Former Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone (92) wanted to “protect the sport” from scandals. Thus, Lewis Hamilton (38) ended up with the WC title in 2008.
The 2008 Singapore Grand Prix has become one of the most controversial races in the sport.
The scandalous race is remembered by Renault driver Nelson Piquet Jr. who intentionally crashed his car to force one Safety carSafety carA car that runs in front of it and limits the speed of rival cars when an accident or a large obstacle occurs on the track. The safety car then groups the field so that track crews have the opportunity to clear any obstacles while minimizing the risk of being crashed. It gave teammate Fernando Alonso an advantage in the race.
Ferrari driver Felipe Massa led the race after 14 laps, but joined the others in the lead at the pit stop after Piquet Jr. crashed.
Alonso had just come to his pitstop, led the race and ended up winning after starting 15th.
Felipe Massa finished 13th after a failed pit stop, and had to watch Lewis Hamilton increase his world championship lead to seven points going into the final three races of the season.
In an interview with F1 Insider Ecclestone says Felipe Massa “deserved” of the 2008 world championship title, and says he regrets not canceling the race in Singapore.
Ecclestone further says that he and the former head of FIAFIAInternational Motorsports Federation. International Automobile Federation, abbreviated to FIA.Max Mosley was aware that Piquet and Renault had indeed crashed that year, but chose to hide the scandal.
Pique Junior was under a lot of pressure in terms of extending the contract and doing what the team asked him to do. Then we decided not to do anything. We wanted to protect the sport and save it from major scandal, says Ecclestone according to F1 Insider.
The following year (2009), Pique Jr. admitted. It crashed on purpose Request from Renault, and team principal Flavio Briatore has been banned for life from all FIA events. Neither Hamilton nor others at McLaren were involved in the situation.
1 out of 3Photo: Lisa Hee/AP
Hamilton’s 2008 World Championship title has already been awarded and remains valid. The former Formula 1 boss regrets:
– We should have canceled the race in Singapore after that incident. Then it was never fit for a championship fight and Felipe Massa was the world champion, not Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton won the 2008 World Championship by one point after finishing fifth in the season finale in São Paulo.
Massa had his best season, both before and since, with a 2nd-place finish in the WC summary.
– I still feel sorry for Masa. He won the last home race in Sao Paulo and did everything right. He was cheated out of the title he deserved, while Hamilton had all the best in the world and won his first world championship.
Since then, Hamilton has won six more championships and is, along with Michael Schumacher, the most successful in Formula 1. But for Ecclestone, the 2008 season contributes to how he ranks both.
– Today, I would have handled the situation differently. Michael Schumacher remains the only one with seven WC titles in my eyes. Although the statistics say otherwise.
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