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

  1. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th January 2014, 18:15

    Felipe, we need to talk. The Singapore scandal happened more than five years ago, and while we all appreciate your desire to have the record set straight, eventually you reach a point of diminishing returns.

  2. Diceman (@diceman) said on 9th January 2014, 18:20

    This makes me wonder what really has been the spirit inside Ferrari during these 4 years.

    • Carlos Furtado das Neves said on 9th January 2014, 21:36

      Ok Felipe. Fernando is faster than you. Can you confirm that you understood that message?
      Ok mate, good lad. Just stay with mim now. Sorry.
      And very, very, very magnanimous. You don’t have any idea what that word means, so I’ll explane it to you later.

      And then they treat the guy as if he was stupid! Good job, mate. Good job!

      • Ronsky said on 11th January 2014, 6:20

        The way you put it sounds like he was forced to drive for Ferrari for so many consecutive years? Fernando, Kimi, Lewis… They would have left the team in one year time, if that would be their case.

  3. spoutnik (@spoutnik) said on 9th January 2014, 18:32

    Congrats! Massa’s just been elected Tr*ll Of The Day!

  4. raddie (@raddie) said on 9th January 2014, 19:25

    Who cares now?

  5. Michael Brown (@) said on 9th January 2014, 19:30

    I do find it odd that Alonso didn’t know about Renault’s intentions. Did he even question the team’s choice for their fuel strategy.

    However, there simply is no evidence to support that. And if Alonso were to be found guilty, what would they do? Declassify him from the result? Hamilton would then win the title with slightly more points. Massa would still score zero

  6. prelvu (@prelvu) said on 9th January 2014, 19:57

    Of course he knew. HE IS A CHEAT AND HE WILL ALWAYS BE ONE. He was involved in McLaren Spygate that cost them 100mil after he left them. That’s why I will NEVER support him.

    • RBAlonso (@rbalonso) said on 9th January 2014, 20:31

      @prelvu I don’t think that’s fair. Mike Coughlan and Nigel Stephney were the ones to blame there. Alonso arriving at a new team would have known as much as Hamilton and De La Rosa about it. Blackmailing the team is obviously regrettable but probably due to his status in the team being downgraded. If McLaren had their time again they would probably back Alonso more given what happened. You are entitled to your opinion but to infer he is a cheat is simply not true.

      • Eric (@) said on 9th January 2014, 22:41


        The fact Alonso happily used the info he got and talked about in depth with De La Rosa shows he’s not shy of getting any advantage. Even an unfair one because using technical data from a competitor without their knowledge is an unfair advantage.

        • Pink Peril said on 10th January 2014, 0:21

          If it were to be accepted that McLaren used Ferrari’s technical data in the 2007 car – which has not been proven – then surely Hamilton benefitted as much as Alonso? Both of them were in the title hunt right to the end so it seems a bit of a stretch to only cast aspersions against Alonso. Whilst I agree it was not particularly sporting of Alonso to use the data knowing where it came from, there was never any suggestion he was complicit in the data being at McLaren in the first place. And thinking back to the ‘penalty’ levied by the FIA – it was against the team itself and neither driver was penalised, presumably because the driver is at the mercy of his team as to what car is produced that year and has little input into it, bar the individual set up. So it’s a long bow to try & link what happened at McLaren in 2007 to somehow Alonso being a ‘cheat’. Certainly the term ‘attempted blackmailer’, if used in connection with Alonso, would have some legs to it although we don’t know exactly what went on between him & Dennis that year, and I think it would be fair to say there is most likely blame on both sides.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 10th January 2014, 20:36

            Both of them were in the title hunt right to the end so it seems a bit of a stretch to only cast aspersions against Alonso.

            Hamilton did not have any awareness of the Ferrari data, Alonso did.

  7. Sauber (@mumito) said on 9th January 2014, 21:03

    The nickname “Teflonso” is perfect. Nothing sticks…not the crash-gate, nor the spy-gate, not the team orders…I don’t know…I’m fed up of Alonso. He is probably the best driver nowadays (if not in the top 3) but I’m tired of listening he should have more championships. The fault is always in the car, or in the team-mate….He really thinks he is perfect. He should review a couple of 2013 races….Malaysia, Monaco…

  8. Sauber (@mumito) said on 9th January 2014, 21:06

    I really hope to see Kimi outscoring Teflonso in the same car.

  9. caci99 (@caci99) said on 9th January 2014, 21:23

    Well, we have a saying around here: “The stupid throws a stone into the lake, a hundred wise man jump in to get it out”

  10. tvm (@) said on 9th January 2014, 21:41

    One thing for sure, Massa is a lot more likely to know if Alsono was in on it or not than anyone guessing in the comments here.

    • Robbie said on 10th January 2014, 0:07

      And yet, FM is just speculating too, and in fact doesn’t know the truth, is only speculating, and only claims he will try to get an answer out of Symonds, like that will be forthcoming…not!

  11. Pink Peril said on 10th January 2014, 0:01

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. Chaz (@chaz) said on 10th January 2014, 6:23

    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.

  14. evered7 (@evered7) said on 10th January 2014, 6:36

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

  15. quads said on 10th January 2014, 12:09

    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!

    • curmudgeon (@curmudgeon) said on 11th January 2014, 15:18

      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.

    • Dave (@raceprouk) said on 11th January 2014, 15:26

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

      • quads said on 13th January 2014, 11:25

        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.

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