Massa’s 2008 F1 title legal challenge ‘for justice, not money’

Last week, Massa stepped up his legal battle over losing the 2008 title by sending a Letter Before Claim addressed to F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, setting out the details of his impending legal challenge over the result of the championship.

Massa lost the title to McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton by a single point but believes the result of the controversial Singapore Grand Prix should not have counted.

In the race, Renault’s Nelson Piquet Jr. crashed on purpose to give team-mate Fernando Alonso a chance to win, a turn of events which cost Massa valuable – and in hindsight decisive – points in the championship.

In the letter, which Autosport had access to, Massa’s sizeable legal team says the Brazilian was the “victim of a conspiracy” that cost the former Ferrari driver “tens of millions of euros”.

Speaking at length to Autosport’s Brazilian language sister website, Massa claimed that receiving compensation for his lost revenue was not his main motivation for the case, which is expected to be presented to a UK court.

“It’s pretty clear that we are going to finish just when we have a result that we believe is correct for the justice of the sport,” Massa said.

“That’s why we decided to get together a very big and important legal team. I’m doing that for the sport, I’m doing that to show that manipulation is not part of our sport.

“I’m not doing that for money, I’m doing that for the justice of the sport. So, whatever people trying to write about the money is completely wrong.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG, celebrates 3rd position in the sprint race, with Felipe Massa

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG, celebrates 3rd position in the sprint race, with Felipe Massa

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

“Compensation definitely exists. For example, now I’m spending a lot of money on that case but definitely I’m not doing that [for the money].”

Massa said he was very confident about the strength of his case and that it was “important for people to understand” that what happened in Singapore “robbed” him of the world title.

“I’m definitely very optimistic,” he added. “It’s pretty clear now that with what’s happened in that Singapore race in 2008, the race was supposed to be suspended, and it was not.

“So, nobody was punished at the end, everything that happened was completely unacceptable.

“It’s important that everybody knows exactly what happened in that race. And it’s important that people understand that the result of the drivers’ championship that year was manipulated because of that race.”

When pressed by Autosport on which court will handle the case, a spokesperson for Massa replied: “We are not going to answer that at this time.”

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