SAO PAULO, October 16- Felipe Massa has reignited the controversy over the 'crash-gate' affair at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix saying his Ferrari-bound team-mate Fernando Alonso must have been involved in the Renault plot.Speaking at a meeting late Wednesday with reporters ahead of this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix, Massa said: "He knew. (It’s an) absolute certainty."
The 27-year-old Brazilian driver’s comments caused uproar and prompted Ferrari to issue a statement on the team’s website stressing that he was talking only about his own feelings, rather than any factual evidence.
Massa also said he had vowed not to allow his feelings about the subterfuge — that led to compatriot Nelson Piquet junior crashing deliberately to help Alonso win the Singapore Grand Prix — to interfere with his relationship next year with the Spaniard.
In his Ferrari-vetted official statement, Massa added: "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," said Massa, who is recovering from head injuries suffered after a crash in Hungary in August.
"What is certain is that this episode will not mar in any way the relationship I’ll have with Fernando when we will be team-mates."
Massa was reported to have told Brazilian media here for the Interlagos Grand Prix: "It was the team and Nelson, but Alonso was part of the problem. He knew. We cannot know it [but] of course he knew. [It’s an] absolute certainty."
On the orders of Renault, the Brazilian deliberately crashed in Singapore last year, opening the door for team-mate Alonso to win. The scandal led to the downfall of team principal Flavio Briatore and chief engineer Pat Symonds, but as the "whistleblower", Piquet, who was sacked by Renault in July, was given immunity from official sanction.
Alonso later played down any feeling of ill-will towards Massa over his future teammates’ comments.
"There will be no psychological war," said Alonso of his move to Ferrari next season.
The Spaniard added: "Maybe it was a misunderstanding with Felipe or the media, so it’s difficult to know what is true and what was said because later he said a different thing.
"It’s not very important for me. I’m not too worried. I made it clear to the World Council I had nothing to do with what happened in Singapore last year.
"I was not involved in anything, I didn’t know anything, so there were no doubts. I didn’t pay too much attention.
"It will not affect anything, me or the relationship. I actually think we will be great.
"At Ferrari the group is more important than the individual, where everyone is part of the team, a big family.
"I think it will be a good group and we will be very strong next year."
The renewed furore stoked up the atmosphere ahead of this weekend’s world championship battle here between Massa’s fellow-Brazilian and close friend Rubens Barrichello and his Brawn GP team-mate Briton Jenson Button.
Home town hope Barrichello is 14 points behind Button with two races remaining.