Formula One risks disarray in the unlikely event of Felipe Massa winning a threatened legal claim for the 2008 world championship, according to Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff.
Former Ferrari driver Massa, now 42, has alleged he was denied the title by a “conspiracy” because the sport’s leaders knew the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix was manipulated but took no action until a year later.
Massa was leading that race until Nelson Piquet Jr. deliberately crashed his Renault into the wall on lap 14 of the 61-lap race.
A bungled Ferrari pit-stop immediately afterwards meant Massa failed to score.
The Brazilian lost that title by a point to Britain’s Lewis Hamilton, then at McLaren and now at Mercedes and a seven-time world champion.
“I don’t think he has a case, to be honest,” Wolff told reporters at the latest edition of the Singapore Grand Prix last weekend.
“We are signing up to sporting regulations that are very clear and you commit (to) as a licence holder. If everybody were to open up situations then the sport would be in disarray and especially when you look at the full championships.
“There’s so many things that have an influence whether you win or lose that I don’t see the case to be honest.
“For me this is like watching a telenovela or soap opera playing out in front of me,” added the Austrian.
The Motorsport website quoted Massa saying Wolff’s comments showed “we are on the right path and that people in F1 are realising the seriousness and importance of our case.
“I’m seeking justice, my childhood dream, a title for an entire nation, for Brazilians. And for the tifosi [Ferrari fans] too.”
Wolff had said earlier that Massa’s case was sure to set a precedent and Mercedes were watching “with curiosity”.
Hamilton lost the 2021 championship in controversial circumstances at the final race in Abu Dhabi to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen when the safety car procedure was changed by now-departed race director Michael Masi.