanish Matador advantage and win the race.
By crashing his car, he put drivers who hadn't yet gone for a pit stop at a disadvantage. Felipe Massa, who was leading the race, was one of these drivers. Massa's following stop saw him fall from 1st to 13th place.
So, instead of gaining 10 points for the win, he gained nothing. The Brazilian driver has lately claimed he is the rightful winner of the 2008 Championship.
On Monday, March 11th, 2024, Massa's representatives filed legal action in the London High Court. The former F1 driver is seeking $82m in damages from F1, Bernie Ecclestone, the former owner of F1, and the regulatory body of Formula 1, the FIA.
The $82m in damages include prize money and all the potential deals that the Brazilian driver would have lost if he had not been crowned the World Champion in 2008.
Sky Sports asked FIA and FOM (Formula 1 management for comment), but they declined. According to the publication, law firm Vieira Rezende said that if FIA had "acted properly, Mr. Massa would have won the Drivers' Championship that year. [2008]"

"Mr. Massa also seeks damages for the significant financial loss he has suffered due to the FIA's failure, in which Mr. Ecclestone and FOM were also complicit."

"As Mr. Ecclestone has admitted, there was 'enough information in time to investigate the matter' in 2008 and 'cancel the race in Singapore.'"

"Mr. Ecclestone further affirmed that, had the results of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix been canceled, 'Felipe Massa would have become world champion' and that Mr. Massa 'was cheated out of the title he deserved.'

"Attempts to find an amicable resolution have been unsuccessful, leaving Mr. Massa with no choice but to initiate legal proceedings."