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Ecclestone: 'Lucky' Hamilton should be behind Schumacher's record

Bernie Ecclestone has provided the reasons why he considers Michael Schumacher to be the only seven-time F1 champion.

Bernie Ecclestone believes that Michael Schumacher should be the sole record holder for number of F1 championship titles, ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Former F1 boss believes that Hamilton had 'all the luck' in claiming his first F1 world title, adding that his former rival Felipe Massa was "cheated" out of the 2008 crown. The 2008 championship was one of the hardest-fought in F1 history, with the Drivers' title being decided on the final lap of the season finale in Sao Paolo, Brazil. In a dramatic season, many point to that season's Singapore GP as being a pivotal moment in the battle. The infamous 'crashgate' incident involving the Renault team (which triggered a botched pit stop for Ferrari and Felipe Massa) was seen as a key factor in deciding the championship. Speaking about the controversial incident, Ecclestone recalled how he and then-FIA President Max Mosley wanted to prevent the scandal from being uncovered. "Max and I were informed during the 2008 season about what had happened in the race in Singapore," Ecclestone is quoted by F1-Insider.com . "[Renault driver] Piquet Jr had told his father [three-time F1 champion] Nelson that he had been asked by the team to deliberately drive into the wall at a certain point in time in order to trigger a safety car phase and help his team-mate Alonso [who won the race]." "We decided not to do anything for the time being. We wanted to protect the sport and save it from a huge scandal."

Ecclestone: Schumacher is the sole championship record holder

The 92-year-old, who was the subject of a recently released eight-part documentary series Lucky! , added that he considers Michael Schumacher to be the only worthy seven-time World Champion, owing to the circumstances of the 2008 season. "We had enough information in time to investigate the matter. According to the statutes, we would have had to cancel the race in Singapore under these conditions," added Ecclestone. "That means it would never have taken place for the world championship standings. Then Felipe Massa would have become world champion and not Lewis Hamilton." "I still feel sorry for Massa today. He won his final at his home race in Sao Paulo, did everything right. He was cheated out of the title he deserved, while Hamilton had all the luck in the world and won his first championship. "Today I would have handled it differently. That's why, for me, Michael Schumacher is still the sole record world champion. Even if the statistics say otherwise."

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