Felipe Massa misses Italian Grand Prix amid pending legal battle

Felipe Massa misses Italian Grand Prix amid pending legal battle

Felipe Massa has decided not to attend the Italian Grand Prix amid his pending legal battle against F1 and the FIA.

Former Ferrari F1 racing driver Felipe Massa has not been seen at the Italian circuit this weekend as a legal battle against F1 and the FIA over the 2008 championship title is heating up behind the scenes.

Contrary to other reports, Massa chose not to attend the Grand Prix, where he is honored for his years of dedicated commitment to Ferrari and where he is received as a hero.

Massa is one of a number of former F1 drivers who serve as ambassadors for the sport, promoting it in the paddock. Other current F1 ambassadors include Mika Hakkinen and the present Jacques Villeneuve.

Rumors had indicated that Massa had been prevented from attending the Grand Prix by FOM because he was planning to file a lawsuit against F1 and the FIA.

Racetrackmasters.com is aware that Massa decided it was inappropriate to go in his capacity as a current F1 ambassador, however the Brazilian is still welcome to attend the event in his personal capacity.

Given that his legal team provided a deadline on September 8 to file a petition to start legal proceedings in the UK High Court, Massa may also be trying to avoid further public attention at the time.

A source additionally disclosed to Racetrackmasters.com that it is untrue to say that banners supporting Massa that had been visible on the trackside had been removed.

Massa is taking legal action over the result of the 2008 Formula One World Championship, which he lost to Lewis Hamilton who was at the time driving for McLaren by only a single point.

In an incident now known as “Crashgate,” then-Renault driver Nelson Piquet Jr. intentionally crashed his car during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix in order to bring out a well-timed Safety car and assist teammate Fernando Alonso in winning the race.

The Brazilian revealed the scheme to rig the race before Piquet was dismissed by Renault shortly after. Felipe Massa’s concern was that, although being in first place at the time, he lost the race as a result of a pit-stop blunder in which he drove away with his fuel hose still attached to his car.

With Bernie Ecclestone, the former head of Formula One, revealing earlier this year that he had prior knowledge of Renault’s manipulation than first believed, Massa considered his legal options to challenge that race result; if those results were overturned, he would have won the World Championship that year.

Massa’s legal team has written a letter of intent to both F1 and the FIA after receiving a response to postpone the matter for up to three months.

“It is clear that members of the legal team have been operating during the summer break,” the letter reads. “Work on a response should have begun promptly upon receipt of the Letter Before Claim and summer absences should not have prevented that.

“These are important claims which call into question the integrity of the sport as a whole. As such, they should be prioritised.

“An open-ended timeframe for a response is not consistent with the Pre-Action Protocol.

“Please provide your response by 4 pm on 8 September 2023, failing which we anticipate being instructed to file claims in the UK High Court.”

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