Felipe Massa ‘expects’ support from major ally in F1 2008 title legal battle

Sam Cooper
Felipe Massa with a model Ferrari.

Felipe Massa wants support from his old team.

Felipe Massa has said he expects the support from Ferrari as he seeks to legally overturn the result of the 2008 championship.

Bernie Ecclestone’s comments in March in which he admitted he knew about Crashgate have opened a can of worms with Massa beginning legal proceedings against Formula 1 bosses and the FIA, seeking damages for what he described as a “conspiracy” that denied him the 2008 championship.

Regardless of how likely Massa is to succeed in his legal case, momentum appears to be building behind it with the Brazilian expecting support from Ferrari.

Felipe Massa wants Ferrari backing in F1 legal battle

Before a wheel had even turned in Monza, the Massa legal case was brought to the attention by one fan declaring the former Ferrari driver to be the 2008 World Champion on a flag on the pit straight.

Massa himself was not present at the Italian Grand Prix but expressed his determination to “fight” for what he believes is his title.

“I have one certainty: that title is mine and it is Ferrari’s 16th drivers’ title,” he told the Italian state broadcaster TG1. “I have hired a team of very strong lawyers. We will fight to the end to obtain justice in this sport. I don’t understand why a case of manipulation cannot be verified in the way right, even if a year, two years or 15 years later.”

Judging by Massa’s comments, it appears he is expecting more than just financial remuneration for the alleged slight and has stated he believes Ferrari will join his cause in order to secure their 16th Drivers’ title.

“At this moment I have not yet had the support of Ferrari, but I expect help from them,” the 42-year-old suggested. “I am optimistic: I will fight for the justice until the end.”

Massa has threatened to ramp up his legal case if F1 do not respond before Friday, September 8 having been disappointed by the initial reply to their letter.,

On August 15, Massa’s lawyers contacted both current F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali and FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem with a Letter Before Claim, establishing the details of his legal challenge and claiming Massa was “the victim of a conspiracy” in 2008 as both organisations sought to avoid a scandal.

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Massa has received a response from both the FIA and Formula One Management to his original letter but has been left dismayed after being informed that it was impossible to provide a formal response when key personnel were away during F1’s annual summer break in August with more time required.

Massa’s team have now responded to both parties, arguing that they do not consider a delay potentially as long as three months to be “reasonable” and have set a deadline of Friday September 8 for the matter to be dealt with to their satisfaction.

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