Massa suspects Alonso knew about Crashgate plan

2014 F1 season

Fernando Alonso, Renault, Singapore, 2008Felipe Massa believes his former team mate Fernando Alonso knew of Renault’s plan to help him win the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix by causing a deliberate crash.

Massa lost the race to Alonso after Nelson Piquet Jnr, driving the second Renault, deliberately crashed his car on lap 14. This caused a Safety Car period which propelled Alonso to the front of the field.

Massa, who parted ways with Ferrari at the end of last year, said Alonso “knew everything” about the plan when asked about it in a recent interview for Autosport. “But he would never tell me,” Massa added.

The details of Renault’s plan to cause the crash came to light almost 12 months after the race. The FIA banned Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds from the sport for their involvement, but accepted Alonso’s denial he had prior knowledge of the plan.

Symonds has since returned to F1 and is now chief technical officer at Williams, who Massa has joined this year. “For sure, I will discuss it with him,” said Massa of Symonds, “but I am sure he is not the most important guy in what happened”.

“Sometimes people pay more than they need to,” Massa added. “I know how it works, these situations, in F1 but I will definitely talk to him.”

Massa, who has previously likened the race to a fixed football match, failed to score after a pit lane mishap during the Safety Car period triggered by Piquet Jnr’s crash. The points he lost to championship rival Lewis Hamilton that day ultimately cost him the 2008 title.

Massa added the FIA should have “cancelled” the result of the after once the truth came to light in September 2009.

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208 comments on Massa suspects Alonso knew about Crashgate plan

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  1. Adam Gonda (@adames2x) said on 9th January 2014, 12:26

    And why does he come up with it now? Because he left Ferrari? Lol that’s poor Felipe!

    • Wallbreaker (@wallbreaker) said on 9th January 2014, 12:34

      Because it would have disrupted team harmony if there ever was one and LdM surely would not have accepted that.

      • Schmorbraten said on 9th January 2014, 20:21

        I’m sure Alonso was involved, because he wouldn’t have agreed to an otherwise stupid race strategy of going super-light on fuel without a good reason given to him. When Alonso pitted very early, it didn’t really make sense. 2 laps later, when Piquet crashed and deployment of the safety car was clearly unavoidable, I immediately thought “Well now Alonso’s strategy makes a lot more sense … clever ******** these Renault guys!”.

        • Andrew Simmons said on 10th January 2014, 17:23

          He didn’t agree to the strategy. He questioned the team over the radio why they were coming in so early and wanted to stay out.

        • you forgot one thing… all team radios are monitored by the FIA. If Alonso was told of the plan don’t you guys think that the FIA would have caught it?

          “Well, that’s exactly what they wanted you to hear… It’s like he didn’t agreed to that strategy… ;)”

          you mean they discussed it even before it happened?! get a grip.

          • Why bring this up again? here’s why? Massa was completely outclassed by Alonso when they were team mates. In fact after Ferrari/Alonso Massa went from a guy who could potentially win a championship to a somewhat good driver compared to Alonso. Massa is clearly trying to save face by casting doubt over Alonso. Why crashgate and not team orders? Well because Alonso has showed that even if Massa didn’t follow team orders that Alonso was be able to pass him anyway.

    • Mike (@mike) said on 9th January 2014, 15:02

      Well….. Probably yes.

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 9th January 2014, 16:48

      @adames2x

      [he was]asked about it in a recent interview for Autosport.

    • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 9th January 2014, 16:49

      Because he is professional. Hence he will now discuss it with Symonds to hopefully find out what really happened, so they can move forwards in 2014. Most likely, Symonds will say it was Flavio or Fernando that came up with the whole plot (my money’s on Flavio!), while he got caught up in the middle of it, possibly taking the fall so Fernando didn’t have to.

    • Massa also brought it up in 2009 just before he became teammates with Alonso. http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2009/10/massa-gives-alonso-an-uncomfortable-welcome/

      I’d say it’s coming up again because he left Alonso. :P

      • Patrick (@paeschli) said on 9th January 2014, 20:42

        “McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh offered Ferrari a piece of advice on how to manage the Spaniard last week, “I’m sure as long as Fernando is winning everything will be fine.””

        Best part of the article :P

    • Denis 68 said on 9th January 2014, 21:49

      Sour grapes Felipe.

      It’s as poor as your driving.

      • Barney said on 10th January 2014, 15:32

        Sour grapes or not, Alonso knew for sure! It’s not like they didn’t told Alonso the plan, let’s be honest!

  2. Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 9th January 2014, 12:26

    Gloves off!

    • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 10th January 2014, 6:21

      I wouldnt say Alonso was the main benefactor in this crashgate and it makes little sense that the conspirators will tell him of the plan, considering their goal was to use it to convince Alonso to stay with them for another year.

