Lost world title: Lawsuit in court: Former Formula 1 racing driver Felipe Massa is desperately fighting for justice

Felipe Massa is perhaps Formula 1's greatest woe.

Lost world title: Lawsuit in court: Former Formula 1 racing driver Felipe Massa is desperately fighting for justice

Felipe Massa is perhaps Formula 1's greatest woe. The former racing driver, now 42 years old, almost won the world title in a Ferrari, but a nasty intrigue at the night race in Singapore in September 2008 prevented him from being crowned world champion . At least that is Massa's opinion - and there are quite a few who see it similarly.

Now the Brazilian is going to court and wants to fight for the title through legal means. On Monday he filed a lawsuit against the world automobile association Fia, the current World Cup rights holder Fom and the former owner Bernie Ecclestone. This was announced by the Brazilian law firm Vieira Rezende Advogados, which claims to represent Massa. According to the AP news agency, Massa is also demanding damages of at least $82 million (75 million euros) for lost prize money and lost advertising deals. This emerges from a document available to AP. According to Brazilian media reports, Massa is demanding up to 150 million pounds (175 million euros) - according to sources from the newspaper "O Globo".

Massa is fighting for justice and for a proper place in Formula 1. Michael Schumacher's former helper wants to heal the wound that was inflicted on him back then. All the events surrounding one of the ugliest chapters in Formula 1 history should be brought back to the table. “I have always said that I will fight until the end,” Massa is quoted as saying by AP. The whole world should find out - with the blessing of a court, so to speak - how the intentionally caused crash of the then Renault driver Nelson Piquet Jr. contributed to Massa losing the world title at the end of the season, one point behind Lewis Hamilton.

The investigation into the crash was initially slow. It was only a year later that the FIA ​​began an investigation after the publication of a media report in Brazil. It turned out that Renault team boss Flavio Briatore and technical boss Pat Symonds were their Brazilian driver Piquet Jr. had been instructed to cause an accident and trigger the safety car. With the campaign they wanted to give the second Renault driver Fernando Alonso the much-needed victory, which succeeded.

Alonso was stuck in the middle of the field and had no chance of winning. Shortly before the accident, they were the first to get him into the pits and fill the car with gas. The safety car brought the field together and the other cars were only allowed to pit after the race management had approved the stop. So Alonso moved far forward in the field; in front of him were only opponents who had not refueled but had to pit later. The Spaniard had a clear ride and won the race as an outsider. Massa led the race for a long time and when he finally came to refuel everything went wrong. He set off too early, took the fuel hose with him and lost a lot of time. He ended up in 13th place and didn't get any points. At the end of the season, Massa lost the World Cup match by one point.

The FIA ​​imposed long bans on Briatore and Symonds (they were later pardoned), but the race classification was not cancelled. "Massa wants to establish that the FIA ​​violated its own rules" by not immediately investigating the collision. He assumes that he would have won the drivers' championship that year if the FIA ​​had acted properly, the lawyers said in a statement. The FIA ​​did not comment on the lawsuit when asked by the AP news agency, but there was a reaction from FOM and Ecclestone first off.

It was statements by former Formula 1 boss Ecclestone that prompted Massa to sue. Last year, Ecclestone, now 93 years old, said in an interview that the events were known in the paddock as early as 2008. The decision was made against taking any steps. Massa now wants to do it again 16 years later. He thinks he has the right to do so.

Sources: DPA, “Motorsport Magazine”, “Formula 1”

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