Fernando Alonso, Renault, Singapore, 2008

Massa suspects Alonso knew about Crashgate plan

2014 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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. IIRC Massa accused Alonso of the race being fixed and of knowing about it immediately the race ended. So this isn’t something new that he has just raised now, he is just voicing a long held suspicion. Those two have a long history of rankling at each other dating back to before Alonso joined Ferrari, spats at which Alonso generally tended to come out on top of so it is not surprising Massa no longer feels the need to keep the gloves on as it were. However, IMO he would have been better off to be gracious when asked about it by the journalist and deflect the question. Whatever it is he thinks he knows is surely only speculation and opinion on his part and airing those now only diminishes his standing.

  2. It was a horrible day for F1, but… what Renault did was use one car to influence the outcome of the race in the favour of the other.

    Yes they got one car to crash. But is it really that different to using one car to slow down a rival/the pack while the other streaks off into the distance? They both affect the race outcome, both hinder others, benefit the team leader.

    Take away the outrage and the fact it REALLY helped Alonso, and it was just team orders. It was no more ‘fixed’ than any race involving a ‘Fernando is faster than you’ moment.

    1. Because forcing a driver to crash puts himself, the fans, the marshals and the other drivers at risk far more than simply holding someone up

  3. Question – Is Massa being a little naive thinking that Symonds will actually tell him anything especially after this interview? Answer – Yes!

    However I’m actually with Massa on this one. I think Alonso did know everything. Alonso destroyed his reputation and credibility ever since the McLaren issue.

  4. Just have one thing to say to Massa. Good Luck working with the guy who planned all this :)

  5. The only point, as I see it, from this “news” is that MAS is still really bitter that he lost the 2008 title. I suppose the fact that he was completely and utterly destroyed by ALO for four consecutive seasons, driving the same car, does not make him less bitter either.
    He makes a random accusation without having any evidence to back it up with (apart from obviously a big load of bitterness), and certain media channels thinks “Wow, What a scoop!”. Are you running out of ideas to discredit ALO, Keith? Come on, this is old “news” – you can do better than this!

    1. @quads
      Unfair to criticize Keith. This is what was in the motorsports news these past days, that’s all.
      We learned what type of sportsman Alonso was in 2007. His ongoing conduct and head games confirms it.

    2. You’re talking about the same Keith that rated Alonso the second best driver in 2013?

      1. Unless there are two different Keith running the site, the answer to your question is yes. What is your point?
        The rating of ALO you are referring to, was not determined by the editor – it was determined by ALOs public achievements on the track. It is trivial and could not possibly have been different/worse as the final standings table is very clear in that regard – 2nd place despite having at best 3rd fastest package in majority of the races.

        1. You do know all the Alonso comments in the article came from Massa right?

  6. Hey Felipe here is a mystery you don’t need to ask Pat to confirm….Alonso > massa.

  7. Andrew Simmons
    10th January 2014, 17:36

    Felipe can moan about the crash all he wants. I dont recall Piquet’s crash making Ferrari let the car go out of the box with the fuel pipe still attached. I dont remember the crash making the team not run after him straight away to remove the fuel hose.

    Funnily enough, I dont remember Piquet’s crash causing Massa to spin out of the lead in malaysia. I dont remember Piquet’s crashing making Massa hit Coulthard not once, but TWICE in Australia. I dont remember Piquet’s crash causing Massa to spin lewis in Japan or misfueling in Canada or not fighting lewis in Germany.

    Funnily enough, I also dont remember Piquet’s crash causing lewis to get a penalty for blocking Heidfeld in Malaysia, stalling on the grid and hitting Alonso twice in Bahrain, crash into Kimi in Canada, Hamilton a penalty on the grid for France and then corner cutting during the race or overtaking kimi illegally.

    All what Lewis went through, and he still won. Massa can throw around Singapore all he wants, fact is, Massa threw it away at the start.

    1. Alejandro F. Martinez
      11th January 2014, 23:14

      Right on the spot.

  8. Alejandro F. Martinez
    11th January 2014, 23:12

    Mr Massa has been a useless driver for Ferrari since 2009. First through his unfortunate accident, but for the last 3 seasons he has not helped the team either by missdriving, involving himself in lousy situations with other drivers and most importantly, getting in the way of Alonso whenever he can; he impeded him from advancing and competing with the frontrunners in several ocations. He was also a lousy partner to Schumacher so it is a consistent attitude. Now he comes with these declarations while he only received nice words from Alonso in his departure which not only was expected, but long overdue. It is the problem Massa: whenever things don’t go his way he complains as if someone robbed him instead of looking in the mirror and looking what he did wrong.

  9. Alonso absolutely knew of the plan, and willingly participated in it. The only thing he did not do was ever admit to it. Slimy thing to do, of course …… but we are talking about Fernando after all.

  10. This was nothing, wait until double points are in and make a single race potentially very lucrative.

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