Felipe Massa risked tainting his forthcoming 2010 pairing at Ferrari with Fernando Alonso this week by declaring that the Spaniard must have known about Nelson Piquet's deliberate crash in Singapore.
"Without a doubt he knew it," Brazilian Massa, who will be joined at Ferrari by the current Renault driver next year, told a group of journalists in a Sao Paulo restaurant on Wednesday.
"There is no way he couldn't know it. I'm certain," he added, when asked about 28-year-old Alonso's knowledge of the crash-gate affair.
By the Spanish news agency EFE, Massa was quoted as adding: "Without a doubt, Fernando knew it. Logically he had to. There is no way he couldn't have."
Italian reports added that Massa and Alonso have had no contact since the Spaniard was confirmed as a 2010 Ferrari driver.
Later, a statement appeared on Ferrari's official website, playing down Massa's comments that caused "some uproar on the internet".
The Italian team said Massa, also 28, wanted to clarify his comments.
"What I've said is the outcome of a hunch I've had and is not based on any concrete evidence," said Massa, who insisted he respects that the FIA cleared Alonso of any implication in the affair.
"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," he added.