Puppet master: Ecclestone behind Hamilton court case

Bernie Ecclestone has now been revealed to be the shadowy puppeteer, orchestrating Felipe Massa’s legal battle to strip Lewis Hamilton of his 2008 Formula 1 world title.

A few weeks ago, a shocking statement by former Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone reignited tensions around the so-called ‘Crashgate’ affair. It has now been revealed that Ecclestone himself is behind the plot to sabotage Hamilton’s legacy and strip the seven-time champion of a drivers’ title.



What was ‘Crashgate’?

Crashgate explained… At the Singapore Grand Prix in September 2008, Nelson Piquet Jnr crashed into the wall on lap 14 at Turn 17. The location of the accident meant that a safety car had to come out to clear the debris, with Piquet’s team colleague Fernando Alonso winning the race. Piquet described the crash as a simple mistake.


Alonso and Piquet both qualified at the bottom of the field for F1’s first night race – Alonso 15th and Piquet 16th – and when the Grand Prix started, Alonso was the first to pit on the 12th lap, having started with a low fuel load in an attempt to overtake the cars in front of him.

He rejoined the field at the back and less than three laps later, Piquet crashed on a part of the track where there was no way of clearing the debris quickly.



Points given to Hamilton, taken from Massa

As a result of the way the pit stops were handled during the safety car period, most of the front runners were then behind Alonso, while the cars ahead of him were lighter on fuel and were able to pull away, but had not pitted. After taking the lead in the final third, Alonso went on to win the race. Both Briatore and Symonds described the safety car as a lucky break. There were some doubts about the incident, but few were prepared to believe that any driver would crash on purpose.

Lewis Hamilton took the six points for third place, while Felipe Massa, who had led the race for 17 laps, finished 13th and out of the points after an incident during his pit stop, dropping him down the field.


Charges issued to Renault in 2009

Piquet was sacked by Renault shortly after the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix. Piquet, who claimed he had an ‘understanding’ with the team, was furious and within days claimed he had crashed on orders. After weeks of speculation and rumours, Renault was charged with conspiracy on 4 September.

Renault was disqualified from Formula One and suspended for two years at the FIA hearing. Briatore was banned from all Formula One events and FIA sanctioned events for an indefinite period, while Symonds was given a five-year suspension. Both of these bans were overturned by a French court in January 2010, although as part of a subsequent settlement reached with the governing body, both agreed not to work in Formula One or at any FIA sanctioned events.



Massa attempt to reclaim title from Hamilton

Ecclestone revealed that he knew about the affair long before it became public, but preferred to cover up the scandal to preserve F1’s image.

This statement is not insignificant, given that it now gives Felipe Massa a chance to reclaim the 2008 world championship title. This manipulation has distorted the championship results, with Lewis Hamilton emerging as the winner.

Taking the case to court, Massa admitted as much in an interview with Motosport.com Brazil:

“We know there was a robbery. I am the one who lost the most. We’re trying to understand all this…”




Ecclestone behind Massa court case

It now appears that Bernie Ecclestone is the one pulling the strings behind the scenes to encourage Massa to go to court to reclaim the title that was “stolen” from him.

It is well known that Ecclestone has never taken Hamilton to his heart and does not want Michael Schumacher’s record of seven titles to be surpassed. If the former F1 kingpin can, through Massa, deprive the British driver of one of his world championship titles, the possibility is there.

The prospect of a lawsuit and the possible stripping of Lewis Hamilton of the 2008 world title is already causing a stir on social networks and dividing Formula One fans.


READ MORE F1 NEWS: Consequences for Alpine following Aussie smash up


Turning point in F1

Some see the move as a desperate attempt to tarnish the seven-time world champion’s reputation and curb his record-breaking run.

Others, on the other hand, argue that if the truth is established and the 2008 championship is proven to have been distorted, then Massa deserves to be crowned world champion instead of Hamilton.

Whatever the case, if it goes to trial, it could be a turning point in the history of Formula One and call into question past results and the integrity of some of the sport’s leading figures.



Felipe Massa makes valid case

Aware of the legal notion of prescription, the Brazilian cited the example of the Tour de France and the revocation of Lance Armstrong’s titles for doping:

“Depending on the country, you can’t go back 15 years to solve a case. But I intend to study the situation. We need to have an idea of what can be done. I have no financial interest in this case.

“Am I going to sue the FIA to make money without changing the outcome? No. All I’m interested in is that justice corrects the situation.”

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2 responses to “Puppet master: Ecclestone behind Hamilton court case

  1. The little one has never liked Hamilton from the start, all a big lie with hammy dad,he needs to walk away and keep his trap shut, shabby little man

  2. What a horrible little man Ecclestone is turning out to be. Massa should maintain his integrity and refuse to have anything to do with this case. His legacy against the cheating Schumacher is already well known and to tarnish that for a flawed championship is not worth it.

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