This has to be the story of the weekend. (Not to be confused with the best moment from this week’s press conference.)
Formula One star Felipe Massa has been threatened with a six-year jail sentence if he allows Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso to overtake him in Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
Massa’s superstar status in his native Brazil was tarnished when he acceded to team orders to let Alonso (pictured, left) pass during the recent German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, an incident for which Ferrari were fined Â£65,000 for flagrant contravention of the ban on team orders.
The 29-year-old Massa, who has no chance of winning the title himself, has stated openly that he would help his team-mate to secure the drivers’ championship.
But Paulo Castilho, a prosecutor in Brazil’s Special Criminal Court, has told newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo that Massa will “leave Interlagos in handcuffs” should he let Alonso through, with the lawyer apparently ready to press charges of defrauding the Brazilian public under laws protecting the rights of fans to witness fair spectacles.
Massa himself remained unapologetic about the prospect of having to give up a victory to help his team mate, even if he acknowledged how much it upsets fans.
“For sure there are some people who understand it,” he said. “They have the knowledge about this complicated sport when the team is in first position.
“But there are some people who will never understand. The crowd have opposing views but I insist our work is not to understand the opinion of the crowd but to do the best on the track.”
Can you imagine them dragging a sad-looking Massa from the second-place stand on the podium as a bemused Alonso looks on?
But… to give this story way more thought than it deserves … why stop with Massa. Why not anyone else who could be tied to the decision? And does it only matter if it is Massa who is involved? What about one of the other Brazilian drivers? What about Red Bull’s?
Any way, I’m that much more excited about this weekend’s race.
(Also, is the statue of limitations up for them to arrest Timo Glock? I mean, c’mon!)