'It's not about money' - Why Lewis Hamilton could have his most important F1 title taken away from him
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Lewis Hamilton could be stripped of one of his most important Formula One world titles.
The 38-year-old has won the F1 world championship on seven occasions, sharing the record with the legendary Michael Schumacher.
But Hamilton could have one taken off him amid a legal challenge from former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa. Hamilton, racing for Mclaren at the time, beat the Brazilian by the narrowest of margins to claim his first ever F1 world title back in 2008.
Just a single point separated the two but the season was engulfed in controversy through the "crashgate" scandal.
At the Singapore Grand Prix, it later emerged that Nelson Piquet Jr, on the orders of Renault, had intentionally crashed to help out teammate Fernando Alonso, who went on to win the race.
It meant a safety car was introduced but Massa, who was initially in pole position, was directly affected and he endured a botched pit stop, losing out on vital points as a result.
Renault were charged with match-fixing and managing director Flavio Briatore and engineering director Pat Symonds both left their roles.
There have been claims that former F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone knew information regarding the scandal and Massa, with the help of lawyers, is now attempting to overturn the season result 15 years on.
"The first thing when Bernie's comment [came out] I was really, really surprised, for those comments," Massa said prior to Sunday's Miami Grand Prix.
"Because everybody knows what happened in the race, everything came out in 2009.
"We hear after that also that Charlie [Whiting] knew and Max [Mosley] [both from the FIA], so for me it's the injustice for the sport.
"It shows that maybe every decision on the legal side, everything that happens, it was not correct in that situation.
"So I took the decision to study the legal side of everything that happened. I'm not doing this for money but I'm doing this for justice.
Not only for me, but for my friends, my country, my family, Ferrari and Ferrari fans, so in the end there are so many things.
"You know what a championship does for a country? You can develop the country, we don't have Brazilian drivers now racing as well, so there are so many things.
"This is racing, everything that went wrong is part of the game. When you have a problem in the engine or when you have a mistake.
"You cannot really say 'I was wrong because my engine broke down'. No. But what happened in that race is a different situation."
Massa has 11 Grand Prix wins and 41 podium appearances but 2008 was the closest he ever came to winning the world title.
He retired from F1 at the end of the 2017 season.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Lewis Hamilton, Formula 1