Lewis Hamilton has claimed the 2008 Formula One World Drivers title after a nail-biting climax to the Brazilian Grand Prix. With Felipe Massa leading the race in dominant style at the front, Hamilton was struggling for pace further back. With rain from the start meaning nearly all competitors starting on intermediate tyres, the race was always going to be a belter. Hamilton happily ran around in fifth, keeping himself in the very position he needed to be in and won the title, just.
Most drivers started on intermediate tyres, rain suddenly falling on the track just moments before the start. In fact, the start was delayed by ten minutes to allow the shower to pass. From the start, Massa had the legs on everyone else, but Hamilton just kept himself in fifth – exactly what he needed to do. The drama wasn’t over though, as the race through up a final twist, just to keep us all on the very edge of our seats.
Despite the weather turning only slightly just eight laps from the end, most drivers pitted for intermediate tyres, including race leader Felipe Massa and championship leader Lewis Hamilton. However, on a slightly awkward track, Hamilton found himself short on pace and Sebastian Vettel in the Scuderia Toro Rosso gained quickly on the McLaren. Two laps from the chequered flag, Vettel made his move as Hamilton ran wide. You could hear the hearts of James Allen and Martin Brundle in the commentary box sink.
However, one lap later and at almost the place on the circuit, Timo Glock, who was in fourth, slowed himself. Vettel passed the Toyota as did the chasing Hamilton. Felipe Massa crossed the line as the winner, and as world champion he believed. The Ferrari team celebrated for a moment, then realised what was happening on the track. As Hamilton drove up the hill to the chequered flag in fifth, he became the youngest world champion, the ninth British champion and the first for McLaren in nine years.
Felipe Massa toured back into the pitlane, parked his car and shed a tear for what was so close, yet so far. Hamilton parked up, eventually got his steering wheel back on and was escorted back to the weighing area. With utter joy and jubilation, Lewis Hamilton has become Formula One’s newest world champion. With a sense of bitter sweetness to it, Felipe Massa has taken his eleventh race victory, the second on home soil, but will leave Brazil the runner-up in the title hunt.
With Kimi Raikkonen finishing in third, Ferrari have comfortably taken the constructors title, but undoubtedly, all eyes or on the young McLaren driver and his achievement at becoming the 2008 Formula One World Champion.
Lets see the last corner again! That’s bull…
Glock could have made the corner…he threw the race..
I couldn’t believe the last lap. My heart was beating so fast, I was sweating and almost in tear until the moment Lewis crossed the finish line.
I was bouncing around the living room and utter joy. Shouting and smiling for Lewis. He totally deserves the World Championship.
I also want to say thank you to Ollie at BlogF1 for a fantastic job over the season and all the hard work he’s put in to the site. I look forward to reading the blog over the winter testing ready for another season in 2009.
I also want to thank ITV for producing such great shows, I will miss the team and I dearly hope the BBC can make it better.
Again, well-done Lewis, you’ve made Britain proud!
Maybe. I said in the Live Blog comments that Vettel was my hero for going for it. Then Glock slowed. I’m not so sure, but if it was thrown, I will be disappointed with the Toyota driver. Whatever though, what a fantastic year. A real vintage season.
Thank you. I wrote my 2008 BlogF1 review on Friday. I was genuinely welling up. It’s been quite the year for me and my site, but it isn’t what it is because of me. It’s because of you guys and gals. Thank you all so very, very much.
I can’t see any reason why Glock would let Hamilton past – didn’t he have a run-in with him a few races ago when Lewis almost pushed him off the track?
I would have thought a Massa victory would have suited him better after that…
I managed a three-cat scatter when Lewis got past Glock (my 3 cats had been snoozing contentedly on the couch but took off like Rockets when the cheering and whooping from Mr Pink and I started. It was too much for them at 6.30am !)
Well done Lewis, and boy would I love to see S&Max and Mini me’s faces today (prolly the ONLY time I’ll ever say that 😀 ). They’ll look like they are eating scalded cats.
Good race. I can’t imagine that Glock gave up any position, especially to let Hamilton win, given what all the other drivers think of him. On the ITV site, he says that he just couldn’t keep the pace with the dry tyres on.
Excellent race, though. Looking forward to next year, when Hamilton, Massa, Raikkonen, Vettel and Kubica are fighting it out for 1st.
