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Former F1 chief reopens Hamilton title row with ‘RIGGED’ jibe

Former F1 chief reopens Hamilton title row with ‘RIGGED’ jibe

Former F1 chief reopens Hamilton title row with ‘RIGGED’ jibe

Former F1 chief reopens Hamilton title row with ‘RIGGED’ jibe

Former FIA president Jean Todt has aligned himself with Felipe Massa's perspective on the controversial 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, saying that the 'rigged' race should have been 'cancelled' and erased from the records.

Bernie Ecclestone has been quoted as saying that he, along with Max Mosley and Charlie Whiting, knew in 2008 that Nelson Piquet Jr had deliberately crashed in Singapore to favour the race towards Renault. He noted that F1 bosses kept this information confidential to protect F1's image. However, Ecclestone has since claimed to have 'no memory' of saying such a thing.

The incident badly affected Massa, as a botched pit-stop under the Safety Car at Marina Bay led to him finishing outside of the points. Meanwhile, rival Lewis Hamilton gained six points for a third-place finish, going on to secure the title by a single point in Brazil.

Now, the 11-time grands prix winner is pursuing legal action against F1 over the 2008 world championship, which he lost to Lewis Hamilton in the final corner of the season.

Massa and his legal team are seeking significant compensation, claiming a 'conspiracy' related to the Piquet-induced 'Crashgate'.

Nelson Piquet Jr clambers out of his Renault after crashing at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix
Felipe Massa pulls away from a pitstop prematurely, causing chaos in the pitlane in Singapore
Felipe Massa has opened legal proceedings against F1 over the Singapore Grand Prix in 2008

Todt: 'No doubt race was rigged'

While Massa still awaits Ferrari's public endorsement, Todt, who was Massa's Ferrari team principal at the time, agrees that the Singapore Grand Prix should be officially removed from the record books.

Speaking to La Stampa about the situation, Todt believes that Ferrari could have stamped down harder on the event at the time.

“I'm not going to get into the controversy. It was very hard for him psychologically. Maybe we could have been tougher when this story became known.” he said.

“There is no doubt that the Singapore Grand Prix was rigged and should have been cancelled.”

Jean Todt is a very well respected member of the Formula 1 paddock

Todt resigned from his post as CEO of Ferrari in early 2009, just months after Massa suffered heartbreak at the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix.

By the end of 2009, he embarked on a successful 12-year term as FIA president and now he is often seen in the paddock as a special guest.

If Massa is successful in getting the result overturned, it would mean that Michael Schumacher would return to being the outright world titles leader with seven F1 world championships, while Hamilton would have six.

READ MORE: Schumacher reveals LATE call on F1 drive

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