      • Skett (@skett) said on 11th January 2014, 12:25

        Tbh I’m not convinced he did know about it at the time, but figured it out pretty quickly. He’s not a stupid guy, and did not look as pleased on the podium as he would normally. In fact he looked pretty annoyed, I’d assume because he didn’t approve

  3. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 9th January 2014, 12:36

    Really? Get over it Massa?

    • Why the hell would he get over it, the guy got away with it scott free.

    • Jimbo Hull (@kartingjimbo) said on 9th January 2014, 12:47

      Really? My heart aches for the lad every time the grim details and implications of this day come up! Yeah he’s letting it all hang out now but that’s only because he can, think what he’s been repressing for the years he’s been at Ferrari just for the sake of his job. I’m surprised he’s not exploded yet.

      He should save some stuff for his Autobiography though, that will be juicy ;)

    • Your asking Massa “to get over” losing the crown jewel of his career – which he’s in fact dealt with incredible class – because you have no problem with some guy who is willing to cheat his way to the flag while his team mate’s physical health and/or life is put at risk?

      Massa did not bring this up; he was asked about it. Alonso, meanwhile, has been very outspoken about his belief that Massa did not deserve the 2008 title because, ahem, he did not win it. Which may or may not have something to do with Singapore and Renault.

    • F1_Americana (@f1americana) said on 9th January 2014, 13:57

      I would personally never get over the loss of a world title that was affected by something like this. Never. I’d be bitter to my grave, but that’s just me. :)

    • Chris (@ukphillie) said on 9th January 2014, 15:00

      Probably a lot easier to get over when the nearest you’ve come to a World Championship is on F1 2013 on your Xbox/PS.

      I’d have trouble getting over being cheated.

    • Strontium (@strontium) said on 9th January 2014, 17:40

      Are you kidding me? The guy lost a Formula One World Championship as a result of this safety car. Why should he get over it?

      • Breno (@austus) said on 9th January 2014, 19:02

        He didnt lose it in one race, he lost it in a season.

        • DavidS (@davids) said on 9th January 2014, 21:59

          The gap at the end of the season was one point.
          Massa also had more race wins than Hamilton (a metric which technically doesn’t mean anything, but disproves your theory that he “lost it” in the season).
          Even if he didn’t get on the podium in that race, he would’ve scored points, which meant winning the championship.

          • Charlie (@fieldstvl) said on 9th January 2014, 22:20

            If we’re going to play the wouldacouldashoulda game, then I’m sure other moments over the season could be brought up ahem-ahem-SPAFRANCORCHAMPS-ahem.

            Plus, it’s not Alonso’s fault Ferrari sent Massa off with the fuel hose attached.

            Actually, sod it. Massa’s the 2008 champ. There. Done.

    • To be honest, I have a degree of scepticism myself. Would the main benefactor really know nothing about it? I find that a bit hard to believe.

  4. GeeMac (@geemac) said on 9th January 2014, 12:44

    Come on Felipe, let this go. 2008 wasn’t to be, yes you drove well and came close, yes you didn’t get the rub of the green in Singapore, but you got good luck on a few other occasions (to take the win at Spa and when he got handed a few more points by Raikkonen in China). It just wasn’t supposed to be.

    • Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 9th January 2014, 13:14

      Yes. It’s not Alonso’s fault that Massa drove off with a fuel hose still attached.
      And he had 3 races afterwards to score more points than Hamilton – so I’ve never bought his sob story about it losing him the championship.

      • Lewis McMurray (@celicadion23) said on 9th January 2014, 14:27

        You’re right it wasn’t Alonso’s fault, it was Ferrari’s.

      • It’s not Alonso’s fault that Massa drove off with a fuel hose still attached.

        That is exactly why Massa scored no points that day. It is almost certain that regardless of what other teams were doing that Massa wouldn’t have been in the points that day. It wasn’t just 3 other races that Massa & Ferrari had the opportunity to score more points than Hamiltion & McLaren, it was something like 19 other races they had that opportunity. The team that makes the least mistakes wins the world championships.
        I think Massa should keep his peace over things like this because all it does is make people at Williams have suspicous thoughts about him and wish they hadn’t recruited him. Regardless of what Alonso says or might say, the fact is those comments about that event are clouded by the fact of time and that they are from his perspective. Whether Alonso suspected Piquet’s plans or not is really a matter for him and his conscience. Some things just have to wait until Judgement Day to be sorted out.
        I think the sad thing about this is it makes Massa look in a bad light.
        Yes, he is no longer with Ferrari, but he was, and that is something the rest of us will never have, and sure, there are lots of reasons why he left, but one cannot argue that somewhere in all of the long equation of reasons leading to Ferrari’s decision is Massa himself and his performance. What Massa should want is to make it look like the factors relating to him were unjustified, but comments like this do the exact opposite, they make it look like Ferrari were justified in letting him go.

