Felipe Massa and Nelson Piquet Jr
Nelson Piquet's staged crash at Singapore 2008
Felipe Massa has revealed that he had quizzed Nelson Piquet Jr and Flavio Briatore about the events at the 2008 Singapore GP, even before the scandal had broken out.
In Singapore 2008, Nelson Piquet crashed 2 laps after Fernando Alonso had pitted, and brought out the safety car. This gave a huge advantage to Alonso, who went on to win the race. Massa, who had been leading and dominating the race, pitted when the safety car was over, but a disasterous pit stop meant he finished last. Felipe later lost the championship to Lewis Hamilton by a single point.
However, Massa says that he had always been skeptical about Piquet’s crash, even before the scandal broke out this year. At a Ferrari media event, he said:
“I spoke to him, yeah. I spoke to him before [it became public],” said Massa. “We were going together to drive go-karts in Italy and I asked him about Singapore – I wanted to hear the right story because I was thinking that the combination [of events] was so perfect [for Renault], what happened in that race.”
“And he was laughing, he didn’t want to say the truth. I said ‘okay, you’re laughing, but I understood. Maybe one day we’ll speak again’. And after one month or less, the story came back in the press.”
“I even spoke to Flavio about that in Bahrain last year. I asked Flavio about Singapore and he said ‘no, no, it’s impossible’ and he was even trying to laugh sometimes.”
However, even though he probably lost the championship because of it, he does not wish to revisit the incident.
“But if I spoke to them after I knew? It didn’t change anything,” said Massa. “Why should I go there and speak? We will not go back to the past. We need to think about the present and the future. The past is the past.”
“Everybody knows what happened in 2008. I don’t think we’re going to win anything by going back through all these problems. For sure it was very frustrating what was happening in that race, and it changed many things around the championship.”
“But anyway, we need to think forward. I hope these things don’t happen anymore – for the sport, not just the business. I hope we’ll go back to fighting for the championship and I hope I can be a champion one day. That’s the way I’m thinking.”