Nelson Piquet Junior claims he was treated “like a dog” after his involvement in a 2008 controversy which paved the way for Lewis Hamilton to win his first Formula 1 drivers’ championship.



Hamilton clinched the title in a dramatic final race of the season, overtaking Timo Glock at the death to pip rival Felipe Massa to top honours. However, that outcome was only made possible by a slip-up from Massa in the Singapore Grand Prix, a few weeks before the finale in Brazil.



Massa is considering his legal options after comments from former Formula 1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone about the Singapore race.

The comments relate to Piquet being instructed by his team to crash deliberately, setting in motion a chain of events which allowed Piquet’s Renault team-mate Fernando Alonso to stand atop the podium.



“Many people ask me if I would do it again, and of course the answer is no, but to be at that age, under that pressure and having nobody there with you, with the bullying, complaining, pressure and always being told: ‘this is your last chance’ [was tough.],”

Piquet told Pelas Pistas (via RacingNews365 ). The driver was 23 at the time, and said he had been put under “a lot of pressure” by Renault’s then-boss Flavio Briatore.



“You see your dream, which you spent your whole life [aiming for] going wrong, and [suddenly] I was the teammate who wasn’t as strong as [Fernando] Alonso, after [Heikki] Kovalainen. I stayed [for 2009], and then they broke my contract and said: [Romain] Grosjean will take your place.

“I said: ‘You can’t do that’ but they didn’t care and treated me like a dog. That’s when I said: ‘Ok, since you are kicking me out, thinking I am trash, we need to make everything clear and that’s when everyone knew about the story.”



Massa started the Singapore Grand Prix on pole, but his race fell apart after Piquet’s crash. The Ferrari driver left the pit lane with the fuel hose still attached, and ended up with no points after being forced to rejoin the race at the back of the field.

Alonso ended up winning the race, with Hamilton in third. The Englishman then went on to win the Chinese Grand Prix, setting up the final day drama.

Until now, it had been thought that there was no way for Massa to challenge the outcome. Season results cannot be changed once the awards ceremony at the end of the year is complete, per FIA statutes, but Ecclestone’s comments have prompted questions.”

There is a rule that says that when a championship is decided, from the moment the driver receives the champion’s trophy, things can no longer be changed, even if it has been proven a theft,” Massa told

“At the time, Ferrari’s lawyers told me about this rule. We went to other lawyers and the answer was that nothing could be done.”

So I logically believed in this situation. But after 15 years, we hear that the [former] owner of the category says that he found out in 2008, together with the president of the FIA, and they did nothing, to not tarnish the name of F1.

“This is very sad, to know the result of this race was supposed to be cancelled and I would have a title. In the end, I was the one who lost the most with this result. So, we are going after it to understand all this.

“There are rules, and there are many things that, depending on the country, you cannot go back after 15 years to resolve a situation. But I intend to study the situation; study what the laws say, and the rules. We have to have an idea of what is possible to do.”


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