You ever had a really big argument with your parents, but you still have to show up to a family dinner right afterward? Well, that’s Felipe Massa right now. Except he was asked not to show up at all to the 2023 Formula 1 Italian GP because of his pending legal action against F1 for his 2008 championship loss.
According to Autosport, a spokesperson for Massa said that “high-ranking” F1 officials called Massa on Monday and asked him not to attend the race. This comes after initial reports that Massa was asked not to attend as an F1 ambassador and could attend as a private individual. It seems that both parties came to an agreement after Massa purchased flight tickets to get to Monza.
All of this comes from Massa’s pending legal action against F1 in which he claims millions in damages from his championship loss in 2008. The former Ferrari driver decided to take action when information came to light that former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone and other F1 officials were made aware of the Crashgate scandal during the 2008 season, not afterward as has been officially reported. Massa argues that he is a “victim of conspiracy” because Ecclestone took no action, and Massa lost the 2008 title in the final lap of the season with a razor-thin points margin.
Massa is seeking compensation for the loss, but is also seeking “recognition that, but for those unlawful acts, he would have been awarded the 2008 Championship.” This is the most tenuous part of the ordeal, as F1 and the FIA consider the results of championships a closed book after the prize-giving ceremony at the end of each season.
While it is highly unlikely Massa will get an admission like that from F1, it’s possible that he could be compensated. But as this action from F1 shows, there will be consequences for pursuing this. First, it's his F1 ambassadorship. But there will be reputation damage to Massa for trying to undermine the results of a championship that happened 15 years ago. Nonetheless, Massa won’t be seen at any Grands Prix anytime soon.
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