Mercedes declines to back Massa in ‘crashgate’ effort

Felipe Massa won’t find an ally in Mercedes as he evaluates potential legal measures against the FIA and Formula 1.

Previously, though Ferrari hasn’t endorsed their past driver Massa’s initiative for the 2008 championship and reimbursement due to the ‘crashgate’ incident, Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko voiced his encouragement for the Brazilian driver.

“If there are new facts,” he said, “the matter can be opened up. And then the chances for Massa aren’t so bad.

“I would like him to be awarded this title. And Mr Hamilton, for whom records aren’t that important anyway, would have one less.”

Back in 2008, when Lewis Hamilton secured his inaugural title edging out Massa by a mere point, he was racing for McLaren. Currently, he’s with the Mercedes team, led by Wolff.

“If this is the direction Felipe wants to go in, then it is his decision,” Hamilton now says.

“I prefer not to dwell on the past, whether it was 15 years ago, 2 years ago or 3 days ago. I’m only interested in the present and I’m focused on helping my team every week.”

Ex-F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone isn’t favourable to Massa’s aspiration for a retrospective vindication, and Mercedes manager Wolff mirrors this viewpoint.

“I don’t think he has a case, to be honest,” said the Austrian. “There are so many things that have an influence whether you win or lose that I don’t see the case to be honest.

“We signed up to sporting regulations and they are very clear as you commit as a licence holder. If everybody were to open up situations (like this) then the sport would be in disarray.”

Recently at the Singapore event, nonetheless, Wolff suggested that the Massa case might establish a “precedent” whereby other championship results, like the debated 2021 finish, might be revisited.

“On the civil case side, I don’t know, let’s evaluate whether there’s some damages that could be claimed,” said Wolff.