Massa back-tracks after claiming Alonso knew about Singapore conspiracy

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Massa believes Alonso was in on Renault's Singapore scheme
Massa believes Alonso was in on Renault's Singapore scheme

Felipe Massa is trying to downplay comments made to Brazilian media about what role Fernando Alonso might have had in the Singapore Grand Prix scandal last year.

Massa originally told the press he suspected Alonso knew of the plan for Nelson Piquet Jnr to crash in the early stages of the Grand Prix, helping Alonso to win the race:

Alonso was part of the problem. He knew. We can not know it [but] of course he knew. [It’s an] absolute certainty.
Felipe Massa

Perhaps he forgot for a moment who his team mate is next year? He later tried to soften the remarks, adding:

This episode will not mar in any way the relationship I’ll have with Fernando when we will be team-mates.
Felipe Massa

Alonso, wisely, didn’t take the bait:

I think first of all, I don’t know what is true or not – maybe it was a misunderstanding with Felipe or the media or whatever. So it is difficult to know what is true and what is not true about what he said. Later he said a different thing.
Fernando Alonso

The last thing Alonso wants is fresh discussion about the affair. The World Motor Sports Council denied he played any role but the fact he stood to gain most from the conspiracy has provoked a lot of suspicion. And not just online (see previous articles for plenty of that) – even Martin Brundle took to calling him ‘Teflonso’ the other week.

It all serves to heighten anticipation of Massa and Alonso at Ferrari next year. They’ve had a few scrapes over the years: Alonso received a penalty that was widely deemed too harsh for delayin Massa at Monza in 2006; in 2007 Alonso went off at the first turn in his home race while trying to pass Massa, and the pair had a heated argument after clashing on the final lap at the N???rburgirng that year as well.

Massa will be Alonso’s first competitive team mate since Lewis Hamilton. Will the new duo get on any better after this rocky start? And is Massa right or wrong?

Renault Singapore crash controversy

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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142 comments on “Massa back-tracks after claiming Alonso knew about Singapore conspiracy”

  1. I think someone with just some racing experience would get it if your team would be putting you to pit on lap 13, starting so far back.

    1. The thing is though, Alonso had already set his strategy before the whole crash thing was discussed.

      Symonds and Mr x say Piquet suggested crashing after qualifying and Piquet says that he was told to crash on Sunday (never denying that he had suggested it himself on saturday).

      Either way, the plan for the crash was only formed AFTER Alonso had his problem in qualifying. Thus AFTER his strategy was already set.

      It wouldn’t have made sense to think of it before qualifying since Alonso was doing great earlier in the weekend. He looked set for a good result without that crash. Until of course, his fuel pump broke during qualifying.

      1. Does anyone know when the fuel weights were declared last year?

        1. Art. 29.1 c:

          c) Any competitor whose car is eligible but unable to take part Q3 must, prior to the start of Q3, inform the FIA in writing what quantity of fuel they wish to add to the car. Any such refuelling will take place when the car is released from parc fermé on the day of the race.

          1. ZP:

            They can start the race with the amount of fuel they wish but, they have to decide it BEFORE Q3 starts.


            The plot was planned AFTER Renault (and Fernando) have set the race strategy for his car, as Patrickl has already pointed out in his comment.

            About this issue you said its hard for you to think F Alonso haven’t had any concern about his fuel strategy, and that was your point for thinking F Alonso should have known about the conspiracy.

            If F Alonso had concerns about his race strategy or not, is not relevant from the moment his race strategy was agreed BEFORE the plot was planned.

        2. Fuel weights weren’t declared in 2008, that started this year.

          1. Yes they were. Maybe you are confused because they didn’t have to give those weights to the viewers?

            The bit that IDR quoted is from the 2008 sporting regs.

          2. Alonso’s car was not eligible for Q3, his pump failed when he went out for his first Q2 run.

            Does that mean they could have started with the amount they wished? I thought only the top 10 had fixed fuel levels.

          3. Ah sorry, yes, I thought he meant publicly declared.

          4. just because it hadn’t been discussed with PK yet doesn’t mean that after the bad qualifying flav and pat had a discussion…

            straight after the qualifying they could have talked about it, then brought it to the next day.

      2. Oh come on – that strategy was crazy starting from 15th on the grid. Who are you kidding?

        1. Yes so? He did it quite a few times (starting from the front, but it really is just as silly then). Hamilton did it in Monaco starting from the back.

          Either way, it proves nothing since they locked themselves on that strategy BEFORE they discussed the crash with Piquet.

