Nelson Piquet Junior has revealed that Felipe Massa still blames him for his lost 2008 Drivers’ Championship.
Massa came within a point of winning the season and was leading the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix when Piquet Jnr deliberately crashed, bringing out the safety car.
When much of the field took the opportunity to pit there were problems and Massa drove off with his fuel hose still attached and ended the race in 13th place. Piquet Jnr’s teammate Fernando Alonso won the race, with Lewis Hamilton in third place.
Piquest Jnr told Portuguese-language magazine Istoe, “Massa was very upset with me because he thinks, to this day, that he lost the 2008 championship because of me.”
“It is no use arguing that he had a DNF in Hungary, that he and Ferrari made mistakes. Not to mention his lack of luck. For the love of God, that last lap in Interlagos was pure luck for (Lewis) Hamilton (who was the champion) and bad luck to him.
“But he is still very upset. I have never talked to him again. We stumble upon each other every now and then, but we don’t keep on touch.”
Piquet Jnr also criticised Massa’s actions during this year’s German Grand Prix, saying:
Generally you’d want to make such arrangements in a subtle manner. At the end of the straight, a driver breaks a little early into a corner, let the team mate close the gap and overtake. Alright, with the fight for the first place it is harder to make it subtle, but it didn’t have to be so blatant. There is where Massa surprised me.
He wanted to expose Ferrari’s team game to cause a bit of a mess. Because the situation itself is normal. The most common code is the one Ferrari uses, that your team mate is faster than you. Massa understood, but wanted to make sure that, if it was for him, there would be no overtaking.
Ferrari will never miss the opportunity to let one of its drivers close the gap to the championship leaders. If Massa does not want that to happen, he needs to accept he is slower and race faster. He needs to work to get faster than Alonso. There’s no other way.
Nelson Piquet Junior’s spokesperson has confirmed that this translation is accurate.