In probably one of the most WTF stories of the year – honestly, we’re not sure how we will beat this – Felipe Massa has revealed that he may look into options regarding the authenticity of the 2008 F1 championship outcome. Don’t worry, we haven’t gone back in time; we’re actually nearer to this being almost two decades ago, but anyway.
Is anything likely to come out of this? No, can you imagine the backlash? If you start relitigating old championships, you could probably find a fault in any, if not all, F1 championships, and in that case, we might as well just shut up shop and go home 😅
What’s caused this, I hear you ask? Well, Bernie Ecclestone’s recent comments on the 2008 Singapore GP, when Nelson Piquet Jr deliberately crashed to bring out a safety car and help his teammate, Fernando Alonso, win the race.
He claimed, speaking to F1 Insider, that he and then FIA president, Max Mosely, knew of the situation but decided not to do anything to protect the sport and save it from a huge scandal. Which, if true, turned out just great, didn’t it?
Bernie claimed that there was a rule that forbade them to look into it any further once the FIA awards ceremony had taken place, but says that they “had enough information in time to investigate the matter” and “according to the statutes, we should have cancelled the race in Singapore”.
So, what does that mean? Well, if the race was cancelled – it effectively would’ve never happened, meaning no points handed out, and Felipe Massa would have become the World Champion in 2008, not Lewis Hamilton.
Of course, that’s sparked interest and upset for Massa, who feels he technically missed out on the title because of the need not to tarnish the sport, and now he’s seeking justice – something he’s apparently confirmed first-hand, as quoted by Motorsport.com Brazil.
The obvious counter-argument is that the rest of the season would surely not have played the same if Singapore had been stricken off the record, and if you reset the title race to pre-Singapore, Hamilton leads by the very same one-point margin that he wound up winning the title by.
To be honest, we can’t imagine Felipe actually getting anywhere – in sporting terms, at least – with his inquiries, as it’s entirely reliant on what Bernie Ecclestone claims the late Max Mosley knew. But stranger things have happened, and this was definitely not on our 2023 F1 bingo card.
Would you be happy if Massa won the title this way after 15 years?