    • João Leite (@johnmilk) said on 9th January 2014, 13:35

      @geemac I understand what you are saying, but in this case it wasn’t bad luck that got him, I think this situation and the race at Spa can’t be compared. The Singapore GP was fixed, so in my opinion it wasn’t bad luck or an “act of God” that put things out of his favor, it was a deliberate event created by a group of people, therefore in this one I agree with Massa, the race should have been cancelled

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 9th January 2014, 18:09

        Personally, although this was certainly more disgusting, I think terrible stewarding decisions also don’t count as ‘bad luck’.

      • The Abbinator (@abbinator) said on 12th January 2014, 1:07

        In principle, I agree, but you can’t unscramble an egg… Others scored points, etc and to invalidate the result would have been wrong, however they should have taken the win away from Alonso who would almost surely have known something was up, if not being totally in on the whole thing. Briatore and Symonds both said it was Piquet’s idea, but surely Briatore would have told Alonso without actually saying anything incriminating in advance of the race, otherwise how can you explain the fuel strategy? It was a big mess, plain and simple. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who knows about cheating in advance should be barred for life from the sport for losing perspective and bringing the sport into (more) disrepute… Not yo mention an old-fashioned idea that has probably seen it’s final days: a sense of honour and personal responsibility for your actions. Just MHO .:)

    • Iestyn Davies (@fastiesty) said on 9th January 2014, 16:51

      Just like McLaren stuffed up 2007, Ferrari stuffed up 2008. Both had outside assistance in this, however (McLaren having Ferrari car data, Renault having data and getting off with no fine.. Renault fixing Singapore, eventually leaving F1).

    • DMC (@dmc) said on 10th January 2014, 18:14

      He drove brilliantly, He was the class of the field!

    • Cronies said on 12th January 2014, 6:00

      Why you having a go at Massa for answering a question in an interview? Must he refuse to answer? He is just giving his opinion – seems you just don’t like the answer and what it could mean.

  5. Slr (@slr) said on 9th January 2014, 12:47

    Alonso “knew everything” about the plan when asked about it in a recent interview for Autosport. “But he would never tell me,” Massa added.

    And what if Alonso didn’t know? I can understand Massa’s frustrations at losing a race which might have gone a long way in helping him win the championship, but he really should move on and draw a line under it, nothing he can do will change the past. The evidence (or lack thereof) shows that Alonso didn’t know anything about it, but if he somehow did, then it’s up to him to tell everyone.

    • Mike (@mike) said on 9th January 2014, 15:03

      The evidence (or lack thereof) shows that Alonso didn’t know anything about it,

      Does it? How so?

    • George (@george) said on 9th January 2014, 17:55

      I imagine Massa has suspicions now considering he knows the way Alonso works with the team. Other than the people at Renault at the time he probably has a better idea than anyone.

    • Its obvious alonso didnt know.

      Anyone with any memory of the time, not after… will remember that renault were in a mess and threatening to leave the sport. Flav, Pat & Nelson all had something to gain from it… Alonso didnt, yes a win but he wasnt fighting for the title & he didnt need to prove himself to keep or get a seat. Gain not worth the risk.

      As for the strategy it was perfectly normal for a fast car out of position. Honda and Red Bull tried the same strategy that day. As did ferrari at monaco 2 years before.

  6. Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 9th January 2014, 12:47

    Whilst this strikes me as a bit like having a go at someone whilst walking away from them, i must admit that I admire Felipe for at least talking about it openly and personably, rather than spewing the same old F1 Driver/Robot PR nonsense.

    And for that I respect Felipe.

    Same situation when Vettel criticized the double points rule. I gained a lot of respect for Sebastian at that moment, as he was the only one to actually speak his mind.

    • Fsoud (@udm7) said on 9th January 2014, 13:01

      Red Bull also criticized the rule. Vettel obviously was allowed to speak his mind so was Ricciardo.

      • You’re talking about a man who gladly broke team orders, and said he would do it again.

        I don’t think Vettel has a problem saying what he thinks.

        • Robbie said on 9th January 2014, 14:53

          I don’t take FM’s suspicions as open and personable, but rather petty and vindictive when they don’t shed any new light on the subject and it just comes across as whiny woulda, coulda, shoulda.

          I don’t take SV’s comments on double points as anything unique when the concept has been practically universally shot down by those within as well as outside F1. And his opinion should come as no surprise when as the 4 in a row WDCer he stands to lose the most from points manipulation that could help him lose a 5th in a row.

