“Yes, it was a mistake" - Nelson Piquet Jr. on 'Crashgate' that impacted 2008 F1 title battle between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa

Nelson Piquet
Nelson Piquet's crash changed the complexion of the 2008 title battle.

Nelson Piquet Jr. admits that the Crashgate and the subsequent impact on the 2008 title battle between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa was a mistake.

The 2008 Singapore GP saw Piquet intentionally crash during the race to help his teammate Fernando Alonso win. There were, however, other impacts that included Felipe Massa suffering a disastrous pit stop and in turn helping Lewis Hamilton outscore the Brazilian.

In the last few days, Crashgate has been in the news again, and Piquet, one of the perpetrators of the incident, has admitted that it was a mistake. As quoted by Italy24as, he said on the Pelas Pistas podcast:

“It was a team order to help someone within our team; it was not to harm Felipe Massa; it was nothing like that. Yes, it was a mistake. There was no such thing. It was a mistake. But in the position I was in, dreaming of staying in F1 for many years, the Singapore race arrived, and they psychologically cornered me.”

When asked if he would do the same thing again, the Brazilian replied in the negative:

“My normal answer is: ‘No, obviously not’. But at that age, under that pressure, you don’t have anyone there with you, except a bully like that, always complaining, always pushing, always warning: ‘This is your last chance’.
"Chasing your life and I had the feeling that everything was going backwards because I was supposed to have done more tests, that it would be another teammate not as strong as Alonso, Kovalainen, so yes, I made a mistake.”

Lewis Hamilton's move to Ferrari still an option?

Former Ferrari driver Gerhard Berger reckons Lewis Hamilton could move to the Italian team, as his contract with Mercedes winds down:

“Every racing driver wants to drive for Ferrari at least once. Almost all the good ones have been there. Ayrton Senna just didn’t go to the Scuderia because he knew: ‘I can never win there’.
"It may be that Lewis thinks so, too. But if he doesn’t get a competitive car at Mercedes, if he doesn’t see a place at Red Bull Racing, then he might think: ‘I don’t want to stop just yet. I want to try Ferrari again. Maybe I can fix it’."

Lewis Hamilton's future has not been decided yet. It remains to be seen if there's a twist in the tale many have not envisaged.

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Edited by Bhargav
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