Felipe Massa surprised by FIA president's comments on the 2008 F1 championship legal battle

F1 Grand Prix of Monaco - Practice
Felipe Massa walks in the Paddock prior to practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Monaco at Circuit de Monaco

Former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa stated that he was surprised by FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem's comments regarding his 2008 championship legal case.

The Brazilian has claimed that he was "robbed out of the title" in the 2008 season and filed a legal case against the sport. While preparing their responses on the matter, the FIA President mentioned that in his recent conversation with Felipe Massa, he had suggested that the sport's governing body would defend its corner.

Speaking with Reuters, Ben Sulayem said:

"I answered him saying 'It's up to you, you do what you think is right for you, but the FIA will have to protect themselves. We have our rules, we have our sporting rules, and our statutes, which say a certain period after that you can't [do anything]... but people can challenge that. It's not the book of God."

As per Autosport, Felipe Massa responded that he was "surprised" by the comments as he never had a conversation with Ben Sulayem regarding his case. He said:

“I was a little surprised, because we didn't have this conversation with him. We never talked about the case. In the end, I didn't have a conversation with him. I sent a message explaining the case and saying that I was available for us to talk, but he never responded to me. We never had that conversation.

Felipe Massa doubles down on his stance in the legal case

Felipe Massa pointed out that he had no issues with FIA and FOM defending the sport but the case was about getting justice and defending it.

He added:

“I hope and believe that the FIA has to defend the sport. But it's not [about] defending itself, but defending what is fair and what is right for sport in general. I think that's the main point. We understand that they are the same companies, but they are different people compared to those of the time.
“I hope the people today show that things are different, so I hope that the people who are in charge today, both in the FIA and FOM, see that this type of situation is unacceptable and that they can't turn their backs on a case like this. I really hope they clean it up.”

The Brazilian had lost the 2008 title to Lewis Hamilton on the last lap. As per the Evening Standard, Massa's lawyers informed F1 that the driver lost out on more than €10 million in bonuses and earnings due to Renault team bosses fixing the 2008 Singapore GP with a deliberate crash.

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