          And SV may have no problem saying what he thinks but when he (heroicly to some) ignored the team order he looked sheepish and embarrassed post-race, and wouldn’t even look MW in the eye in the staging room and on the podium. If SV was truly the purebred WDC letting nothing stand in his way as some want to portray him, why didn’t he own his actions immediately and with defiance? Rather, he defied the team and it’s sponsors that had done so much for him up until then, put them in a very uncomfortable spot, thought only of himself (I guess LdM would never hire him, right?) and then only eventually said he would do it again. Not what I personally envision as an F1 ‘great.’

          • Mike (@mike) said on 9th January 2014, 15:09

            petty and vindictive

            I know right? It’s not like Alonso was involved in race fixing that directly cost him the championship. It’s not like talking out about it earlier might have cost him one of the best seats going or anything…..

            Oh wait.

          • Robbie said on 9th January 2014, 15:26

            “…Alonso was involved in race fixing that directly cost him (I assume you mean FM) the championship.’

            Was he? How so?

            “…talking about it earlier might have cost him one of the best seats going…”

            Really? How so? Do you mean he wouldn’t have been retained and forced to accept millions of dollars to knowingly be the non-rooster on the team?

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 9th January 2014, 16:03

            Perhaps his sheepishness was somewhat influenced by MW swerving at his car after the race finish?

          • Robbie said on 9th January 2014, 16:21

            What, like SV was shocked and felt threatened by MW’s swerve? Please.

            Believe me I am no proponent of team orders, but in this case and imho, SV gave the finger to the team, not just MW, by cheaply passing MW who SV knew had been instructed to crank his car down for preservation’s sake, and then only owned up to it well after the fact as something he would do again.

            I get wanting to tag a WDC level driver as letting nothing stand in his way, like a great or a legend would do…I just did not find Malaysia 2013 to be an example of that.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 9th January 2014, 16:50

            It’s not like he was expecting that, or the talking to from Adrian in the cooling down room, never mind the subsequent media storm. I’d still rather Seb have immediately said that he passed Mark because he was faster (and IMO, he was) instead of the silly apology, though.

          • Dwight_js said on 9th January 2014, 17:10

            @Robbie
            “and wouldn’t even look MW in the eye in the staging room and on the podium.”

            lol. Nice try at revisionist history. Watch it again, Vettel even pulls Webber back to talk to him as they leave the podium.

            Vettel was almost certainly taken aback that Webber suddenly turned into such a whiny hypocrite regarding team orders. The “Aussie Grit” who vehemently stated that he races until the end and would accept no team orders was suddenly stomping his feat calling “no fair” when the tables are turned.

          • Robbie said on 9th January 2014, 21:00

            You’re talking about as they leave the podium, and we don’t know what was said. I’m talking about coming out of the car, and being in the staging room, right after the race. And I highly doubt SV was taken aback. As if MW was not going to react negatively, when he had been instructed by the team to crank his car down and was a sitting duck. When MW ignored a team order, were the circumstances the same? And I don’t know the answer to this question but perhaps someone knows more details…how did SV react when MW ignored a team order? I’m assuming he said good job, and there’s the sign of a true Champion, and then shook his hand?

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 9th January 2014, 22:07

            @robbie The way I see it, Vettel knew what he was doing, he passed (as he was faster anyway). SV may or may not have been expecting negativity from a driver who once said “I’m not fine with it (a team order), no. Of course I ignored the team and I was battling to the end”, but wasn’t expecting the negativity to the extent shown by Webber especially immediately after the chequered flag (i.e. the swerve, which occurred in the middle of Vettel celebrating the win). Plus Adrian Newey was in the room before going out onto the podium, not after.

            And though your final question is more aimed at Dwight_js. I don’t really see its relevance. For the record Vettel didn’t appear to react negatively at all toward Webber at Silverstone 2011. Though in fairness you could say the fact Webber didn’t get past the sitting duck SV was in that case, helped.

          • Eric (@) said on 9th January 2014, 22:28

            how did SV react when MW ignored a team order? I’m assuming he said good job, and there’s the sign of a true Champion, and then shook his hand?

            Well, they shared the British podium 2011 together after Webber ignored team orders. Vettel didn’t try to antagonise Webber there.

        • Jack (@jackisthestig) said on 9th January 2014, 21:50

          Disobeying team orders is not illegal, cheating is.

          What actually happened in Malaysia was a fantastic spectacle, the best wheel-to-wheel racing we saw all season. The self-centred killjoys on the Red Bull pit wall tried to prevent that and it amazes me how many fans take offence on the team’s behalf. Why would any fan not want to watch two teammates going wheel-to-wheel because it risks a collision? Red Bull and Webber clearly have no regard for viewers of the sport.

          • Eric (@) said on 9th January 2014, 22:31

            @jackisthestig

            Why would any fan not want to watch two teammates going wheel-to-wheel because it risks a collision?

