FERRARI'S FELIPE MASSA has set the stage for a stormy relationship with future team-mate Fernando Alonso after suggesting the Spaniard would have been privy to the ?crashgate? plot at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.
Although Alonso has been cleared by FIA investigators of having any involvement in the scandal, Massa has re-ignited the controversy by telling reporters in Brazil the two-time World Champion would have known about Nelson Piquet Jr?s plans to crash deliberately.
?Of course (Alonso) knew, I?m 100 percent certain of that. In a team it is impossible not to know the strategy of the other driver,? he said.
The Brazilian later qualified his comments on the Ferrari website as the team went into damage control, seeking to diffuse the situation and repair a relationship with Alonso which already appears combustible.
?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,? he said.
?What is certain is that this episode will not mar in any way the relationship I?ll have with Fernando when we will be teammates.?
Massa has been seething in his criticism of Renault?s actions, claiming the crash potentially robbed him of the 2008 World Championship, which he lost by one point to Britain?s Lewis Hamilton.
And while reports in Europe suggest many drivers have privately doubted Alonso?s suggestion he was unaware of Piquet Jr?s intentions, Massa is the first to publicly air his beliefs.
Massa?s comments regarding Alonso didn?t halt there however, with the former Sauber driver then stating Ferrari?s new wheelman will need to adapt to his surroundings, not vice versa.
He said: ?It will have to be Fernando who adapts himself to the Ferrari style and not the other way around. I know how Ferrari works, he has to learn. If I was going to Renault it would be up to me to adapt to them.?