Former F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone has said Felipe Massa is only pursuing legal action for the money and claims Lewis Hamilton could have done similar.
Brazilian Massa stepped up his legal efforts yesterday when his team sent preservation notices to a number of teams and staff members informing them that they must not alter or destroy any relative document to his case.
But the man who started this whole thing off has claimed Massa is not interested in the sporting merit, instead suggesting he only wants to line his own pockets.
Bernie Ecclestone says Felipe Massa clan ‘only it in for the money’
Ecclestone was the metaphorical tin opener for this can of worms when he made the revelation earlier this year that a long accepted version of events following 2008’s ‘Crashgate’ was actually incorrect.
Following Nelson Piquet Jnr’s crash into the wall which led to Fernando Alonso’s victory in Singapore and hurt Massa’s fortunes in the championship, it was understood that F1 and the FIA were unaware the crash had been deliberate until after Piquet Jnr left the team the following year.
The FIA have long stated that the season is declared done following the prize giving ceremony at the end of the year and were therefore unwilling to retract or alter any result, leaving Hamilton to be the World Champion.
But earlier this year, Ecclestone admitted that he and then-FIA boss Max Mosley had been aware of Renault’s manipulation of the Singapore race before the end of 2008, going against what had previously been the accepted version of events.
Shortly after, Massa declared his intention of bringing about a legal case and although Ecclestone has since denied making the comments, saying he cannot remember doing so, the former Ferrari driver is pushing on with his efforts.
Massa’s lawyer Bernardo Viana was quoted as saying they “want to bring home the trophy” but Ecclestone has suggested there is an ulterior motive.
“The Massa clan is only in it for the money. But the chances of that are zero,” Ecclestone told Swiss newspaper Blick.
Ecclestone went on to suggest that Hamilton and Mercedes could have brought legal action after the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and although the team did initially consider this, they dropped that intention and conceded the title to Max Vertsappen.
“Lawsuits against the FIA could have been filed by Hamilton with Mercedes after the not very clean 2021 finale in Abu Dhabi.”