            Because it was Vettel who came out on top. If the roles had been reversed every single one of those so called fans would have praised Webber for it and used it as a prime example of how Vettel always needs the teams protection.

          • Robbie said on 9th January 2014, 23:55

            @david-a Bottom line for me…SV had to know it was a cheap shot to pass MW who had been told to crank it down. SV had to know MW was going to be furious. Hence MW’s exclamations to SV, while SV refused to look him in the eye, “Multi 21 Seb…Multi 21″

            SV didn’t immediately own his actions, and instead looked like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar. We could all feel the tension even through the TV. All I’m saying is for me that was not the sign of a legend who is not letting anything stand in his way, but rather someone who knew he did a cheap thing and only later owned it.

            The only reason I have referenced 2011 is because others have said it is hypocritical of MW since he also ignored an order, but as we know the circumstances were entirely different and SV was certainly not a sitting duck in 2011 as you are suggesting. At least MW was racing a healthy teammate, and he owned his move immediately. SV had the advantage of MW cranked down by team instruction, which was no doubt the reason for the order. They weren’t trying to handicap MW so that SV could have a cakewalk of getting by him.

            I have a feeling that had SV ignored a team order in 2013 under more similar circumstances to 2011…mid-season race…2 laps to go…nobody on ‘Multi 21′ …racing for 2nd and 3rd with the leader too far ahead to catch…SV unable to get by MW, MW might have said to Seb something like ‘Hey, nice try, just like me at Silverstone 2011,’ not a hypocritical ‘Hey, no fair!’

          • David not Coulthard (@) said on 10th January 2014, 14:52

            Didn’t Webber crank down his engine because he needed to save fuel, and Vettel needed to do so to a much lesser extent having used less fuel earlier in the race?

    • Deej92 (@deej92) said on 9th January 2014, 14:53

      Agreed.

    • Vetted spoke his mind because he would have lost one of his titles had the rule been in place in 2012.

      Although frankly I wasn’t surprised by the criticism: it is an absolutely ridiculous proposition, and should be removed immediately (or the length of the Abu Dhabi GP be extended to 600km, however boring that may be).

  7. Florin G (@floring) said on 9th January 2014, 12:54

    I’m not sure whether I should respect Massa for what he has put up with from Alonso/Ferrari or to think of him as a weakling for the same reason. I mean the level of self control he needed for that must be about 18 out of 10, but still, helping the guy that arguably robbed you of a world title while putting your career on hold in the process is pretty lame. Just saying.

    • Slr (@slr) said on 9th January 2014, 13:06

      helping the guy that arguably robbed you of a world title

      The Crashgate obviously didn’t help Massa in 2008, but he still must look at himself as to why he lost the championship. Had he not spun off in Malaysia or performed as poorly as he did at Silverstone he would still have been champion.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 9th January 2014, 15:11

        The Crashgate obviously didn’t help Massa in 2008

        Without it occurring he’d be champion. Irregardless of other mishaps.

        • Hotbottoms (@hotbottoms) said on 9th January 2014, 15:26

          @mike
          It’s never that easy. There were still 3 races after Singapore and Ferrari and McLaren (and perhaps other teams also) would’ve had a different approach to those races if the championship situation had been different. While crashgate definitely didn’t help Massa’s chances, we don’t know who would’ve won the championship without it.

        • Robbie said on 9th January 2014, 16:12

          “Without it occurring he’d be champion. Irregardless of other mishaps.”

          Really? How convenient to just rewrite history by eliminating one event and then staunchly accepting that no other events could possibly have affected the championship… isolating one incident, erasing it from the mind, and then insisting that everything else would have been status quo.

          If one is to play woulda, coulda, shoulda, then one must accept, for example, that without the crash, and the safety car, and the pit error for Massa, perhaps FM’s or LH’s car would have had a tire issue, or some sort of reliability issue, or a racing incident with another car etc. etc. All the miriad of possibilities must be included once one decides to speculate based on rewriting history. And therefore no definitive conclusion can be achieved. Only pure speculation.

          • Mike (@mike) said on 10th January 2014, 1:37

            Of course, but Massa was leading the race when Renault had Piquet crash. I think it’s fair to say that if the race had gone normally, he’d likely have ended up doing quite well. Maybe not a win, but hell, at least in the points. I don’t agree with your assertion that something else would have gone wrong, he did finish that race, so I think calling for a potential reliability concern is silly. As for the tyres, that wasn’t a problem in F1 at that time.

            Could he have crashed? Well, yeah. But I don’t think it was likely. He was on good form at that time.

            I think it’s very safe to say that he would have at least gotten the two points he would later need should the incident not have happened.

            I’m isolating this one incident because it’s the one that never should have happened. Every other screw up, well, that’s bad luck for him. But THIS. This was rigged. Could it have effected other things down the line? Sure.

