Felipe Massa takes next step in bid to strip Lewis Hamilton of F1 title as lawsuit filed | F1 | Sport

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Felipe Massa takes next step in bid to strip Lewis Hamilton of F1 title as lawsuit filed | F1 | Sport

Felipe Massa’s legal team have filed lawsuits against the FIA, Formula One Management, and Bernie Ecclestone over the 2008 ‘crashgate’ scandal at the Singapore Grand Prix. Massa missed out on that year’s drivers’ title to Lewis Hamilton and now insists that the result of a race towards the end of the season should be voided.

In a decisive race, Renault driver Nelson Piquet Jr deliberately crashed to trigger a safety car, which enabled team-mate Fernando Alonso to take the victory. Hamilton finished second while Massa failed to win points.

The result was key to the then-McLaren driver Hamilton beating Massa to the title. Hamilton beat Massa to his first World Championship by a single point.

No action was immediately taken and the result of the race stood. However, former F1 chief Ecclestone claimed in an interview last year that there was sufficient evidence at the time to launch an investigation and potentially overturn the result.

Ecclestone has since insisted that he does not remember giving the interview.

But the 93-year-old’s comments have infuriated Massa, who believes he was wrongly denied the world title that year. His representatives have now confirmed that they are taking legal action against the FIA, FOM and Ecclestone at the London High Court.

A statement from a legal firm read: « Mr Massa is seeking declarations that the FIA breached its regulations by failing to promptly investigate Nelson Piquet Junior’s crash at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix and that had it acted properly, Mr Massa would have won the drivers’ championship that year.

« 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. »

Massa’s legal team submitted questions to the FIA and FOM last year but a response was delayed due to the 2023 summer break. It was deemed that key individuals were not available to provide a reply.

The statement continued: « Attempts to find an amicable resolution have been unsuccessful, leaving Mr Massa with no choice but to initiate legal proceedings. »

The FIA is under increased scrutiny after it was reported by the BBC that president Mohammed ben Sulayem was under investigation for allegedly interfering with a race result last year. The report claims that a whistleblower has told the FIA that Ben Sulayem allegedly intervened to overturn a penalty given to Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso at the 2023 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

The statement from Massa’s legal team continued: « Recent events naturally demonstrate that issues of transparency and integrity in Formula One remain relevant, and it is clear that serious work is needed to restore its credibility and long-term future. »

Massa is reportedly seeking £60million to £150m in compensation.

Cet article est apparu en premier en ANGLAIS sur https://www.express.co.uk/sport/f1-autosport/1876256/Felipe-Massa-Lewis-Hamilton-F1-title


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