      3. Symonds and Mr x say Piquet suggested crashing after qualifying and Piquet says that he was told to crash on Sunday (never denying that he had suggested it himself on saturday).
        Either way, the plan for the crash was only formed AFTER Alonso had his problem in qualifying. Thus AFTER his strategy was already set.

        Could not agree more.

        1. I have a feeling that Flavio and Symmonds hatched the Alonso strategy with a definite safety car in mind…it being a new street circuit… but since they were not sure if it was going to happen, they adopt Nelsinho’s plan just to be on the safe side.

          When Alonso jumped out of the car after the race the only thing he could say, was SAfety Car, as if he couldn’t believe his luck… come to think of it, maybe Alonso was truthful and actually had nothing to do with it and all that it was that Flavio promised him a safety car gamble and as long as teflonso is concerned the gamble paid off…

          but if i were in his shoes??? i’d definitely think something is up…why wouldn’t he?

      4. Patric, WE only know what is reported, the finer points of whatever was said or the timing of events, will have been subject to spin, from the moment this plan was concieved, you would have to question why? would Alonso have settled on a strategy that needed a safety car to work, as you said he was doing fine until his fuel pump broke. WE have no real idea when this plan was discussed, and who was involved, it seems unlikely that any others would want to admit their involvement, if there was no proof …

        1. Patric, WE only know what is reported

          Yes, and for that case, what is reported by the 3 people involved, an unknown witness, FIA stewards, a Private investigation company and FIA lawyers says, that plan was formed after Q3 ended.

          Maybe YOU have some insightful information about how and when that conspiracy was planned, for saying:

          WE have no real idea when this plan was discussed, and who was involved

          If so, I would appreciate if you share it with us.

          1. IDR, when did any info coming from the FIA suddenly have integrity? seems to me there was’nt a problem until Flavio put the boot into Piquet…I would have thought that the Piquet’s and their lawyers would have sat down, and thrashed out all the details before they went public. in turn all other parties involved would have done the same, and who thought it necessary to get P.I’s on the case? And when did we start taking the word of lawyers??

          2. It doesn’t make sense that they planned the crash before qualifying since Alonso was doing fine on his own.

            So why wouldn’t we believe 3 witnesses who say that the plan was formed after qualifying?

          3. Well does it make sense to use the very powerfull computers in between races to map out many different scenarios, and simulate the possibilities, probably started with a comment,’ I wonder what will happen If…..’? I take your point about 3 witnesses, but I also take on board all the past incidents where the information is fed to us by the media, and individuals with vested interests. F1 is a Show, a very expensive one, and like all shows it thrives on drama, and generates comment…

  2. 2010 will be a great year for Ferrari!!! (Sarcasm)

    1. Ferrari will win the titles I expect and hope :)

      1. Alonso / Massa and Ferrari will get on like fire together.

        1. Stealing each others fuel and fizzling out prematurely?

        2. Yes… like running with a burning tinderbox through a fireworks factory… while holding a pair of scissors… :D

    2. I think it’ll be 2007 once again. Even worse, since neither of Massa or Alonso is cold-minded.

  3. I’ll say what I have said before: I just think it’s a nice battle of the minds more than anything, Massa may have his contract up soon and is still recovering and Alonso is a brilliant driver (I think Felipe could beat him but both sides will have a tough fight).
    I think their relationship will be all talk now but actually they will be okay once next season commences. The first race will be interesting; both have won Bahrain twice.
    Massa will want to stay there in the future and fight for titles and Fernando knows his reputation has been damaged, first by 07 and then by Singapore (it matters little what the Council says when speaking to fans as just look at anti-Alonso comments you get, although partly due to his love/hate nature) so he won’t want any trouble here and Ferrari is his last option really, noone knows who will be where, Renault are midfield, Mclaren you would expect to be strong but he can’t go back there and Ferrari are the only others you would expect to give him a chance at the title.
    I think it may turn out Mclaren are the ones too watch; Hamilton’s weren’t too happy apparantly at Nico going to Mclaren and it seems Kimi will go there now. Kimi may not care but the other side of the garage may have issues if they are their ‘star role’ in the team.

    1. I dont think Hamilton has any problem with Kimi. Kimi going to McLaren would be good for Hamilton, Hamilton didnt have any problems with Alonso, Alonso had problems with McLaren. if Kimi was back at McLaren (where he belongs, his attitude suits Mclaren too) he would work well with hamilton, just give him the car and rac it attitude, he doesnt have any interests with politics in the garage, (makes him the ideal team mate for anyone) he just wants to race. Unlike alonso, who is a driver feuled by his ego, and needs everything to go his way, (briatore gave him everything he wanted) so he is used to getting it.