            Make no mistake, it’s gone now. Lewis was champion. I feel sorry for Massa, but obviously he isn’t champion.

            But without this incident I think he probably would have been. Of course it’s speculation, but I think my speculation that he’d likely get 2 points is safer than your speculation that he would have crashed out.

          • @ Mike – “I think it’s fair to say that if the race had gone normally, he’d (FM) likely have ended up doing quite well.”

            And you know this how? It is just an assumption, not fact. What of the fact that Ferrari actually messed up the fueling for Massa. Strikes me as “irregardless” of what Renault was up to, Massa had his own in-house issues.

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 9th January 2014, 18:23

          I believe that Massa gained 7 points over Hamilton through incredibly dubious stewarding calls. In Singapore he probably lost 10 points. But Hamilton probably lost 2 as well. Seems like it all evened out. Plus, wasn’t the issue with Massa that Ferrari messed up his stop? Sure, everything is a bit more frantic during a sudden safety car, but couldn’t that misfortune have befallen him regardless of crashgate, during his scheduled stop?

          • There is a huge difference between points lost due to stewardin in 2008 and the points Massa lost due to Renaults foul play.

            Stewarding is part of the game and sometimes debatable. Never clear cut though, I would say that claiming Hamilton lost points due to questionable stewarding is an opinion and nothing more.

            Massa on the other hand was the victim of a deliberate malicious sceme by Renault. No room for debate, it was deliberate blatant cheating that has nothing to do with sports.

            Furthermore Massas incident with the fuel hose might never have occurred if the race had developed in a different way.

            I totally understand why this is still in Massas thoughts. Personally I’ve always been convinced Alonso knew everything, at least in the aftermath of what happened. But I don’t think he was among the instigators.

            It must have been tough on Massa working alongside Alonso considering this. Says a lot about Massas loyalty.

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 9th January 2014, 20:21

            I don’t think there is much of a difference at all.

            Massa on the other hand was the victim of a deliberate malicious sceme by Renault. No room for debate, it was deliberate blatant cheating that has nothing to do with sports.

            Furthermore Massas incident with the fuel hose might never have occurred if the race had developed in a different way.

            That’s just conjecture. It also could well have done. We could also say that Hamilton could well have challenged for the win had the safety car not happened, and that he only sat back and settled for 3rd because he was safely getting points over his rival. As I said, it depends how much of the cause was the pit stops being especially frantic. And Renault weren’t malicious. It was disgusting, but malice with Massa as the victim means they intentionally put Massa out of the race, which is not true.

            Saying that incorrect stewarding is reasonably part of the game but cheating isn’t seems like a double standard. Neither is part of the game.

          • Robbie said on 9th January 2014, 21:26

            @kimiwillbeback As matt90 points out, it seems like you are implying FM was singled out to end up at the back of the pack by Renault’s actions that day, which of course is silly.

            As to your opinion about it being tough for FM working alongside FA…omg do you think someone had a gun to FM’s head? LdM admits they are a one rooster team…there was constant commentary about Ferrari being displeased with FM’s performance vs. FA and how it was hurting their WCC chances, and rumors had flown for at least the last 3 years about a replacement for FM, and so one would think that such a principled driver as FM would have sought a much better place to be at least after 2010, no? Yeah poor FM…forced to accept all those millions for all those years, wrestling with how awful it was to drive alongside the very fellow that ruined his WDC chances single-handedly. Too bad he couldn’t turn such strife and angst into actually giving FA a hard time on the track.

          • Pink Peril said on 9th January 2014, 23:19

            @Kimiwillbeback, its not a crime to know about an event in the aftermath of what occurred. I’m sure Alonso did, he is a smart guy so I’m sure he figured out what happened. In fact, I remember commenting to Mr Pink at the time that he didn’t seem very happy with the win when he got out of the cockpit, a sure sign he knew something was up. But that is a long way from suggesting he either knew about it beforehand, or was complicit in the plan.

          • Robbie

            I don`t imply that Massa was singled out at all. I`m just saying he ended up as the biggest victim of this incident. I`m sure Renaults intention was to benefit themselves, I`m sure they didn`t even consider targeting anybody else in the field. But I do believe Massa lost the 2008 WDC due to Renaults cheating.

            That doesn`t matter at all now though as Hamilton ended up as the 2008 WDC. He was also an innocent victim of this incident so there should be no shadow cast over his Championship, he fought for it and won it fair. What happened was out of his and McLarens control.

            Pink Peril

            That`s just what I`m saying, I`m sure Alonso knew what had happened in the aftermath of the incident. But I don`t think he was part of the instigation. He was allready in a hole due to events at McLaren and couldn`t afford to get involved in another scandal. But it is clear that the fact that Alonso probably knew what had happened after the race in 2008, Massa suspecting this, and the fact that Alonso didn`t report it will have made the cooperation between Alonso and Massa difficult. If Alonso had blown the whistle in 2008 the race would probably have been eliminated and Massa would have been the 2008 WDC. That`s tough.

