F1 'have until the end of Friday' to respond to Felipe Massa's lawyers

Formula One chiefs ‘had until the end of Friday’ to respond to Felipe Massa’s lawyers – who seek to take the 2008 title away from Lewis Hamilton over the ‘stolen Crashgate race’

  • Felipe Massa insists he was ‘totally wronged’ at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix
  • His lawyers have since taken legal action in a bid to take the title from Hamilton
  • Reports now claim that Formula One have until the end of Friday to respond 

Formula One had until the end of Friday in order to respond to the legal claims made by Felipe Massa’s lawyers.  

In May, Massa insisted he was ‘totally wronged’ during the controversial 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, following Bernie Ecclestone’s bombshell admissions, and launched legal action in a bid to have the title 

The former Ferrari star relayed his desires to press on with legal action against the FIA in an attempt to have the title awarded in his favour, retrospectively.

Massa’s lawyers sent an eight-page ‘Letter Before Claim’ to the F1 in August and it’s now been revealed that the organisation have until the end of Friday to respond.

According to the Independent, the initial letter set a request for a reply of 14 days but responses from F1 and the FIA indicated that two weeks was not enough time and thus Massa’s legal team set a new deadline of 4pm on Friday 8th September.

Felipe Massa has taken legal action over the outcome of the 2008 world driver’s championship

The 2008 Singapore race is remembered for the ‘Crashgate’ affair, which allegedly saw Renault plan for Nelson Piquet to deliberately crash in order to bring out a safety car (pictured)

Lewis Hamilton (right) and Massa (left) were the main championship challengers in 2008

The former Ferrari star lost the title in 2008 to McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton by just a single point on the last lap of the final race of the season, in one of the most exciting finishes in F1 history.

However, Massa’s hopes for the title had already taken a massive hit in Singapore , when it later claimed that Nelson Piquet had deliberately crashed his Renault into the wall in a bid to help team-mate Fernando Alonso ‘s own championship ambitions.

Dubbed as ‘Crashgate’ the scandal saw Massa drop from first to 13th as Alonso won the race. It had pivotal implications as Massa eventually lost the championship by a point on the final day to Hamilton.

In comments made in April, Ecclestone has indicated the F1 top brass knew about the Renault conspiracy ‘during the 2008 season’, when there would have been time to overturn the final result, only angering Massa.

In May, he reiterated his desire to press forward with what he believes is a strong case. 

‘I consider myself with great chances of having had that title,’ he told esportelandia. ‘If you remember Singapore, it was a steal. After Bernie Ecclestone spoke about it, we are trying to understand, legally, if there is any chance of going back.’

And the Brazilian implied Ecclestone’s admission proved ‘Crashgate’ was fixed: ‘So it just goes to show that I was totally wronged by what happened that year, in a stolen race,’ he added. 

Massa believes he had a ‘great chances of having that title’ which has lead to his legal claims

‘This made me lift the antenna and go after justice. I’m not a lawyer, but everyone knows, I was clearly wronged and I think justice is part of our fight to get what happened right. 

‘That was a stolen run. It was manipulation, which is a very serious thing. It wasn’t an engine that broke down. There was also an engine that broke, but that’s part of the game. They made Nelsinho Piquet crash because he wanted to help his team-mate, who was last in the race, to win. They totally did a manipulation for a result.’ 

Massa acknowledges that he might not have much luck with changing a result after almost 15 years, but he’s still interested in finding out what his chances are.

‘There are rules, and there are many things that, depending on the country, you cannot go back after 15 years to resolve a situation,’ he said.

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