Massa’s legal team on why they believe they can “bring the trophy home”

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Bernardo Viana, a part of Felipe Massa’s legal team, explains why they believe Massa can get the 2008 title, and how they plan to go about getting it.

A lot has been written about Felipe Massa’s planned legal action to overturn the results of the 2008 championship, due to the controversy that happened at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.

The Brazilian wants the results of that race to be changed, because the outcome was influenced by Nelson Piquet Jr. crashing his car on purpose to help his team-mate Fernano Alonso win.

Since Massa ultimately lost the 2008 title battle to Lewis Hamilton by one point, if the results of that race are thrown out, he would end up having more points than the Briton.

There has been some talk regarding Massa’s true motivation, whether it was monetary compensation or if he actually wants to get the 2008 title.

Bernardo Viana, from the Sao Paulo Vieira Rezende Advogados law firm that represents Massa, says the goal of the legal action is absolutely the title.

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“The objective is to bring the trophy home, it’s not financial,” Viana told Autosport.

“To get there, several measures will be taken with different aims, some to obtain information and others to obtain statements.

“We want everything that happened in 2008/2009 to come to light. We are quite confident in the evidence we have, without prejudice to the additional ones we are looking for, and without prejudice to everything that will come to light.

“We understand that there is even more information that has not been made public.”

Viana added Massa has a strong legal team assembled around him.

“We assembled a stellar legal team across many areas and many jurisdictions to analyse things. We wanted to reach the conclusion if there was no claim or there was a claim. And we believe we have a strong case.”

The whole situation was actually sparked by former F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone’s alleged comments made in an interview with F1-Insider.

Ecclestone allegedly claimed that he and Max Mosley (FIA president back in 2008) knew that the rules were breached before the end of the 2008 season, but decided not to do anything about it.

The word ‘allegedly’ is used here, because Reuters contacted Ecclestone about this statement, and he denied having any memory of it.

Viana says Ecclestone’s memory (or lack thereof), or the fact that Mosley has since passed away and therefore cannot be questioned, doesn’t change anything.

“Irrelevant. We’re pretty confident with the evidence that we have. More than that, I cannot say at the moment.”

Viana then explained why he believes the legal action should lead to Massa receiving the 2008 title.

“We understand that the proper remedy would be the cancellation of the race, as Bernie admitted, and that he, Mosley and Whiting always understood was the case.

“It was the proper way to approach the regulations. And even if they wanted to partially cancel the race, let’s say count the race until lap 14 [when Piquet crashed], Felipe would have been a champion as well, based on the regulations of the time.

“He would receive 50% of the points. Felipe was robbed of 10 points that day, and he lost the championship by one. So the math is very clear.”

In the end, Viana said the case is not aimed against Hamilton.

“Felipe has nothing against Hamilton, absolutely nothing. This case is against what was done by the previous leadership at FOM and FIA.

“We have nothing against Hamilton,” he concluded.

We would like to add that the whole case actually doesn’t have anything to do with Hamilton. Lewis wasn’t involved in the 2008 incident in any way, nor did it help him directly in any way.

Piquet Jr.’s deliberate crash actually affected all drivers in the same way, except for Alonso, who directly benefitted and won the race.

Therefore, taking the title away from Lewis on account of Piquet crashing on purpose, would be absolutely unjust

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