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Massa wants justice for Singapore ‘robbery’
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Massa wants justice for Singapore ‘robbery’
Posted By: James Allen  |  02 Oct 2009   |  12:51 am GMT  |  94 comments

Felipe Massa has hit out on Brazilian TV, claiming that he was ‘robbed’ of last year’s drivers world title because Renault cheated.

Picture 38
“All of what happened was robbery – but regarding the race nothing has happened, the result remains the same. This is not right. The robbery changed the outcome of a championship and I lost (the title),”

Massa says that the result of the race should be annulled, which would mean that Lewis Hamilton would lose the six points he gained for his third place finish and Massa would be world champion.

Massa compares the situation to the Italian soccer scandal of a few years ago where Juventus were found guilty of bribing referees and were demoted out of the Italian premier football league, Serie A.

“I have seen in football how a referee took money to throw a game and all the suspect results were annulled. In Italy, Juventus were relegated. But here (in Formula One) they just sent Briatore home. I don’t get it and I don’t think it was right.”

I can understand his anger and I think most people will be sympathetic, but at the same time, he would probably not be saying this if he had won the race, as he was on target to do and Fernando Alonso had finished second as a result of the Renault ‘fix’.

Massa lost the race because when he pitted under the safety car, his pit crew messed up his stop and he was released from his pit box with the fuel hose still attached. That could have happened even if the safety car had not been deployed for Nelson Piquet’s phoney crash. The traffic light release system, as the team accepted after the race, had a human flaw.

On Massa’s recovery, team boss Stefano Domenicali said yesterday that, “He is recovering very, very well, because he is already in the second step of his training progress. He is doing now some karting activity and everything is running very smoothly and he should be back in Europe next week in order to do some activity on the simulator and then we will see after that what will be the next step.

“But at the moment to make something clear, I saw some speculation that Felipe could possibly come back in Brazil, but I can exclude it categorically.”

That does not exclude a return at the final race in Abu Dhabi. There is a suggestion from a team source that he may test a car shortly, maybe a 2007 Ferrari, as Michael Schumacher did in July or maybe a lower category single seater, to see how he is progressing.

There are risks in him coming back too soon, as a below par performance could cause doubt about his fitness for 2010. There are many people in the paddock who feel that Ferrari is taking a risk by dropping Raikkonen and hoping that Massa will be at 100%. But Ferrari seem very confident that everything will be fine.

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1

Today out of curiosity I looked at Markku Alén’s biography on Wikipedia and found this:

“(Markku) Alén narrowly lost the 1986 World Rally Championship to rival driver, Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 pilot Juha Kankkunen. Late in the season, Alén had been victorious on the San Remo rally only after Kankkunen’s Peugeot team was excluded by the organizers on a controversial technicality. Peugeot subsequently appealed the exclusion to the FISA, which eventually annulled the results of the rally, stripping Alén of the World Championship title which he had held for just eleven days, which lead to Alen famously boycotting the 1987 Monte Carlo Rally. ”

This is interesting. In this case the full result of a rally was retrospectively cancelled 1) after the last few rallies of the season were run and 2) 11 days after Alén had been crowned WC, giving the title to Juha Kankkunen.

So the FISA (ancestor of the FIA) did then exactly what Massa is requesting now: Retrospective cancellation of a race result.

I imagine that back then quite a few people sided with Alén and other with Peugeot and Kankkunen.

I am not here siding with Massa or against him on this but found it interesting to spot that in one occasion in the Rally World Championship a result was overturned In a way similar to what Massa wished had happened at the end of Last year.

The funny bit in that story too is that in 1986 the FISA (now FIA) gave the title to Peugeot then run by a Mr Todt, Jean Todt 🙂

I am sure people back then would have argued that if they had expected the cancellation of the San Remo rally Markku Alén and Juha Kankkunen would have driven the last rallies of the season differently.

Can you imagine the endless debates on rallying blogs if such technology had been available in 1986!!!

2

It’s been reported that team bosses knew something was amiss right after the Singapore race. We wouldn’t even be having this discussion had Charlie Whiting and the FIA looked in to it post-haste.

3

Massa’s comparison with the match-fixing scandals in Italy are flawed. The results of individual matches deemed to have been fixed weren’t annulled, the punishments took the form of bans for people involved and relegation/points deductions for teams involved. In that context, this case has been handled similarly, with bans for Briatore and Symonds (and Piquet would have been but for immunity) and a suspended ban for Renault.

Massa’s always struck me as having a bit of a chip on his shoulder and not quit the classy guy many have stated him to be. As someone else commented, interesting contrast between these comments and Lewis’ after the 07 season.

4

F1 is all about looking forward!

Simple as!

