Formula 1

F1 News: Bernie Ecclestone Backs Felipe Massa in Legal Battle Over 2008 Singapore GP

Former F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone has expressed support for Felipe Massa’s lawsuit concerning the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix incident, stating it was the “complete right thing to do.” This surprising endorsement comes amidst Massa’s legal challenge against influential figures in the sport, including Ecclestone himself.

Key Takeaways:

  • Bernie Ecclestone’s Endorsement: Ecclestone, in an unexpected turn, supports Massa’s decision to file a lawsuit over the 2008 Singapore GP, viewing it as a rightful course of action.
  • Massa’s Legal Action: The lawsuit, targeting Ecclestone, the FIA, and FOM, questions the integrity of the 2008 F1 season, with a focus on the Singapore GP’s controversy.
  • Seeking Justice and Compensation: Massa aims for a substantial financial settlement and acknowledgment of regulatory breaches by the FIA, potentially escalating the claim to £150 million.

Felipe Massa, in a bold move, has initiated legal action against prominent figures in Formula 1, including Bernie Ecclestone, the FIA, and Formula One Management (FOM). This challenge, filed in the Superior Court of Justice in London, stems from the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, a race Massa claims adversely affected the championship’s outcome due to inaction from F1’s governing bodies.

At the heart of Massa’s lawsuit is the failure to annul the results of the 2008 Singapore GP. This race was infamous for Nelson Piquet Jr’s deliberate crash, allegedly planned to advantage his Renault teammate Fernando Alonso. Massa, who had started in pole position, suffered a pit stop issue and a subsequent penalty, finishing 13th and losing the championship to Lewis Hamilton by just one point.

Ecclestone’s comments to the Press Association, as reported by PlanetF1, were unequivocal:

“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.

“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.”

Massa’s legal quest is not merely about revisiting a controversial moment in F1’s history but also about securing significant financial compensation, with claims ranging between £64 to £150 million. This action reflects his determination to address what he sees as a historic injustice, exacerbated by the governing bodies’ lack of response to the Singapore incident.

The case involves detailed evidence gathering, with Massa’s legal team issuing preservation notices to key parties, including teams like Ferrari and Renault, and individuals involved in the 2008 race. This thorough approach highlights the seriousness of Massa’s pursuit for justice, gaining support from figures like Jean Todt, who expressed sympathy for Massa and pondered potential alternative actions by Ferrari at the time.

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