Toto Wolff: Mercedes is following Felipe Massa’s legal case “with interest” because it “will set a precedent” for Lewis Hamilton’s 2021 title


Toto Wolff says Mercedes is ‘looking from the sidelines curiously’ at Felipe Massa’s legal challenge over 2008 world championship; Massa seeks 2008 Singapore Grand Prix result overturned due to Crashgate scandal; Massa lost the 2008 title by one point to Lewis Hamilton

Last updated: 09/15/23 at 3:55 p.m


Toto Wolff is keenly watching Felipe Massa’s legal challenge over the 2008 World Championship

Toto Wolff says Mercedes is following Felipe Massa’s legal case over the 2008 world championship “with interest” because the outcome “will set a precedent”.

Massa lost the 2008 title by one point to Lewis Hamilton, who was driving for McLaren at the time, and the Brazilian is developing a legal case arguing that the result of that year’s Singapore Grand Prix should be annulled due to the “Crashgate” scandal, under which Renault told Nelson Piquet Jr. He intentionally collided in favor of his teammate Fernando Alonso, who won in the end.

Massa sought legal advice after former Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone was quoted in March as saying that he and former FIA boss Max Mosley knew in 2008 that Piquet’s accident was intentional but did not act.

Formula 1 regulations state that season results are final once the World Championship trophy is handed over at the end-of-season awards ceremony.

Speaking on Friday, Wolff said the case was “interesting to follow” for Mercedes.

“It’s obviously not something anyone expected,” Wolff said in Singapore.

“The rule is very clear in Formula 1. There is a civil case behind it, and it will certainly set a precedent no matter what.

“We look on from the sidelines curiously.”

That curiosity is how the result could impact any action from Mercedes on Lewis Hamilton’s controversial loss of the title to Max Verstappen in 2021.

Max Verstappen overtakes Lewis Hamilton on the final lap in Abu Dhabi to win the 2021 Formula 1 Championship!

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Max Verstappen overtakes Lewis Hamilton on the final lap in Abu Dhabi to win the 2021 Formula 1 Championship!

Max Verstappen overtakes Lewis Hamilton on the final lap in Abu Dhabi to win the 2021 Formula 1 Championship!

Hamilton lost the title on the final lap of the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after race director Michael Masi breached Formula 1 regulations by handling a late safety car and allowing a final lap of the race to take place between Verstappen and Hamilton.

Masi called the safety car back into the pit lane without completing an additional lap as required by Formula One sporting regulations and only allowed the five lapped cars between Hamilton and Verstappen to launch themselves and not all the lapped cars.

Then, on new tires, Verstappen overtook Hamilton on the final lap of the race to win the race and the world title.

Mercedes withdrew its appeal against the race result ahead of the 2021 awards ceremony, with Verstappen later confirmed as champion.

In March last year, the FIA ​​confirmed that “human error” was a factor in the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix title controversy, but said race director Massi had acted in “good faith” and that the race and championship results were “correct.”

When pressed on his curiosity and race management influencing the outcome of the race and whether the 2021 title outcome could be reopened if Massa’s case proves successful, Wolff responded: “The FIA ​​commented on the 2021 race with a clear statement.

“That’s why we look at it with interest.”

Speaking on Thursday, Hamilton said of Massa’s legal case: “I’m not really focusing on what happened 15 years ago or two years ago.

“I’m now focused on how I can help my team win another world championship and the future.”

Live Singapore Grand Prix schedule on Sky Sports F1

Saturday 16 September
10.15am: Singapore General Training 3 (session starts at 10.30am)
1pm: Singapore Grand Prix qualifying preparations
2pm: Singapore Grand Prix qualifying
3.45pm: Ted’s qualifying notebook

Sunday 17 September
11.30pm: Sunday Grand Prix: Singapore Grand Prix preparations
1pm: Singapore Grand Prix
3pm: Checkered flag: Singapore Grand Prix reaction
4pm: Ted’s notebook

Next in the Formula 1 circus are the stunning streets of Singapore under the lights. All sessions from the Singapore Grand Prix will be broadcast live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend. Stream F1 on Sky Sports with NOW. Cancel at any time





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