‘Bernie Ecclestone started this…’ – Ex-F1 boss blamed for drama around Lewis Hamilton’s 2008 win
Hamilton won his first F1 title just under 15 years ago at Felipe Massa’s expense, overtaking Toyota’s Timo Glock at the end of the final lap.
It meant that the then-McLaren driver claimed the crown by a single point, leaving Massa and his team – who were initially celebrating as he crossed the line – distraught.
Massa is now looking at ways to challenge the outcome of the season after Ecclestone admitted that he and former FIA president Max Mosley were aware of the allegations that Renault had fixed the Singapore Grand Prix earlier that season with the scandal dubbed as ‘Crashgate’.
The race in Singapore was a decisive one in the championship as Massa led the race from pole position.
His race was undone when he had to make a pit stop under the Safety Car caused by Nelson Piquet Jr’s deliberate crash.
Ferrari messed up Massa’s pit stop as the fuel hose got stuck in his car, ruining his race and potentially costing him the title.
Speaking to Mirror Sport, Fittipaldi explained that he’s fully behind Massa but is unsure if anything can be done to “reverse” what happened in 2008.
“I think who started this was Bernie Ecclestone. Typical Bernie! Bernie wanted to create a polemic and this polemic that he’s creating, it’s just to generate some news.
“I would love if Felipe would be world champion, being Brazilian, for sure. I was in Interlagos that year inside the McLaren pit with Lewis Hamilton. And when Felipe went by only two people, myself and my wife, stood up and screamed.
“Everybody was quiet. 15 seconds later, everybody stood up and started screaming and I didn’t understand why! But, anyway, that was the day that happened.
“When you go backwards, in that race [the Singapore GP], Ferrari made a mistake during a pit stop.
“That means the result of the race would not change a lot. It’s so difficult to reverse that. That’s my personal opinion. I am 100 per cent pro Felipe Massa, for sure.”