Bernie Ecclestone supports Felipe Massa's legal battle against him, FIA, and F1

"If he had asked me, I would have said it was the complete right thing to do."

by Sead Dedovic
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Bernie Ecclestone supports Felipe Massa's legal battle against him, FIA, and F1
© Mark Thompson/Getty Images Sport

Bernie Ecclestone has reacted to a new lawsuit from Felipe Massa regarding Crashgate and the moment that Formula 1 fans will never forget. Many still firmly stand behind their belief that Nelson Piquet Jr.'s move was anything but fair. In 2008, the Brazilian intentionally crashed to help Fernando Alonso. 

Massa had to make a pitstop, costing him the championship. 

After Massa filed a lawsuit against Ecclestone, F1, and FIA; former and current drivers, and team executives decided to respond. According to many, Ecclestone's reaction, confirmed in an interview with the British Press Association, was the most interesting, as he surprised many by affirming that Massa did the right thing in starting legal proceedings.

“If he had asked me, I would have said it was the complete right thing to do, to sue, and to let an English judge decide what is right and wrong,” Ecclestone said, as reported by crash.net

“I cannot say anything about the outcome and what will happen.

From his point of view, it is better that an English judge comes up with a verdict. It will be of more help for him.”

Felipe Massa has reiterated his stance, which he has emphasized countless times. He has no intention of giving up on his goal, aware that a great injustice has been done to him. It's a moment the then 27-year-old Brazilian will never forget. He had the championship in his hands, but Nelson Piquet Jr. spoiled his plans. Frustrated by the fact that the FIA and FOM did nothing about Crashgate, Massa realized he had to seek justice.


“I always said I was going to fight until the end,” Massa said.

“Since the FIA and FOM decided not to do anything, we will seek to right this historical injustice in court.

The matter is now for our lawyers and they are fully authorised to do whatever is necessary so justice in sport is served.”

Felipe Massa of Brazil and Ferrari is seen on the grid before the start of the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at the Marina Ba
Felipe Massa of Brazil and Ferrari is seen on the grid before the start of the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix at the Marina Ba© Mark Thompson/Getty Images Sport
 

It's hard to say for sure if Felipe Massa would have won the championship if the Crashgate incident didn't happen. 

At that time, Massa was leading the race and seemed set to win the championship. However, the use of the safety car changed the race dynamics. Massa went into the pit, and because of this decision and the safety car situation, he lost the chance to win the title. If the incident hadn't happened, and Massa had won the race without any outside interference, he probably would have become the champion.

Felipe Massa and The Players' Tribune

Writing for The Players' Tribune, Massa openly spoke about a moment deeply etched in his memory. Massa can't shake off the feeling that he was so close to winning the championship, that just one moment changed his future and the history of the sport. As one of the culprits, Massa also highlighted Renault's team leader, Flavio Briatore. Despite having a great foundation and being near his goal, Renault's team leaders ruined his dreams.

“Renault’s team leader, Flavio Briatore, orchestrated a deliberate crash of Nelson Piquet Jr to benefit their other driver, Fernando Alonso.

With the fake accident, the yellow light came on, the safety car entered the track, and I, who had taken the pole and was leading the race at the time, went to the pits."

He further reveals that, at the time, they found the situation strange. However, the truth about the manipulation only surfaced a year later. Additionally, Massa notes that Bernie Ecclestone, who was the head of F1 in 2008, confessed in an interview earlier this year that he was aware of everything but chose not to act. Ecclestone stated that he wanted to "protect the sport and save it from a huge scandal." 

This was probably the time when Felipe Massa felt even more frustrated and angry. He couldn't believe that some people knew about the plans of Renault's leaders but didn't say anything. He thinks it's important to get real answers about this situation.

This happened during the season when Lewis Hamilton became the champion. Hamilton believes strongly that he was the best driver that season and deservedly achieved his goal. He disagrees with Massa being called "robbed" and says he's surprised by what the Brazilian is saying.

During that season, Massa emphasized that he had seen scenes like this in soccer but nothing similar to this.

" I saw this in Italy. Juventus were relegated three years ago because they paid the referee to steal a game.

This has happened in Brazil, too, in several places. But with us all they do is send [Flavio] Briatore home. I cannot understand this and I do not think what happened is right."- Massa said.

Bernie Ecclestone Felipe Massa
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