Felipe Massa has initiated the legal process via his lawyers after a letter is sent to both F1 and FIA heads regarding the 2008 Singapore GP.
Few months back, Massa spoke about a potential case against F1 and the FIA with regards to the happenings in 2008 Singapore GP which seemingly cost the Brazilian a world championship chance against Lewis Hamilton in the finale.
The grand prix saw Massa lead initially until the crash of Nelson Piquet Jr who revealed later that he purposely crashed to help his teammate Fernando Alonso, who secured the race win. The Ferrari racer failed to score eventually after a bad pit stop.
Years on it was clear that both F1 and the FIA knew about the planned crash after Piquet admitted to it in an internal discussion. But they took no action to alter the results while banning the driver and the team officials involved in the planning and execution.
In recent times, Massa started to look into the case and mulled taking action after speaking to Bernie Ecclestone. And he has kick-started it after his lawyers sent an eight-page ‘Letter Before Claim’ to the office of Stefano Domenicali and Mohammed Ben Sulayem.
Reuters has accessed the letter sent by London-based Enyo Law firm where they state that Massa was a victim of conspiracy which not just involved the team and driver but also the highest personals of F1 and also the FIA during that time.
While Ecclestone headed F1, Max Mosely was the FIA President. The letter notes that Massa lost millions of euros due to the deliberate crash along with losing out to Hamilton. They state that the Brazilian is a rightful drivers’ champion of 2008 season.
“Simply put, Mr Massa is the rightful 2008 Driver’s Champion, and F1 and FIA deliberately ignored the misconduct that cheated him out of that title,” said the letter as seen by Reuters. “Mr Massa is unable to fully quantify his losses at this stage but estimates that they are likely to exceed tens of millions of Euros.
“This amount does not cover the serious moral and reputational losses suffered by Mr Massa.” While the FIA acknowledged receiving the letter from the Brazilian’s lawyers, with the summer shutdown on, the F1 office is yet to confirm their situation.
The letter has also warned the F1 and the FIA about unsatisfactory response. There is full intention to pursue at the highest level to seek compensation for the harm suffered. In fact, he also wants recognition that if not for such situation, he would have been the rightful 2008 F1 champion.
The letter was sent on August 15 and the F1 and the FIA office has 14 days to respond. Ecclestone, meanwhile, cannot recall if he ever gave that interview. “I don’t remember any of this, to be honest,” he said. “I don’t remember giving the interview for sure.”
Here’s Felipe Massa talking about a potential case