Bernie Ecclestone makes weird ‘crashgate’ confession and calls Lewis Hamilton ‘fortunate’ | F1


The Mercedes driver enters the 2023 season, aged 38, hoping to raised the joint report of seven titles he shares with Michael Schumacher.

His first title, as a McLaren driver in 2008, has now been referenced by Ecclestone who insists Hamilton ought to nonetheless be a six-time champion.

Hamilton received the 2008 title after the ‘crashgate’ scandal – the place Nelson Piquet Jr crashed on goal to assist Renault team-mate Fernando Alonso win the race. Hamilton’s title rival Felipe Massa was unable to attain sufficient factors following the accident.

Former F1 supremo Ecclestone, 92, has now advised F1 Insider: “Max Mosley (then FIA chairman) and I have been briefed in the course of the 2008 season on what occurred in the course of the the race in Singapore Piquet Jr. had advised his father Nelson that he had been requested by the crew to intentionally crash into the wall in some unspecified time in the future with a purpose to set off a security automobile interval and thus assist teammate Alonso.

“Piquet Jr was scared for his contract extension, so he was underneath strain and accepted.

“We’ve got determined to not do something for the second. We needed to guard the game and shield it from an enormous scandal.

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“That is why I persuaded my former driver Nelson Piquet to maintain calm for now.

“At the moment there was the rule {that a} World Championship classification after the FIA ​​prize-giving ceremony on the finish of the yr is untouchable. So Hamilton acquired the championship trophy and all the pieces was advantageous. .”

‘Crashgate’ wasn’t confirmed till a yr after the incident itself.

However Ecclestone admits: “We had sufficient info in time to analyze the matter. In keeping with the statutes, nevertheless, we most likely ought to have canceled the race in Singapore underneath these circumstances. That’s to say, for the classification of the championship, it will by no means have occurred.

“Then Felipe Massa would have grow to be world champion and never Lewis Hamilton.

“I am nonetheless sorry for Massa right now. He received his dwelling race last in Sao Paulo and did all the pieces proper. He was cheated out of the deserved title, whereas Hamilton had all of the luck on the earth and received his first championship.

“As we speak I might have organized it in another way. That is why Michael Schumacher continues to be the one report world champion for me. Even when the statistics say in any other case.”

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