Lewis Hamilton told ‘you’ll need to speak’ as Brit faces having title stripped

Lewis Hamilton has been urged to speak up about the dramatic end to the 2008 World Championship that saw Felipe Massa controversially lose the title. Brazilian former driver Massa has opened legal proceedings against Formula One and the FIA after it was claimed that Renault purposely crashed at the Singapore Grand Prix, partially resulting in Massa losing the title to Hamilton.

In Singapore that year, Renault’s Nelson Piquet Jr deliberately crashed to give an advantage to team-mate Fernando Alonso. Massa is alleging that Formula One’s authorities were aware of the ‘crashgate’ scandal in time to take action before the championship was decided.

Hamilton went on to beat Massa to the World Championship that season, winning the first of his seven titles. This weekend, the Briton returns to the Brazilian Grand Prix where his maiden triumph was wrapped up.

Several drivers have declined to wade into the controversy, opting not to comment on Massa’s legal claim. However, the former Ferrari star has urged Mercedes ace Hamilton to speak up, telling him that he will need to do so.

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Asked if he has spoken to Hamilton, Massa told PlanetF1: “No, we haven’t had any communication. Everything that we are doing is not against Lewis. I mean, I really respect Lewis as a driver for everything that he’s done, he’s one of the best drivers in the history of Formula One. So many records, with many titles.

“But what I’m doing is against the result of a manipulated race. At the point in the race where the manipulation happened, I was leading, I was first in that race. So it’s nothing against Lewis.

“I really like Lewis as a driver and he’s doing a lot of things for justice, so many different kinds of justice in the world. I think, one time, he will need to speak and to talk about the situation. I think it’s pretty clear I’m not doing anything against him.

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“I’m doing it against the justice of the sport. When I am at home, and I see my phone after the Bernie Ecclestone interview, after the Charlie Whiting interview in the Max Mosley documentary that he knew at the last race of the season at Interlagos what happened in the Singapore race. After my son knew about it, he asked me, ‘you are not doing anything?’

“So I’m doing that for justice. I really believe what I’m doing is correct because this is not acceptable. We’re not talking about a broken engine, or someone pushing me out of the race. We’re not talking about the sporting situation, we’re talking about the manipulation that changed the result.”

Hamilton will hope for some more success in Brazil this weekend. Mercedes team-mate George Russell earned his first F1 victory on the same circuit last season, with Hamilton in second.

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