Singapore 2008 “was rigged and should have been cancelled,” says Jean Todt

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Photo credits: Jean Todt on Twitter

Only two years ago it was Max Verstappen breaking the streak that was taking Lewis Hamilton straight into winning his 8th championship, beating Michael Schumacher’s record. 

Now it is Max at his third consecutive championship in a season where him and his RB19 had absolutely no rivals. Quite an incredible season for Red Bull that leaves us wondering whether someone will be able to catch up in 2024. 

“Do you recall 2005? Same team, same drivers after a triumphant season,” former Ferrari Team Principal Jean Todt told italian newspaper  “La Stampa” when asked about it.


“There is Schumacher, but still we are not competitive. We are fast again in 2006, but we lose because of some reliability issues. Michael announces a first farewell to Formula 1. He will be back in 2010 with Mercedes. In the meantime we win in 2007 with Raikkonen and lose in the final meters in 2008 with Massa.” 

It’s the last lap of the Brazilian Grand Prix, home hero Felipe Massa is leading the race and at the Ferrari garage everyone is convinced he is crossing the finishing line to win the championship, was it not that a 23-year-old Lewis Hamilton overtakes Timo Glock to take the P5 that is needed to claim the first of his 7 world championships.

A rather controversial championship, for which Massa recently called for further investigations following an interview in which Bernie Ecclestone recalled that he and Max Mosley – at the time president of the FIA – knew about Piquet’s deliberate crash soon after the race but decided not to take action.

With four races to go Massa lost important points for the championship, finding himself caught in the chaos that resulted from Nelson Piquet Jr purposefully crashing into the wall in order to call out the safety car that gave his then teammate Fernando Alonso to win the Singapore GP.

A black page for Formula 1 that Toadt has no doubts about. 

“I won’t get into the controversy. It was quite tough for him psychologically. Maybe we could have been firmer when that story came out. There is no doubt that the Singapore Grand Prix was rigged and should have been cancelled, ” he remarked.

That 2008 was also the year another familiar face for F1 took over his role as Ferrari Team Principal: current Formula 1 CEO  Stefano Domenicali.

But was does Toadt think about his former colleague?

“I’m happy about his great career. We spent this 16 years together,” he said.

“He was fired from Ferrari a bit unfairly, but that negative moment soon turned into an opportunity. He is working very well. Every once in a while fate seems bad at first, but then it gives us satisfaction”