Felipe Massa is seeking legal action against the FIA and F1 off the back of new revelations about the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix 'Crashgate' scandal. And here, Express Sport brings you up to date with everything you need to know.

What happened in Singapore?

At the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso claimed his only win of the season in one of the most controversial races in the history of the sport. It later transpired that Renault had instructed Alonso's team-mate, Nelson Piquet Jr, to crash deliberately and trigger a safety car, while the Spaniard was languishing in last place.

At the time, Massa was leading the race but he subsequently dropped to the back of the pack after a botched pitstop under safety car conditions. He ended up finishing in P13 while Hamilton came third. The result extended Hamilton's lead over Massa in the Drivers' Championship standings to seven points. Massa clawed six of those points back in the final three races of the season but it wouldn't be enough to topple the Brit, who picked up his first-ever F1 title in Brazil.

Is Hamilton in danger of losing his title?

Massa's legal team allege that former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone and then FIA president Max Mosley were involved in a cover-up which cost the ex-Ferrari star an F1 title and "tens of millions of euros" in lost income and reputational harm. Bernardo Viana, Massa's lawyer, had given the FIA until mid-October to respond to a Letter Before Claim sent to them in August. The deadline has since been extended with a verdict on whether or not the case could go to court expected later this month. The Brazilian's side are confident they can strip Hamilton of his world title. However, the FIA rulebook states that once the winning driver receives the champion's trophy, the outcome cannot be changed.

Ecclestone's admits race should have been 'cancelled'

In an interview with F1-Insider Ecclestone implied F1 knew what had happened at the time, but ruled against stepping in to protect the F1's reputation. This admittance led Massa to launch legal action. "Back then, there was a rule that a world championship classification after the FIA awards ceremony at the end of the year was untouchable," he said. "So Hamilton was presented with the trophy and everything was fine.

"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."

Hamilton's response

Hamilton is not concerning himself with Massa's legal battle and responded bluntly when asked for his reaction by the media. "I have a really bad memory, so I don't really remember a lot, to be honest," he said.

"I'm really just focused on the here and now and helping the team get back into the championship and the race. I'm not really focused on what happened 15 years ago."

Former FIA chief claims Singapore Grand Prix was 'rigged'

Former Ferrari and FIA chief Jean Todt claims the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix was "rigged" and has backed his former driver. "I won't get into the controversy, but it was very hard for him psychologically," Todt told Italian newspaper La Stampa.

"Maybe we could have been tougher when the story became known, but there is no doubt that the Singapore Grand Prix was rigged, and should have been cancelled."

2023-12-10T07:51:45Z dg43tfdfdgfd