5

James, this statement from Massa is embarrasing and he should be disciplined by the world council for this. His victory at Spa was daylight robbery but he was very happy to collect the points there. Do you think he seriously wants them to take the title off Hamilton and give it to him? The guy’s out of his mind. I also seem to remember him purposely driving into Hamilton at Fuji ruining Lewis’s race while he went on to score 2 points. This smacks of desperation and just goes to show that in his own mind he will never get close to winning the title again.

6

If it’s true that Felipe went to a lawyer, then I’m very disappointed with him. Felipe seems to forget that he was given a win at Spa in which he wasn’t even in the picture for a win.

Felipe also seems to forget that he wouldn’t have won at Valencia last year, if he had received a drive through penalty which he deserved, instead of a $10,000 fine for a pit incident. During the GP2 race on the previous day, a driver was given a drive through penalty, not a fine for a similar incident.

Felipe seems to forget the safety car ruined Hamilton’s race in Canada. Hamilton clearly had the race in hand, and probably would have won if there wasn’t a safety car, which led to that disastrous and infamous pit stop.

7

I think the bump on the head must have seriously affected Mr Massa’s mental health. Concussion perhaphs. I do not particularly like Mr Hamilton but this like him saying he would have won before Brazil if the stewards at spa last year hadn’t unfairly taken away his win. I admire Mr Massa for his dignity in defeat at Brazil but this is going to affect his reputation. It is particularly galling that he forgets the pit stop that cost him any chance at the race. If I read this correctly what he is saying is that he must retroactively be made champion because if Renault didnt fix the race, the FIA must make him winner on account of him leading the race prior to his pitstop and use their imaginiation to figure out that he would have won and deserved to win it. What a load of . I would like to see Mr Alonso wipe the floor with this gentelman next year and make everyone realize he is just another Eddy Irvine- a person that was lucky to be in a title fight and for most part a decent chap but not really on par with the best.

8

Lewis also suffered from the cheating. He ended up on the podium though. That’s exactly why HE deserves to be champion and Massa not.

9
Ahmad Albashrawi

Wait a second, isn’t this the same Massa who few weeks ago was talking about believe and faith and that everything happens for a reason? Well that is your faith man, and it would have happened whatever the situation was.

That is why I love Kimi, he never speaks this kind of BS. Massa wanted ppl to be emotional with him at the time, so he turned out to be a spiritual person. And once he felt he might loose his preferential status at Ferrari, which is his only chance to fight for championships, he suddenly became the victim of a big plot to rub his championship!!

10

I don’t really understand the rant against Massa. He is making a valid point.

Whatever happened in the race, Francorchamps and the rest of the season is irrelevant. Everyone knows, even Lewis.

Massa deserves to be World Champion of 2008 just as much Lewis does. Both did silly mistakes during the year (Lewis crashing into Alonso & Kimi).

It seemed at the time that winning a world championship in the last race at the very last corner was far more appealing than putting the World Championship result on hold and starting a Singapore investigation …

11

I think a lot o people are missing the point here, why do you think Massa’s been so vocal just after the announcement of Alonso at Ferrari?

Well the man is already under pressure, he knows with the arrival of Alonso, having a crack at the title like he did last year will no longer perhaps be possible, he knows very well while Kimi came short in leadership skills, Alonso will relish that role at Ferrari, my guess is Massa is already starting to see number two on his car, couple to the fact that he doesn’t even know if he is going to get back to his best.

12

Having read what Massa is saying, I think Alonso should be stripped of the win and it given to Rosberg. Hamilton then finishes the grand prix second. This means Hamilton wins the world championship by 3 points and not one.

13
IKnowMoreAboutF1ThanYou

James Allen and a whole bunch people that comments here seem to assume that the same kind of mistake could just as well have happened in a normal pitstop. This is FALSE. And by this I don’t take subjective views about stress into account but the simple FACT that Ferrari operated their “light lollipop” system in a DIFFERENT WAY due to the nature of the pitstop. In a NORMAL pitstop the system would have made it impossible to release him as the fuel guy would have to press his own trigger in order of the light to become green. But in this pitstop they put it in manual mode where it was controlled by one single engineer (hence, the possibility of human error).

So now you can all stop with your incorrect assumptions that it would have happened anyway.

14

If Massa wants the Singapore results annulled then the rest of the 2008 season that followed that race would have to be re-run as what followed was drivers arcing within the points given at the Singapore GP.

I used to like Massa, and hold him in high regard, but this is as low as low can get. Maybe he should remember the comedy show he performaed at Silverstone that cost him valuable points.

Really is pathetic point scoring realy.

15

Hmm – having read some more about this interview on other sites, I feel that Felipe has been a little under-quoted here.

He does say in the full interview that he would not feel like a champion if given it retrospectively.

That seems to be more in keeping with the dignified character we saw at Brazil last year.

(I expected better of you James!)

16

Well, if this race’s result was annulled, handing Massa last year’s championship, then that joke of a decision to hand Massa the win at Spa would be what tipped the balance in his favour.