      Anyway hamilton had some very good drives against Alonso, it made him more competitve, some thing that Heikki hasnot been able to do.

      Kimi and hamilton would work well as they have similar driving attitudes and driving styles which would mean that they could assist each other, which is a completly different to alonso and hamilton.

      I think Kimi and Hamilton would work well.

      Steph, maybe you are just hoping for problems at McLaren? maybe not?, thats just my opinion.

      1. No I’m not hoping or it at all, I may support the other side but I don’t want a team to self-destruct I just want it to be about great racing. I was just exploring ideas as I don’t think Lewis would have that much of a problem but maybe his father…still I don’t really expect either team to have an 07 repeat. Sorry if I gave that impression, I just feel that Ferrari aren’t the only one who will have top class drivers, yes they may be Latino and it may be talk now but I do think it could be managed. Neither will want to risk their position at the team.

    2. I think Felipe could beat him but both sides will have a tough fight

      If the contest is who will cry more, then you are right Steph90, Felipe will beat Fernando.

  4. By the way, what about the KERS next year??

    1. Kers doesn’t seem like it will be used by any of the teams in FOTA except Williams. There is no ban, just was an agreement between FOTA teams.

  5. Alonso was part of the problem. He knew. We can not know it [but] of course he knew. [It’s an] absolute certainty.
    Felipe Massa

    This was said by Massa to the brazilian media.

    This episode will not mar in any way the relationship I’ll have with Fernando when we will be team-mates.
    Felipe Massa

    These sayings are not Massa’s. They were announced by Scuderia Ferrari under the name of Massa in order to calm the things down.

  6. What did Martin mean by ‘Teflonso’. I didn’t understand that? Maybe I’m dumb but could someone explain that?

    1. Teflon is a non-stick substance used to coat frying pans so that food won’t stick to it and ruin it. It’s used to describe people who are involved in scandals and yet seem to come out unscathed – hence Teflon-Alonso, “Teflonsno”

      1. Ahhhh…i should have read all the comments before posting the same question…anyways thanks :-)

      2. LMAO!


        Don’t like the man tough. Always getting out clean from all kind of bad stuff. Spygate in 2007, always complaining when things don’t go his way.ì, crashgate now. That’s a nonsense. Involved but unpunished.

        Anyway I think Ferrari should have focused on Massa as first drive (and give him a good car too) instead of screwin’ up things like they’re doing.

        I believe Massa matured very much during 2008, from lowdowns like the “autospin” of Melbourne to great races like Singapore and Brasil. He deserved to be the first driver, now it’ll all be messed up.

        Once again, it’s sad because Felipe deserved it. Fernando deserves none.

        Just my 2 cents, of course.

        1. I believe Felipe has improved a lot, but even so no driver should automatically have number 1 status, it matters little what they do the season before it is about the season they are in. A driver should only be backed/ prioritised if they are the only driver in the team with a chance of winning the championship otherwise it should all be equal and a nice fight. :)

        2. I wouldn’t say Alonso got away clean from 2007 – he left his seat at a top team and had to return to the (by then) midfield Renault. His reputation took a huge battering as well, and even I as a massive Alonso fan was having second thoughts. It’s taken him two years to get back to a front running team. If all had gone well at McLaren he would surely have won a lot more races, possibly a championship – but instead he’s had two years of having to drive ultimately off the pace cars and his rep has taken another knock (though this time an unfair one) because of the whole Singapore debacle.

          Falling out with Ron and McLaren was partly his fault yes, and its cost him a lot more success.

    2. I think the use of the word in this way began with the ‘Teflon Don’, John Gotti:

      1. I was just about to post that Keith,glad I kept reading.As you can imagine,John Gotti is a big topic here in the states.AKA “Dapper Don” and “The Teflon Don”

      2. Keith, I believe the phrase was originally used in the context of “Teflon Ron” Reagan in the 80’s. Gotti inherited it from that.

  7. Paige Michael-Shetley
    15th October 2009, 21:28

    And so the civil war starts.

    Ferrari made a monumental mistake dumping Raikkonen for Alonso.

