Mercedes Not Supporting Massa’s ‘Crashgate’ Push

2023 Miami Grand Prix - Mercedes
2023 Miami Grand Prix - Mercedes

Felipe Massa will not have Mercedes’ backing as he pushes ahead with potential legal action against the FIA and Formula 1.

Last weekend, although Ferrari is not backing former team driver Massa’s push to be handed the 2008 title and compensation over the ‘crashgate‘ scandal, Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko indicated he supports the Brazilian driver.

“If there are new facts,” he said, “the matter can be opened up. And then the chances for Massa aren’t so bad.

“I would like him to be awarded this title. And Mr Hamilton, for whom records aren’t that important anyway, would have one less.”

When Lewis Hamilton won his first title in 2008 by a single point over Massa, he drove for McLaren. Today, he races for the Wolff-run Mercedes team.

“If this is the direction Felipe wants to go in, then it is his decision,” Hamilton now says.

“I prefer not to dwell on the past, whether it was 15 years ago, 2 years ago or 3 days ago. I’m only interested in the present and I’m focused on helping my team every week.”

Then-F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone opposes Massa’s push for retrospective justice, and Mercedes boss Wolff is taking a similar position.

“I don’t think he has a case, to be honest,” said the Austrian. “There are so many things that have an influence whether you win or lose that I don’t see the case to be honest.

“We signed up to sporting regulations and they are very clear as you commit as a licence holder. If everybody were to open up situations (like this) then the sport would be in disarray.”

Last weekend in Singapore, however, Wolff indicated that the Massa case could set a “precedent” in which other title outcomes – like the highly controversial one in 2021 – could be opened up.

“On the civil case side, I don’t know, let’s evaluate whether there’s some damages that could be claimed,” said Wolff.


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