Massa retracts “Alonso knew” comments

Felipe Massa has moved to clarify statements he made yesterday to Brazilian journalists, in which he alleged that Fernando Alonso must have known about the Crashgate events.

Massa made the remarks about the man who is set to become his team-mate next year at Ferrari in a Sao Paulo meeting.

“It [Crashgate] was the team and Nelson – but Alonso was part of the problem. He knew. We can not know it [but] of course he knew. [It’s an] absolute certainty.”

The Brazilian’s remarks were immediately seized on by reporters, who noted that Massa was in effect disagreeing with the FIA WMSC verdict on the matter. The WMSC found that Alonso was a completely innocent party.

As a result, Massa released an official statement today, in which he said his conviction was just a “hunch”.

“What I’ve said is the outcome of a hunch I’ve had and is not based on any concrete evidence. The FIA World Council announced that there was no indication that Fernando may have been informed of what had happened and I respect this outcome.

“Obviously I’m very disappointed about what transpired last year in Singapore: I have already said several times what I thought about it and now it’s time to close that chapter and to look to the future.”

The words are unlikely to help the relationship between Massa and Alonso, which has been cold but professional since a coming-together at the Nurburgring in 2007. Massa is thought to see Alonso as a bigger threat than was Kimi Raikkonen, against whom Massa acquitted himself well.