Jean Todt backs Massa over ‘rigged’ 2008 race

Thu, 7 December 2023, 08:00

Dec.7 (GMM) Jean Todt, the former Ferrari boss and ex-FIA president, has offered words of support for Felipe Massa’s quest to be named the 2008 world champion.

Few respected figures in Formula 1 have gotten behind Massa’s threatened legal action, based on revelations about the infamous ‘crashgate’ scandal of the 2008 Singapore GP.

Frenchman Todt, now 77, had just stepped down as Ferrari boss when the scandal struck, and he was also yet to take office as the new FIA president.

When asked about Massa’s quest to be crowned 2008 world champion in Lewis Hamilton’s place, Todt told La Stampa newspaper: “I don’t get into the controversy.

“But for him, psychologically, it was very hard. Maybe we could have been tougher when the story came out. There is no doubt that the Singapore GP was rigged and should have been cancelled.”

Todt, whose son Nicholas was Massa’s manager, was speaking to Italy’s La Stampa as the sad ten-year anniversary of Michael Schumacher’s December 2013 skiing fall approaches.

“Michael is a friend but I consider him part of my family,” he said when asked about the seven time world champion. “I go to see him regularly and in the past we have followed the races on television.”

But that’s all Todt is willing to say about the highly-secretive health condition of the now 54-year-old German.

“‘How is he?’ is impossible to find the answer because perhaps the answer does not exist,” he insisted. “It’s better to keep everything private.

“The only thing I will say is that I adore Michael, I adore his family, and it is right to respect their privacy. The relationship with him at first was only professional, then it became more trusting, until it became a great friendship.”

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