HomeSports NewsMercedes Keeping an Eye on Massa's F1 Legal Case, Says Wolff

Mercedes Keeping an Eye on Massa’s F1 Legal Case, Says Wolff


Toto Wolff: Mercedes Following Felipe Massa’s Legal Case Against F1 and FIA

Toto Wolff, the team principal of Mercedes Formula One, has expressed interest in Felipe Massa’s ongoing legal case against Formula One and the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile). Massa is seeking to overturn his loss to Lewis Hamilton in the 2008 championship, citing the ‘Crashgate’ scandal as grounds for cancellation of the results of the Singapore Grand Prix that year. Wolff believes that the outcome of this case will set a precedent for future disputes in the sport.

The ‘Crashgate’ scandal refers to an incident where Renault driver Nelson Piquet Jr. deliberately crashed during the Singapore Grand Prix to help his team secure victory. Massa argues that this manipulated result unfairly cost him the championship title. Bernie Ecclestone, the former CEO of Formula One, has previously stated that the FIA had enough information to investigate the matter at the time. However, he later denied giving this interview.

In a recent interview with The Athletic, Massa expressed his desire for Formula One and the FIA to rectify the injustice done to him and the sport. He has sent a letter before claim to both organizations and has extended the deadline for their response until October 12. It is worth noting that it would be unprecedented for legal action to lead to the overturning of a historical Formula One result. According to the FIA’s regulations, once the trophy is handed out at the end-of-season prize giving, the results of an F1 season are considered final.

Despite this, Toto Wolff finds the case intriguing and has confirmed that Mercedes is closely following its developments. He acknowledges that the rules in Formula One are clear, but he recognizes that there is a civil case behind Massa’s legal bid. Wolff believes that whatever the outcome may be, it will undoubtedly set a precedent for future disputes in the sport.

Part of Mercedes’ interest in the Massa case stems from their own experience in 2021. Lewis Hamilton narrowly missed out on securing his eighth world championship due to a controversial decision made by FIA race director Michael Masi. Masi failed to implement the regulations correctly, allowing Max Verstappen to overtake Hamilton on the last lap of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and claim the championship. Mercedes initially protested the result but later withdrew their appeal. The FIA ruled that Masi had made a “human error” but acted in “good faith.” They stated that the results of the race and the championship were valid, final, and could not be changed.

When asked about Mercedes’ curiosity in the Massa case, given the similarities to what happened in Abu Dhabi, Wolff referred to the FIA’s clear statement regarding the 2021 race. He emphasized that Mercedes is observing the Massa case with interest due to the FIA’s previous ruling.

Lewis Hamilton, when asked about his thoughts on Massa’s legal case, stated that he is currently focused on his present commitments with Mercedes and is not dwelling on events that occurred 15 years ago.

In conclusion, Toto Wolff and Mercedes are closely following Felipe Massa’s legal case against Formula One and the FIA. They believe that the outcome of this case will have significant implications for future disputes in the sport. While it would be unprecedented for legal action to overturn a historical Formula One result, Massa’s bid to have the 2008 championship result canceled due to the ‘Crashgate’ scandal has piqued interest within the sport. As the case unfolds, it remains to be seen whether it will indeed set a precedent and potentially open the door for similar challenges in the future.

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