Lawyers for former Ferrari driver Felipe Massa have initiated legal action against F1 and the FIA over the alleged 'conspiracy' that saw him denied the 2008 Drivers' Championship, Reuters has reported.
The Brazilian missed out on the title by a single point despite winning the final race in his home country, with Lewis Hamilton instead claiming his maiden triumph for McLaren.
Massa may well have won had it not been for controversy at the Singapore Grand Prix, where he was leading before Nelson Piquet Jr's 'crashgate' incident triggered a Safety Car intervention.
A pit stop error, which saw Massa leave with his fuel hose still attached [refuelling was still permitted at this time], meant he failed to score in the race.
Massa's legal advice began when former F1 supremo Bernie 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.
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According to a report from Reuters, a Letter Before Claim [which is required notice before court proceedings are launched] suggested Massa was robbed of the title and cost him tens of millions of euros in lost earnings and bonuses.
Reuters reports that the letter read that "Mr Massa is the rightful 2008 Drivers' Champion and F1 and the FIA deliberately ignored the misconduct that cheated him out of the title".
The report states the letter was addressed to Massa's former Ferrari Team Principal Stefano Domenicali and FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem.
It is also stated that legal action would be pursued to seek compensation should no satisfactory response be given.