Awesome race. Decided at last corner, last race and 1 point in it. Well done Hamilton and hats off to Massa for being so gracious in defeat. Top sportsman.
Screw the conspiracy theorists. Dry tyres on a wet track caused BOTH the Toyotas to slow down:
Glock Last lap 1:44.731
Trulli Last lap 1:44.800
Notice Glock done a faster lap than Trulli..
On the replay you can clearly see Glock pull way right and slow as if to let cars by…
Why would anyone do that on the last corner of the last lap?
Plus the corner was dry..and then he let another car go through after Hamilton and then looked to pick up speed…
It was done on purpose …Massa should rightly be champion. (period!)
But just like Damon Hill isn’t the winner of the 1997 Hungarian Grand Prix, Massa isn’t the 2008 World Champion.
..but the Toyota lap times don’t lie. Both Toyotas were on wrong tyres at that point. They gambled staying on drys and it didn’t work. Made for the most amazing end to a race and a championship I have ever seen 🙂
I said exactly the same thing on live commenting. I would have loved to have seen Max and Donnelly on the podium or being interviewed.
Many people will always be convinced Glock let Hamilton through but why would he do it. There is no connection between them that I know of and no connection between Glock and McLaren or Toyota and McLaren.
Lewis should have been champion long before we ever got to Brazil. Massa gained 4 points by not being penalised properly in Valencia and he gained one or two points for hitting Bourdais. Then you add in the fact that he was handed the victory at Spa which was a race Lewis won. The championship should have been won in Japan never mind China or Brazil.
If you watch Glock again you can see him having real problems making all the power from the engine stick, he had to correct steering and back off the juice many times to get the car to go straight ahead. He is off to the side a bit but that’s probably because the car was not going around the corner properly as he had to correct so many times.
I wondered if it was purposeful myself but after watching it over a few times it’s clear it wasn’t.
Best race and season finish ever for me.
Exactly Steven, without Massa’s ‘bonus’ points, this championship would have been decided long ago, nonwithstanding the Glock issue.
Although I don’t for one second think Glock ‘let’ Lewis win – he was all over the shop because he had no grip on dry tyres. Even the guys on wets were sliding around. And could someone please tell me exactly what would motivate Glock to do that? He lost two places at the end to both Vettel and Hamilton, and therefore two championship points, which might just mean all the difference when a team is deciding on whose contract to renew and whose not to.
As it is, Glock finished six points behind Trulli – which is not bad for his rookie year – but I’m sure he’d rather the gap only be four points.
To hear Ferrari fans crying `foulplay` makes the victory not only sweet but oh so funny. What Kubica done was very naughty, in the days of Senna and Prost that would of lead to a punch up in the pit lane. Oooooohhhhhhh Timo we love you:-)
For those of you who think Glock let Hamilton pass, here is a quote from the Toyota website:
It was a well deserved win for Hamilton, but let’s not forget Felipe Massa. He won more races than Hamilton and performed just one point lesser than Hamilton.
This weekend was Massa’s weekend from start to finish and to me there are 2 winners and we should salute them both; Hamilton and Massa.
As far as what happened with Glock? The track wasn’t that wet and 20 seconds is more than I’ve seen on a track just damp. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but it was a little suspect. I know there are a lot of Hamilton fans here who will shun me for saying that, but it is what it is and we all saw the same track.
Presumably Lewis Hamilton and Ron Dennis will be dedicating this world champiionship to Nigel Stepney – without his “input”, this wouldn’t have been possible !!!!!
I watched the whole race with ten or so dedicated fans in our university accommodation common room. The release of energy when Hamilton crossed the line to steal the championship from Massa’s fingertips is my most memorable race in Formula One to date.
We were watching on a large digital screen which experienced less than satisfactory picture resolution, so we were uncertain which Toyota had been overtaken (and the noise in the common room blocked the commentary as we all screamed in anticipation). However, once Hamilton’s 5th position was certified… well, i’m sure you can imagine the amazement.
Looking forward to Winter Testing. Comprehensive seasonal coverage this year Ollie, congratulations.
Ferrari are taking it badly, but to think Toyota were in Kahoots with McLaren is bonkers, was I the only one to notice Trulli`s unsafe Pit Release in front of Lewis, and then he did the slowest run down to the track Ive ever seen allowing 2 cars to go through. But to think Ferrari are getting a taste of there own medicine is surely the cherry on the cake, And Oh what a Large Cake..