            But I also understand why Alonso kept his mouth shut, he had been involved in enough controversity in 2007. Another incident might have destroyed his career, what team would have taken the chance on Alonso if he had blown the whistle. I don`t really think blowing the whistle at that point was an option open to Alonso. If something similar had happened today he had knowledge of he could have blown the whistle, and I sincerely hope he would have.

        • The Abbinator (@abbinator) said on 12th January 2014, 1:13

          Irregardless is not a word, just regardless will suffice ( self-appointed lexicon policeman)
          ;)

          • Robbie said on 12th January 2014, 14:14

            @mike I didn’t assert that without Piquet’s crash something else would have happened to FM…just that if one is to rewrite history then one has to be open to the concept that all kinds of things COULD have happened. Since FM did actually have a fuel hose mess up, one could easily assert that could obviously have happened and sent him to the back of the pack even without Piquet causing a safety car. I buy the concept that without the pit issue (but not the crash) the odds are greater that FM would have scored valuable points toward his championship run, but again, I don’t take it so far as to then close my mind to a hundred other issues, once rewritten in history, changing the Championship winner.

  8. Ed Marques (@edmarques) said on 9th January 2014, 13:14

    I don’t understand why people are so protective towards Alonso.
    Of course he knew about it but he was not penalized because he told FIA everything and because he is Alonso.

  9. BS (@bs) said on 9th January 2014, 13:22

    I distinctly remember Alonso looking at Briatore in a very accusing way, saying nothing other than “it was the safety car”, in the post race podium weighing room. No smile, no handshake, just briatore awkwardly shuffling around. This looked suspicious at the time and after details came out made me think Alonso was indeed in the dark about the setup.

    The less people know about a conspiracy, the more chance it has to succeed. Unless Alonso himself came up with the idea, which I find rather unlikely, there is absolutely no reason to inform him of the plan as it would have made no difference from his point of view.

    • JerseyF1 (@jerseyf1) said on 9th January 2014, 13:56

      @bs I’m not sure that this was correct, as Alonso’s fuel strategy didn’t make much sense in his situation without the crash plan so there may have been plenty of reason to inform him of it. So either Alonso goes along blindly with strategy without questioning it or, more likely I think, he knew about it before the race.

      • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 9th January 2014, 16:52

        Or it’s a long, tight, street circuit, where there’s more likely to be an incident that will require the Safety Car.

        • Mads (@mads) said on 9th January 2014, 18:46

          @raceprouk
          Lets just do a bit of math.
          Assuming:
          1.5 safety cars per race on average. (I am not sure of the statistics here)
          61 laps
          Chance of SC per lap: 1.5/61 = 0.025 = 2.5%
          Assuming his strategy would work if the SC turned up within 5 laps of his stops, then we get 2.5%*5 = 12.5% = 1 in 8.
          If his strategy could work with the SC within 10 laps we would of cause get a chance of it working out reaching 1 in 4.
          Possible. But only just.

    • Breno (@austus) said on 9th January 2014, 19:11

      There were other drivers with similar strategies, all of whom also benefitted from Briatores’ idea.

    • The Abbinator (@abbinator) said on 12th January 2014, 1:17

      I think you were reading too much into that interaction, Briatore said something like great race, you got lucky and Alonso said something like, ” yeah, safety car” but there were no soap-opera moments from my recollection of a few years ago…

  10. I don’t understand people who defend Alonso in the Crashgate. Anyone who thinks he didn’t know is either extremely naive or an Alonso fan. I’m very far from being a Massa fan, but I completely understand him. The guy lost the championship thanks to that disgusting fixed race. The crashgate is the worst thing that happened in F1 and yet Alonso somehow emerged as a F1 hero. But then what you do will come back to you: karma. After crashgate Alonso was twice within reach of the elusive third title and lost. I don’t believe he’ll ever win another title again.

  11. Gotta laugh at how Singapore is always brought up when talking about how Massa ‘lost’ the championship, and not mentioning his diabolic drive at Silverstone when he was spinning in the wet all over the shop costimg in MANY points for the championship. And how he was gifted extremely valuble points at Spa when we was nowhere to be seen while Hamilton and Raikonnen showed him up in another mixed condition race.

    Massa didnt lose the championship in Singapore, he lost it because he wasnt good enough over the course of a full season and it only looked closer because the ‘referees’ made it so with their ‘post-match’ result fixing.

    • Shrieker (@shrieker) said on 9th January 2014, 15:54

      Well said. Also don’t forget Melbourne and Malaysia where he spun all by himself and scored ZERO points. People should remember that they were the first 2 races without Traction control and he clearly could not adapt as well as others did. He lost the title in 2008 because he got beaten fair and square by superior talent.

