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“I Had No Knowledge”: Former Renault Boss Absolves Himself Amid Ongoing Felipe Massa-Lewis Hamilton Legal Feud

Sabyasachi Biswas

“I Had No Knowledge”: Former Renault Boss Absolves Himself Amid Ongoing Felipe Massa-Lewis Hamilton Legal Feud

Amid the ongoing legal feud between Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton, former Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul has referred to himself as a “useful idiot“. Abiteboul revealed that he had no knowledge about Nelson Piquet Jr’s deliberate crash at the 2008 Singapore GP to help Fernando Alonso clinch victory.

The Frenchman told Dans La Boîte À Gants podcast as per PlanetF1, “I was a bit of a useful idiot, too! We were in the middle of driver negotiations. We were negotiating the renewal of Piquet’s contract or not. Indeed, we see a car that is going into the wall. We see Alonso who has the right strategy. We see that we won.”

Following this, he added, “Indeed, during this weekend I felt a lot of tension in the driver discussions, obviously, but that’s why I speak of a useful idiot. I had absolutely no knowledge of what was going on at this time.” Even though it helped Alonso to claim the win, it jeopardized Felipe Massa’s championship chances.

Now, Massa who felt he was cheated, filed a lawsuit against F1 and the FIA. Although the former Ferrari star found blockades in most of his efforts, former FIA head Jean Todt has supported him.

How did the lawsuit from Felipe Massa come into existence?

The 2008 F1 season was Felipe Massa’s only realistic shot at winning the title, which Lewis Hamilton claimed by overtaking Jarno Truli right at the end of the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix. While the title was decided at the Brazilian GP, the infamous Crashgate scandal in Singapore was a key reason why the Briton emerged victorious.

Bernie Ecclestone discussed about the same in one of his interviews last year. He shockingly revealed that he knew about the Crashgate scandal and that the governing body deliberately did nothing to cancel the result to avoid further controversy. However, Felipe Massa was enraged after hearing the same and decided to file a lawsuit as a result.

In his lawsuit, the former Brazilian driver demanded $13 million as compensation. However, his demands have not been met so far. Moreover, even Lewis Hamilton showed no interest in responding to the lawsuit.

A letter brought out by Massa’s team of lawyers read, “Mr Massa is the rightful 2008 Driver’s Champion, and F1 and FIA deliberately ignored the misconduct that cheated him out of that title. Mr Massa is unable to fully quantify his losses at this stage but estimates that they are likely to exceed tens of millions of Euros.”

Post Edited By:Vidit Dhawan

About the author

Sabyasachi Biswas

Sabyasachi Biswas


Sabyasachi Biswas is an F1 journalist at The SportsRush. With over one and a half decades of love for the sport and five years of experience in the field, he dreams to be a regular at the paddock when the lights go out. A Red Bull fan and F1 fan in general over the years, he enjoyed watching Felipe Massa, Sebastian Vettel, and Max Verstappen dominate the track. Apart from F1, he's also a big-time Madridista and Federer fanatic. He was a sub-junior level footballer, won inter-district quizzes and debate competitions back in school. A travel freak throughout, he tries different cuisines and learns new cultures whenever he's away from the keyboard.

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