The Brazilian has been prompted into motion by current feedback from former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, who supplied contemporary perception into the crucial 2008 Singapore Grand Prix that proved massively pricey to Massa’s title ambitions that yr.
That Singapore race is most famously recognized for the deliberate crash triggered by Nelson Piquet Jr., which introduced out a security automobile that in the end helped his then Renault team-mate Fernando Alonso win the race.
The controversy additionally had an enormous affect on the title battle, as the protection automobile triggered a botched pitstop from Massa’s Ferrari crew that dropped the then chief nicely down the order and he completed 13th, whereas essential title rival Hamilton grabbed third.
The factors swing on that day arguably determined the world championship final result as Hamilton ended the marketing campaign only one level forward of Massa within the standings after the Brazilian GP.
Particulars about Piquet’s deliberate actions emerged in public the next yr, and so they resulted in Renault dealing with a two-year suspended ban from F1, whereas then group boss Flavio Briatore and technical chief Pat Symonds had been additionally punished for his or her half within the occasions.
On the time, Massa led requires the FIA to cancel the results of the Singapore GP, however the governing physique’s statutes made that inconceivable because the classification from every season is about in stone beneath the Worldwide Sporting Code as soon as the FIA Awards ceremony is full.
Moreover, the FIA’s investigation into the occasions of Singapore didn’t uncover any proof that urged Alonso and the broader Renault group knew of the crash plan or assisted in its execution, so the governing physique felt it might have been unfair to vary the consequence.
The Ferrari pit crew return with the damaged gasoline hose of Felipe Massa, Ferrari F2008
Photograph by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images
Nevertheless, Massa thinks there are grounds to evaluate issues as soon as once more within the wake of current feedback from Ecclestone suggesting that he and the FIA had been conscious of the principles breach earlier than the top of the 2008 season – inside the time when motion might have been taken to change the consequence.
In an interview with the F1-Insider web site final month, Ecclestone mentioned he after which FIA president Max Mosley knew of the scenario “throughout the 2008 season”.
He added: “We determined to not do something for now. We wished to guard the game and reserve it from an enormous scandal. That is why I used angelic tongues to steer my former driver Nelson Piquet to maintain calm in the interim.
“Again then, there was a rule that a world championship classification after the FIA awards ceremony on the finish of the yr was untouchable. So Hamilton was offered with the trophy and every thing was nice.
“We had sufficient data in time to analyze the matter. In accordance with the statutes, we should always have cancelled the race in Singapore beneath these circumstances.
“Meaning it might by no means have occurred for the championship standings. After which Felipe Massa would have grow to be world champion and never Lewis Hamilton.”
These remarks have drawn curiosity from Massa, who says he desires to guage whether or not or not there are grounds now to take the matter additional in authorized channels.
Chatting with Autosport throughout the current Inventory Automobile Professional Collection weekend in Goiânia, Massa mentioned: “There’s a rule that claims that when a championship is determined, from the second the motive force receives the champion’s trophy, issues can not be modified, even when it has been confirmed a theft.
Podium: Felipe Massa, Ferrari
Photograph by: Motorsport Images
“On the time, Ferrari’s legal professionals advised me about this rule. We went to different legal professionals and the reply was that nothing could possibly be carried out. So I logically believed on this scenario.
“However after 15 years, we hear that the [former] proprietor of the class says that he discovered in 2008, along with the president of the FIA, and so they did nothing [so as] to not tarnish the identify of F1.
“That is very unhappy, to know the results of this race was presupposed to be cancelled and I might have a title. In the long run, I used to be the one who misplaced essentially the most with this consequence. So, we’re going after it to know all this.”
Massa accepts that his possibilities of discovering any path to problem the consequence are slim, however he insists that doesn’t put him off trying into it.
“There are guidelines, and there are a lot of issues that, relying on the nation, you can’t return after 15 years to resolve a scenario,” he mentioned.
“However I intend to check the scenario; research what the legal guidelines say, and the principles. We now have to have an concept of what it’s attainable to do.”
Massa is evident although that his motivation to look as soon as once more in to the matter will not be being fuelled by the will for monetary compensation.
“I might by no means go after it pondering financially,” he mentioned. “I might go after it fascinated with justice.
“I believe if you happen to’ve been punished for one thing that wasn’t your fault, and it is the product of a theft, a stolen race, justice must be served.
“Actually, the precise scenario is to cancel the results of that race. It’s the solely justice that may be carried out in a case like this.”
Massa mentioned it was not unusual for different sports activities to amend outcomes a few years after competitions when contemporary proof of dishonest had emerged.
“We now have already seen different conditions occurring in sports activities, equivalent to Lance Armstrong (bike owner), who was confirmed to have doped, and he misplaced all of the titles. What’s the distinction?”
When requested if he had spoken to his former Ferrari group in regards to the matter, Massa mentioned: “Not but.”
FIA is closing court docket
Felipe Massa, Ferrari F2008
Photograph by: Sutton Pictures
Whereas Massa plans to look into the matter, there don’t seem like any routes to get the results of the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix cancelled.
The FIA’s personal Worldwide Sporting Code doesn’t enable protests after a race, and any proper to request a evaluate expires 14 calendar days after a contest – and 4 days previous to the date of that yr’s FIA prize-giving ceremony.
Moreover, the FIA’s judicial system is evident that the best authority to make any ruling is the impartial Worldwide Courtroom of Attraction – and that any individuals concerned in a championship conform to abide by this. So there aren’t any various courts that Massa might use.
Article 1.three.1b of the ISC states that rivals: “Shall undertake to submit themselves with out reserve to the above and to the selections of the sporting authority and to the results ensuing therefrom.”
Whereas in idea Massa might hunt down the views of the Courtroom of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), it has no jurisdiction over the FIA on points like this.
The FIA statutes dictate that the CAS might solely be concerned in issues regarding the FIA’s Anti-Doping Disciplinary Committee.
This judicial construction inside the FIA, of the ultimate name being the ICA, was one of many the reason why Mercedes deserted its problem over the results of the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the place Hamilton misplaced the title after guidelines concerning the operating of the occasion weren’t adopted by F1 race director Michael Masi.
Talking on the time in regards to the matter, Mercedes group boss Toto Wolff mentioned that if there had been choices of taking it by different authorized channels, then they might have been pursued.
“We imagine we had a really sturdy case, and if you happen to have a look at it from the authorized facet, if it might have been judged in a daily court docket you would virtually assure that we might have received,” he mentioned. “However the issue with the ICA is the best way it’s structured.
“The FIA can’t actually mark their very own homework. And there’s a distinction between being proper, and acquiring justice.”