    • Jack (@jackisthestig) said on 9th January 2014, 21:18

      Too right, neither Massa or Hamilton had an absolutely heroic season in 2008. I had Kubica down as driver of the season, worth remembering he was well in contention for the championship when the team focussed all their resources on the disastrous 2009 car.

      • The Abbinator (@abbinator) said on 12th January 2014, 1:22

        Too true, what a loss to the sport! Kubica out-drove everyone that year and was the inspiration for Bernie’s ill-conceived medals system because he was leading the championship in a car not capable of winning a race, an amazing achievement… His victory at Canada a year after his massive wipeout will always make me wish and hope RK can come back!

  12. Girts (@girts) said on 9th January 2014, 13:45

    Massa added the FIA should have “cancelled” the result of the after once the truth came to light in September 2009.

    I don’t think it’s a clever idea to change championship results almost a year after its end. There’s a good reason why FIA are not allowed to do that. Let’s assume FIA have just found out that Vettel broke some rules in 2012 and declare Alonso the 2012 world champion now. That might sound halfway acceptable but where does it end? Should FIA also declare Lauda the 1976 world champion in 2014 if it suddenly turns out that McLaren had an illegal car during that year?

    • craig-o (@craig-o) said on 9th January 2014, 13:54

      @girts well didn’t Verstappen say the car Schumacher drove in 1994 was illegal? The results still stand…

      • Eric (@) said on 9th January 2014, 22:34

        @craig-o

        Verstappen said he “believed” Schumachers car was illegal because he always beat him in friendly karting races and couldn’t believe Schumacher was so much faster in an F1 car. Not exactly substantial evidence.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 10th January 2014, 11:11

      Its what the Tour de France did with doping …

      Not to say that I really think it should be changed at all. That would be completely unfair to Hamilton, because he would suddenly have less points without having had the chance to react to that and still win the WDC. If anything McLaren and Hamilton lost out because they were trying to play it too conservative and keep the lead as it was, they would have certainly raced differently without those points.

  13. Shots fired

  14. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 9th January 2014, 13:52

    I don’t look at Singapore as to where Massa lost the championship, I look at Australia, Malaysia and Silverstone for reasons as to why Massa lost the championship.

    Because it only came to light after the 2008 season had finished, I don’t see why the race should be voided or Alonso be disqualified from the race results. Yes the win may have been tainted but so was Hockenheim, and wins for other drivers (Malaysia 2013, Austria 2002). Hamilton was the 2008 champion, and he deserved it. I don’t feel he was the best driver that season, Kubica was, but he was a worthy champion, same as what Massa would have been, had he scored more points than Hamilton.

    • TMF (@tmf42) said on 9th January 2014, 16:07

      The race was fixed and unfortunately for HAM and MAS the championship was too close to make it irrelevant.
      As you say you can bring up either one of these events and who knows maybe they would have still lost Singapore – but it doesn’t negate the fact that Singapore was an irregular race and put an asterisk next to the whole championship.
      07 was even worse but we are talking less about it since RAI won. If HAM or ALO would have taken the title it would be a different story.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 9th January 2014, 22:04

      @craig-o Malaysia 2013 was the exact opposite of Germany 2010, it doesn’t bear comparison at all.

    • The Abbinator (@abbinator) said on 12th January 2014, 1:26

      To be honest and somewhat nit-picky, Massa actually lost the championship at the last corner of Brasil after he won the race and Hamilton overtook Glock on bad tyres in the wet… Just sayin’…
      ;)

  15. PMccarthy_is_a_legend (@pmccarthy_is_a_legend) said on 9th January 2014, 13:58

    He is right, of course Alonso knew, there is no doubt about that. You have to be stupid or naive to think otherwise. And yes I agree the race results should have been cancelled once the revelations came to light. It indeed was a fixed result. I understand how hugely unpopular that would have been, but it was the right and just thing to do. Why Felipe is bringing this up now, now that I don’t know!

    • curmudgeon (@curmudgeon) said on 9th January 2014, 14:13

      The result was fixed and the win should have been voided from Alonso’s records when this event came to light a year later. Other results should have remained the same with no adjustment to points for Singapore 2008. No one can prove that Alonso was ‘in’ on the fix and no solid evidence has some to light.

      And for mk below, if Glock had changed tires he wouldn’t have been a factor on the last lap. Remaining on dry tires was why he was passed, no conspiracy there.

      • Sharon H (@sharoncom) said on 9th January 2014, 18:57

        The irony is Glock tried to come into the pits to change tyres a lap earlier but found the pit lane blocked by Massa’s supporters about to celebrate his ‘championship’.

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