To be honest I always thought the 2008 conspiracy was about making the championship closer, just as in 1994. I don’t like the theories but after the ludicrous (not to mention unprecedented) penalties on Hamilton and Bourdais at Fuji place I really had to wonder what was going on.
The ones I hated most were:
1) Kovalainen let Hamilton by in Germany the same way Massa did this year. Kovi was likely told to get out of his way, but as the rest of the race showed, they were in a different league in terms of pace (unlike Alonso and Massa a few weeks back).
2) The FIA always favoured Ferrari. Yes, they have a special relationship and rights (like the technical veto) other teams don’t have, but a lot of times when things went Ferrari’s way it was because it closed up the championship, not because it was Ferrari who were behind. Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t remember anyone protesting an advantage Ferrari had and then seeing it dismissed to keep them ahead?
3) Ferrari sabotaged Irvine’s title bid in 1999 because he was leaving the team. I don’t buy into this one; sure, they wouldn’t have had the #1 on their car the next year, but they wouldn’t have it if Irvine lost anyway; they would still have the glory of carrying the WDC to victory. It would be a very un-Ferrari thing to do to throw away a first championship in many years for the sake of who would be the winner.
4) Hamilton was and always has been #1 at McLaren. Dennis definitely had a greater emotional preference for Lewis, but to sabotage a proven double-champion’s chances on a rookie who might not last the distance? And when you have only one upgrade, do you give it to the slower driver when even the other one hasn’t got a shot at the title? Daft.
Basically 1) and 2) are saying the FIA/Bernie do interfere with things to make it closer, and that’s my favourite theory because I believe it a little.