Massa’s lawyers seeking compensation over 2008 F1 title

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Felipe Massa’s legal challenge relating to the 2008 Formula 1 world championship is continuing, with the Brazilian’s lawyers seeking significant compensation for “a conspiracy” that cost him the title.

Quote attributed to Bernie Ecclestone earlier this year triggered Massa’s initial action, after the former boss of F1 suggested both the sport and the FIA – as the governing body – was aware of the intent behind Nelson Piquet’s crash at the Singapore Grand Prix but did not act at the time. The crash triggered a chaotic race that Fernando Alonso won but Massa failed to score in, going on to lose that year’s title to Lewis Hamilton by one point.

A letter from Enyo Law has been seen by the Reuters news agency, claiming Massa was “the victim of a conspiracy committed by individuals at the highest level of F1 together with the FIA and Formula One Management.

“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.

“Mr Massa is unable to fully quantify his losses at this stage but estimates that they are likely to exceed tens of millions of Euros. This amount does not cover the serious moral and reputational losses suffered by Mr Massa.”

The Letter Before Claim – sent to both F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali and FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem – is a legal requirement before court proceedings, and states that if a satisfactory response is not received then Massa plans to “pursue legal action in order to seek compensation for the harm he has suffered.” 

Reuters reports the letter – sent on August 15 and requiring a response within 14 – also states the Brazilian driver calls for “recognition that, but for those unlawful acts, he would have been awarded the 2008 Championship.”