I don’t know what you feel about that decision James, I can’t remember what you said at the time. To me, it was unfair towards Hamilton. And in any case, Raikkonen put himself out of the race!

What’s done is done, so we can no more undo the decision at Spa than we can undo Piquet’s crash. Felipe may have a point, but sometimes life’s a bitch. And when I say ‘bitch’, I mean it must be really hard work driving the fastest cars in the world and spending that huge salary.

17

Crybaby. That’s what Massa is. He is probably already afraid by Alonso!

18

Felipe is realizing 2008 was the closest he will ever get to winning the Championship and is just crying over spilled milk.

Go tell that to Piquet Jr., as you are driving karts and laughing around with him these days.

19

Maybe this gives insight into why Ferrari chose to hire Massa over Kimi. His reaction shows his temperament, outward passion and dedication to the team. Kimi doesn’t seem to clutter his mind with ‘what ifs’ or seeks to emotionally bond with his team.

Simply put, Ferrari want more than just a quick driver.

20

In the same vein (and in hindsight!), I think Kimi’s stock would have risen within the Ferrari team if he externalised his emotions. Taking Canada 08 as an example, he should have shown some Piquet Snr kung fu to Lewis, or at least followed Schuey’s distainful gestures when he was bumped out of Spa by Sato. Although not morally right, it would have rallied the troops!

21

There is something in this, Declan. But he is the way he is. I think the key thing about Alonso as far as Ferrari is concerned is that he is a leader, in and out of the car.

22

He might have had a case had he finished ahead of Hamilton but if anything Hamilton should have been promoted to second with Alonso’s victory wiped off.

I’m surprised at the decision to release Kimi, he’s been brilliant in a poor car this season and Massa has been with Ferrari a long time and still not won a championship. Last year might well have been a hard luck story i.e. engine failure when leading with a few laps to go and fuel hose issues, but winners win and he hasn’t done this.

23

Please remind me, did Massa leave the pit without getting a green light in Singapore last year, or was he given the green light erroneously?

Massa’s point only makes sense, assuming that the pitstop would have been uneventful if it had happened in the course of a normal race. That it wasn’t, in the Safety Car situation, simply shows that Massa and/or Ferrari had trouble handling a… challenging situation.

That this particular “challenging situation” should not have happened, is immaterial – the other teams had to face the same challenge as Ferrari. Massa’s woes were attributed to their ill-fated innovation. We might have felt some sympathy towards Massa and Ferrari if the system had only failed them on this occasion, but this wasn’t the case.

In any event, he can’t possibly make this stick. McLaren kept Hamilton on the defensive in the last few races, simply because this was all they needed to do – and they were criticized ferociously for it. They would have certainly approached these last GPs very differently if Massa had another win in the bag.

24

It was a manual override of the system by the chief mechanic

25

Safety car deployement bribngs surpris, we can argue too by saying that it’s the safety car that caused hamilton to crush into the back Raikonen in Canada last year…

26

If the FIA had investigated in 2009 when they were first alerted or if they had been vigilant at the time of the race and looked at the telemetry, would the race result have stood?

I think, given that the race was faked, the result should be annulled … even as late as now.

Yes, Lewis might have driven the last races differently … and in doing so he might have crashed or had a pit lane error or a failure.

I think the Singy result should be scrapped and the points adjusted …. and the drivers (all the drivers) just have to accept that that is the fairest and only thing that can be done. If it changes the result of the WDC, it changes the result of the WDC. (But that’s never going to happen!)

People asked Alonso if he thought the Singy win was ‘real”. I wonder if Lewis has doubts about the WDC title. Would have been nicer for him if he could have won by a comfortable margin and put the question beyond doubt.

The last 2 WDC titles have both looked unconvincing.

Close but unconvincing.

27

In Hamilton’s mind he did win by a comfortable margin as he still thinks he won the Spa Grand Prix. I would say he is more than comfortable with the GP win after how he was treated by the stewards throughout 2008.

And what about China 2008 when Massa was gifted points by Kimi who was leading him at the time. How can Massa give it the biggen’ now

Massa needs to grow up, and show some maturity that he appeared to develop in recent years.

All he wants to do is try to make himself the ‘moral victor’ which of course is complete rubbish. Take it on the chin (pardon the pun) Massa, take it like a man. Look at at how Hamilton took the title loss in 2007! Might learn summit!

28

It is a shame what happened in singapur. But let’s try to put this behinde us. Rosberg wants the victory, and massa wants the title. come on. They robbed us all. I watch f1 for 30 years, and i don’t remember feeling so bad about the sport during this period of time. Even during the dominant years of schumacher i didn’t have this feeling that i have being cheated.

29

Regardless of the pit stop. The race was corrupt and the end result should have been annulled.

Massa does have a point.

In Italian soccer they did annull the SUSPECTED games. FIA knew about Singapore at the Brazilian GP and yet refused to act due to politics.

I am not a Massa fan, but I find this harsh to take in for him.

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