Thursday’s selection of F1 news saw a big story break as Felipe Massa formally set about his quest for compensation following the 2008 title fight.
We’ll have more about that in just a second, along with the quandary Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard faced as they were asked who would win in the same car between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton.
That and plenty more to come in today’s offering of F1 news.
Felipe Massa begins legal proceedings against FIA and FOM
After Bernie Ecclestone’s comments in April claiming Felipe Massa was “cheated” out of the 2008 title after the ‘Crashgate’ scandal in Singapore cost him heavily – having led the race, remember – he took a look at his legal options and, on Thursday, reportedly submitted a Letter Before Claim notice to FOM and the FIA to begin legal proceedings in search of compensation.
Lawyers for Massa wrote in the letter, first reported by Reuters, that he potentially lost out on “tens of millions of Euros” through the additional kudos of becoming a World Champion, and they claim that “simply put, Mr Massa is the rightful 2008 Driver’s Champion, and F1 and FIA deliberately ignored the misconduct that cheated him out of that title.”
F1 declined to comment when approached by PlanetF1.com, and the FIA and Massa’s London-based lawyers have also been approached for comment.
Max Verstappen tipped to beat Lewis Hamilton in same car
It’s an age-old question in Formula 1, as to who would win among the best drivers in equal machinery and, because team dynamics are the way they are, it’s very rare that it happens, but it doesn’t hurt to have fun and have an opinion on it.
Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard both discussed this exact topic on the latest edition of their Formula For Success podcast in response to a fan question about who would come out on top between the 2021 rivals, and after a debate, both plumped for Max Verstappen over Lewis Hamilton, by dint of the Red Bull driver being in a “sweet spot” in terms of age, speed and circumstances.
It’s already caused quite a debate in the comments section of that one, and while both said Hamilton is performing at an extremely high level, given Verstappen’s form, Jordan believes “it’s going to take some job to knock him off that perch…”
Ferrari offer insight into how 2024 car is coming along
Ferrari team boss Fred Vasseur said the team’s 2024 car is still in its early design phases, but the Scuderia are running as many simulations as possible to agree on a direction for next season’s challenger.
The final wind tunnel runs for upgrades on the SF-23 have now been completed, with only the signed-off upgrades on the car to be placed on later in the year as focus switches fully.
“We have to think differently, find margins thanks to which the drivers can ride without always being at the limit,” Vasseur told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “And in any case, the deadline for the new red is not the end of the year.
“We have to be ready for Bahrain in March. We still have many months ahead of us.”
Stars of the future nominated for presitigious award
The shortlist for the prestigious Aston Martin Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award was announced on Thursday morning, with 10 British drivers from the junior categories making the cut.
Previous winners include Jenson Button, Dario Franchitti, David Coulthard, Lando Norris and George Russell, so the young talent to win will join an illustrious group after an intense period of judging later in the year.
There is still a long way to go before the 10 get whittled down to the final four later this season, but there are some names to look out for in the future here.
When will Max Verstappen’s Hungarian GP trophy be fixed?
It’s the burning question of the day, we know.
There has been an update after Lando Norris unwittingly smashed Max Verstappen’s winner’s trophy from Hungary, and those who are behind its construction say it is well on its way to being repaired.
The trophy cost around $45,000 and took months to make, and understandably there was a fair bit of local uproar when Norris broke it with one of his trademark champagne bottle smashes – but Verstappen will still have to wait a while longer before he can get his hands on it again.