Crashgate cost me the drivers' title, says Massa

The Ferrari driver Felipe Massa said yesterday that Renault's cheating tactics which won Fernando Alonso last year's Singapore Grand Prix cost him the 2008 title.

In an interview with Globoesporte.com, the 28-year-old Brazilian, who is recovering from the head injury that he sustained during qualifying for the Hungarian GP in July, said that without "Crashgate" Lewis Hamilton would not have beaten him by a point.

"I was very upset with everything that happened," Massa said. "Not only with what Renault did, which was theft. It created a lot of things, and the safety car with Nelson Piquet meant that most of the cars had to go the pits, and I was one of them. We had 10 cars going in. My stop went wrong. There were too many of us at the same time. A mechanic pressed a button in a situation that would never have happened in a normal pit stop. That's why it bothers me, that Renault stole the win.

"The result remains the same," Massa continued, alluding to Alonso's tarnished victory. "This is not right. For me it should have been changed. I lost the title by one point. But I am not and never will be a driver who thinks, 'I could have been world champion'. Even if they write today in my CV that I am the champion, after a year, I don't think it would make any difference. There comes a time when there is nothing that can be done. It is the rule, and the FIA decide."

The leader in this year's title race, Jenson Button, insisted that he had been misquoted when he said he would not be trying to clinch the title in the Japanese GP here this weekend. He needs to finish five points ahead of his Brawn team-mate, Rubens Barrichello, to be sure of the crown. Even if he then failed to score and Barrichello were to win the remaining two races, and they thus tied on points, he would take the title on the basis of six wins to four.

"I never said that I don't want to win this race," he said. "I go to every one wanting to win. People get confused. I want to win Suzuka for sure, I have a lot of connections, past and present, with Japan and for sure I want to win here this weekend. But I most want to do what I need to do to win the championship.

"I'm looking forward to the weekend because it's a great circuit," Button added in reference to Suzuka, which has been absent from the Formula One race calendar for two years. "I've missed it a lot. It possibly is my favourite circuit."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Larry David and Rosie Perez in ‘Fish in the Dark’
theatreReview: Had Fish in the Dark been penned by a civilian it would have barely got a reading, let alone £10m advance sales
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable