Jean Todt, the former FIA President and Ferrari team boss, weighed in on Felipe Massa’s efforts to overturn the 2008 Formula 1 season results, saying that year’s Singapore Grand Prix was rigged.
Felipe Massa has been in the F1 headlines recently, as he attempts to take legal action against the FIA and Formula 1 hoping to overturn the results of the 2008 season in which he lost the Drivers’ Title to Lewis Hamilton by one point.
As a reminder, in 2008, the Singapore Grand Prix saw Fernando Alonso win the race benefitting from a Safety Car after his teammate Nelson Piquet Jr. crashed, an incident that turned out to be concocted by Renault boss Flavio Briatore and then Renault tech boss Pat Symonds, who were both banned from the sport.
Massa suffered a pit stop issue under the Safety Car which meant he was classified 13th, while Hamilton finished third, something the Brazilian claims cost him that year’s F1 Title.
Recent comments from former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone in 2023, claimed the FIA and F1 knew there was cause for further investigation which wasn’t done to avoid a scandal.
Ecclestone said at the time: “We had enough information in time to investigate the matter. According to the statutes, we should have cancelled the race in Singapore under these conditions.
“That means it would never have happened for the championship standings. And then Felipe Massa would have become world champion and not Lewis Hamilton.
“[But we did not act in order to] protect the sport and save it from a huge scandal,” the 93-year-old Briton added.
It was very hard for Massa
Todt was Ferrari CEO at the time of the Scandal, and took over as FIA President from Max Mosley (who with Ecclestone covered up the matter) in 2009, and did not take any action at the time.
However he has recently commented on the matter, and told La Stampa: “I don’t get into the controversy. For him [Massa], psychologically, it was very hard.
“Maybe we (the FIA) could have been tougher when the story came out. There is no doubt that the Singapore Grand Prix was rigged and should have been cancelled,” the Frenchman maintained.
While Massa’s legal team awaits responses from the FIA and F1 before deciding how to legally proceed, any further action in that regard would be a precedent for the sport which may directly affect Hamilton, and open pandora’s box on several other controversies.
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff commented on the matter, especially with Hamilton potentially being affected, he told the media in Singapore earlier this year: “I don’t think he has a case, to be honest.
“We are signing up to sporting regulations that are very clear and you commit (to) as a license holder. If everybody were to open up situations then the sport would be in disarray and especially when you look at the full championships.
‘There’s so many things that have an influence whether you win or lose that I don’t see the case to be honest. For me this is like watching a telenovela or soap opera playing out in front of me,” Wolff concluded.