Ecclestone “cannot remember” key Crashgate interview

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Former Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has said he does not remember saying that he knew in 2008 that then-Renault driver Nelson Piquet’s crash in that year’s Singapore Grand Prix was deliberate.

The incident, which was subsequently dubbed ‘Crashgate’, allowed Piquet’s teammate Fernando Alonso to leapfrog much of the rest of field as they pitted under Safety Car conditions, setting the stage for the Spaniard to win the race.

Felipe Massa had been leading the race before Piquet’s crash, but a pit stop error saw the Brazilian leave with his fuel hose still attached, costing him a lot of time and causing him to finish the race outside the points.

Ecclestone was quoted earlier this year saying that he and former FIA President Max Mosley were aware of the deliberate nature of the incident at the time but failed to act.

However, Reuters on Friday quoted Ecclestone as saying he was unsure over what exactly he had said.

“I don’t remember any of this, to be honest. I don’t remember giving the interview, for sure,” Ecclestone said, adding that neither Massa nor the Brazilian’s lawyers had approached him to ask what he might have said.

Massa would eventually lose the 2008 Drivers’ Championship by one point from Lewis Hamilton, and Ecclestone’s supposed quotations had been the catalyst for Massa to initiate legal action against F1 and the FIA.

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