    1. Or the mistake was that they kept Massa …

      1. Course it wasn’t! He can win them a title he has been outstanding the past 2 years :) but I am obviously a fan…:P

        1. Past 2 years? First half of 2008 he got beaten by Raikkonen quite handsomely. Then he only drove the first half of this season. So, at best that’s one whole season worth where he outscored Raikkonen.

          Anyway, I wasn’t talking so much about performance. It’s more that Massa is a drama queen and wants things his way. He whines and bitches till things ARE done his way. Alonso wants things his way and he pulls one over on the team if he doesn’t get it his way.

          You can guess where I think that that will go horribly wrong ;)

          1. As usual people want to sector drivers performance. He beat kimi over the course of the year! This year he came to terms with the car faster than kimi and would have still been competitive if he had not been victim to flying debris. Give the guy his due. He may have started ouot as a supporting role but he has come into his own and has shown he is a competent driver with good skill in the race as well as qualifying.
            The mistake was they kept massa is categorically wrong.. the misteak they made was losing kimi and picking up alonso.

          2. I could reverse that …

            Of course the Massa fans want to look only at the whole season and not only the races where Raikkonen still had a good working car.

            Or alternatively, Raikkonen beat Massa this season. You can’t have it both ways.

        2. I’ll bet you a fiver Massa can’t out perform Alonso Steph!

          I think Alonso is the best all around racer in the field.I wish that he wasn’t connected to all bull**** that happened at McLaren and Renault.He knew of the Ferrari documents and I’m pretty sure he is aware of what happened at Renault.I have lost alot of respect for who was my favorite driver.It’s hard to be an F1 fan these days isn’t it?

          1. I will accept that bet Wesley. :)

      2. Yes, this is the point, they should have keep Kimi with Alonso, this would have been great!!!!

    2. Yawn. Let’s let Alonso at least turn a wheel at Ferrari before we try and figure out whether their decision to hire him was correct or not.

      Personally, I think the “monumental mistake” was made by Raikkonen, spending two-thirds of his Ferrari career half-asleep.

      1. couldn’t agree more… on both points

      2. hA HA! He won 07 WDC with Ferrari, was 1st driver since Fangio to take fastest lap, pole and race win on debut with Ferarri, helped them to costructors in 08, and making the most of an under-developed car for the last 4-5 races this year. Imagine if he was wide awake!!

        1. Helped them to win the constructor’s? I like the spin, but he was simply out and out beaten by Massa. I also like your attempted spin on this season – except that Massa had 22 points to Raikkonen’s 10 when he was injured. And with Massa on the sidelines, well it’s anyone’s guess how well Kimi is exploiting that underdeveloped car – and that he’s doing it better than replacement teammates is no great argument in his favour.

  8. Massa vs Alonso is going to be explosive next year, both on and off the track. Should make for an exciting season then!

  9. Well….I have to ask this question, because i don’t get the words-game…

    What means ‘Teflonso’ ??????

    Teflon is coming from the material in the pans????

    I don’t get the point, but i’m not english speaker…


    1. Yep Teflon as in the pans.

      As in nothing sticks to Alonso. He gets away with it clean. :)

  10. Alonso is a great driver, but his flaws were sol obviously exposed in 2007. It was the only season out of his comfort zone (Renault) against a world class teammate, and it all went wrong. On paper Alonso should beat Massa- but then who for a moment expected Massa to perform as well against Raikkonen as he has done?

    And sorry to pick faults in the article, but Massa and Alonso didn’t clash on the last lap at the Nurburgring in 2007, it was about 5 laps before the end!

  11. I think Alonso is doing well being out of the s**t in this one, he wants to win his 3rd WDC and Ferrari is a winning team. I think he’ll talk in the tarmac. Massa is obviously nervous with the new arrival and these comments make it quite obvious. To me Felipe is trying to play mind games but Alonso is, this time at least, only focus in one thing and that is racing. Driving a Ferrari is an unique opportunity and like he’s done at Renault he’ll do as much as he come with the car given.

  12. I don’t see how Massa back-tracked: that would require retracting or downplaying his comment that Alonso knew about the Singapore crash plan. He just said (effectively) ‘but that’s fine as far as working together next year goes.’

    Simple and effective message from Massa: do your worst, I’ll be ready.

  13. i’ve seen you put this in a few massa-alonso articles now, but alonso didn’t pass massa on the last lap at the nurburgring in 07. there were a few laps left and then alonso romped away in the wet conditions. sorry, thought i’d just mention it.
    hope this doesn’t escalate for massa-alonso. nothing worse than a repeat of mclaren’s 2007.

