Felipe Massa today revealed that he had quizzed both Nelson Piquet Jr and Flavio Briatore before the ‘Crashgate’ scandal broke, having long harboured doubts about the controversial 2008 Singapore GP.
At the time of Piquet Jr’s infamous slide into the concrete barriers to force a safety car interruption to the race, Massa had been leading the race. A calamitous pitstop during the safety car incident cost Felipe all chance of a points’ finish – he would lose the championship to Lewis Hamilton by just a single point.
"I spoke to him before [it became public]," Massa announced to journalists at Ferrari’s ski event in Italy.
"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 [sequence 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."
"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."
As much as the incident destroyed the reputations of Piquet, Briatore, and the Renault team, one mustn’t forget the other victims in this disgraceful event. Felipe is certainly one of them.