Sorry but I am not having that. He ended the season credited with more victories but he decidedly did not win more races. Lewis won Spa. I saw it. Massa however ended up being given the victory despite never being in contention. Massa was also given the victory in Valencia as a result of his unsafe pit release being the only one in living memory to be penalised with something other than a drive through.
As for the points. Massa finished one point behind. Because of the six he gained in Spa, the four he gained in Valencia and the one or two he gained for driving into Bourdais.
You can look at the official results and believe the championship was close or you can look at what really happened and decide Lewis won the championship in Japan or China.
Or you could say the only reason Ferrari and the rest were close to McLaren was because the FIA banned McLaren from using info the FIA believed they got from Ferrari while the FIA published details of the McLaren J-damper. If the FIA was remotely fair no other team would have been allowed to run J-dampers this season.
Additionally McLaren had sole rights to the use of J-dampers in motorsport. Forget FIA rules. Legally they owned the rights to exploit the patents. In the interests of fair competition they waived those rights. Would Ferrari have done the same? Would the FIA have allowed everyone else to use a similar Ferrari novelty? Would the FIA have published technical details of a similar Ferrari item?
The easiest way for this to be sorted is for Toyota to offer up their cars telemetry data which would clarify the situation once and for all.
[…] following Saturday was a complete waste of my time, but Sunday brought the final F1 race of the season, which once again exceeded expectations. I like my F1 drivers to be either drunks or assholes, so […]
What a fantastic finish to a great season- it turned out that my planned trip to the Giants/Cowboys game did not come through, so the plus side was being able to witness perhaps one of the best finishes in all of sports live as it happened.
First off, congrats to Lewis and the whole team at McLaren on a well-deserved title. I think Lewis has shined above the rest this season, and has truly earned the championship more than anyone else on the grid.
In regards to Glock, the SPEED network guys here in the U.S. gave some very good commentaty, and described the final few corners as Glock “giving up the position”- I taped the race and looking at it again, his car did seem to just slump at the end. I don’t know nearly enough about F1 engineering to make an accurate assessment of the situation, so I will presume Toyota’s decision to stick with dry tires made the difference.
Finally, while I am a Hamilton fan and love seeing him win the title, I do have a bit of sympathy for Massa- he did drive a flawless race and did everything he possibly could to come out on top. Understandibly any driver from Brasil has some very big reputations to live up to, and while Massa maynot have bagged the title, he’s still doing quite a good job of living up to the legacy established in his country in my book.
Remember that the corner Glock had just rounded, to be overtaken seconds later is a downhill left hander, in the wet on dry tyres you would have to slow down considerately to make it, then you see Glock put the power down and he struggles like hell. But I like to think he done it on purpose, up yours Ferrari
One of the best championships I have watched since the clash of titans (James Hunt and Niki Lauda) in 1976 when James was crowned world champion!
The last two years has created some of the most exciting F1 racing, with the time sheets showing how close the entire field was! Just look at how close the qualifying session was with less than a second between 1st (1m12.368s) and 8th (1m13.297s) position.
As a result we have had lots of different drivers winning (Sebastian Vettel, Heikki Kovalainen, Robert Kubica, Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa) and an extremely close race to the finish!
Without the weird decisions made by the stewards throughout this session, perhaps it would have not been so close, but who knows what could have happened, that is what makes F1 what it is!
But you cannot take it away from either Massa or Hamilton, they both did brilliantly and I really respect Massa’s comments in the post race interview, what a sportsman!
Hamilton really deserved the championship, especially in the light of last years disappointment, despite an awesome rookie session. Having said that I think history will show this was Massa’s best chance, where as Hamilton could have a successful career ahead of him and the weight of expectation will be upon his shoulders next year.
But I wonder if the new regulations will spread the field out again or will Honda come out on top and this time next year will Jesson Button be champion? Who knows, that is why we watch this fascinating sport and put up with the highs (1992, 1996, 2007, 2008) and lows (1982, 1994).
Big well done to Lewis Hamilton and congratulations to Ferrari for winning the constructors championship.
Oh and by the way, fantastic job Ollie, keep it up!
HHHHmmmmm Ferrari very quiet……………………..give me a T, give me a I, give me a M, give me a O, what do you get………up yours ugly..
Thanks Charlie. It’s all you guys and gals that make it, but I thank you for the well wishes (and of course, your comments). 🙂