  14. OK reality check, Alonso obviously knew!

    1. Yes, he reads the papers too, i think. ;)

    2. I agree, just like Hamilton knew of stolen Ferrari info…

      1. Yes thats hardly comparable, anyway, so did…Alonso

  15. all you Fernando haters just watch and see what he does with a hopefully competitive car… his F1 career has had controvesy but who’s hasn’t?..

    Massa’s a great driver but he’s inconsistant.. Kimi’s a great driver with the same flaw.. that’s the one problem Alonzo doesn’t have.. you will see him and Lewis rise to the top next year..

    I like this one better.. Tifonzo!!

    1. I do not think that anyone actually ‘hates’ Alonso. I just believe that he has an arrogant, egomaniac, out for himself, always right, never wrong, non-team player mentality just like his good friend, Alberto Contador.

      1. totally agree with you

      2. Sounds like Hamilton or Senna or Schumacher or… wait a minute, that is part of being involved in such a competitive sport… ahhh, got it now!!

        1. well said… :)

  16. Will the duo get on any better? They will no doubt be forced to try and present a “united” front by the Ferrari team, but there is obviously no love lost between them. Particularly from Massa’s side. Teflonso seems to have no human feelings or shame, so he just brushes off the accusations in a shameless way as usual. I bet Teflonso will be trying his hardest to make out they get on like a house on fire in order to improve his shaky image as a prima donna teammate. Massa knows he will have stiff competition, as does Alonso. At this stage, I cannot predict who will be the more successful driver – I think they are much of a muchness. I dislike both of them, but Teffy just pips it for me.

    As for whether Massa is right, well of course he is. He is saying what most people have logically concluded and from all accounts of the articles I have read by various F1 journalists, a fair few drivers think the same despite not saying so on the record (see this article for one: ). In this article, I love Martin Whitmarsh’s quote: McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh offered Ferrari a piece of advice on how to manage the Spaniard last week, “I’m sure as long as Fernando is winning everything will be fine.”

  17. 2010 season s going to be a blast this could end up worse than when Alonso was at McLaren.

    Unfortunately for Alonso Massa is Ferraris Number 1 driver and given the results Massa has had since 2008 I wouldn’t be surprised if at all happens again and Massa outperforms Alonso.

    This goes without saying there will be tension between the 2 drivers next year thats most likely going to affect the WDC/WCC in some way

  18. Alonso has ALWAYS beaten Massa clearly – I dont know how anyone can question who is better of the two.
    Massa is just drinking too much beer in his holiday. Next year he will shine Alonso´s shoes and do the errands for him.

  19. Everybody bang on McLaren with the Alonso/Hamilton episodes – now we will all see that the one to blame was no drought Alonso – When he starts next year’s season alongside Massa – I’m going to be so amused! And that Domenicalli dude doesn’t seam to have what it takes to control the situation and contrary to what some SPANISH papers are making up about Lewis vetting Kimi for McLaren and that he is the one that’s rules the team – it’s so stupid, even for a spanish paper… it’s saying that all McLaren investors and dumb, stupid, Mercedes, Ron Dennis, the Saudi guys… they put the money in and Lewis plays with it… crazy story the make us believe that the problems in the Alonso/Lewis McLaren era was Lewis, but we all know those two – and that Alonso fellow, can’t fool anyone and we will se the prove of that next year at Ferrari with Massa, were the blood will be RED for sure! lol

  20. The battle between them started even before the 2010 season started.It will nice to see both of them sharing the same machine & fighting till death.

    1. This Massa-Alonso pairings remind me of Mansell-Piquet pairing from the 86-87 season. Mansell came over to Williams-Honda in 85 & won a couple of races, he got on ok with Rosberg. Next year Piquet arrived at Williams-Honda as a two-time world champ, much like Alonso. We all know what happened that year. That Williams Honda was the best car, yet both fail to win the WDC. Remember that last race at Adelaide? Epic!! Mansell at that point in time was suffering from extreme inferiority complex, same can be said about Massa now. The likes of Alonso, kimi, Button who all started their career pretty much the same time as Massa have won world titles. In 1987 Mansell has 6 wins to Piquet’s 3. his championship bid ended when he walled it at suzuka & broke his hip. Piquet went on to win the WDC that year & Mansell suffered from more inferiority complex. Massa is pretty much going through the same thing Mansell went through all those years back. He has to win at least one WDC to be part of the golden quartet.

      1. Sorry for all the typos! Feeling very drowsy! Time for bed :(

      2. GeeMac