Rob Smedley, the former Ferrari race engineer of Felipe Massa, explained the feelings experienced on the pit wall immediately after the infamous incident in Singapore.
Felipe Massa’s ongoing legal battle to seek an unlikely reassignment of the 2008 title, lost by the Brazilian by one point to Lewis Hamilton, is well-known. The focus of this legal fight is the infamous Crashgate incident in Singapore, where Felipe Massa’s lawyers aim to have that event erased due to the intentional crash orchestrated by Renault’s leadership involving Piquet Jr.
A personal friend of Felipe Massa, former race engineer Rob Smedley, who worked with the Brazilian throughout his long tenure at Ferrari, has also spoken out on the matter. The 50-year-old Brit, appearing as a guest on The Race’s podcast, recalled that even at the time, despite the lack of concrete evidence, there was a sense within the paddock that Fernando Alonso’s victory was not entirely clean.
“I was watching the scene, and I thought, ‘strange.’ Then you look at the replays, and by the third replay, you think, ‘Okay, now I understand what happened,'” commented Rob Smedley, implying that he immediately grasped the intentional nature of Piquet Jr.’s actions. “It was pretty straightforward to understand. Then the ramifications, repercussions, how you get justice, and everything else [are another matter]. I don’t think anyone had any doubts, especially within my close circle, within Ferrari, among the guys I talked to in the paddock,” the Englishman added.
Rob Smedley highlighted that Felipe Massa genuinely believes in pursuing this appeal for justice: “It’s no secret that Felipe is like a younger brother to me. This is something he feels strongly and passionately about, and everyone should have the personal right to pursue what they believe is right. That’s the case with Felipe,” he concluded.