Hamilton denies Massa the title in epic last-lap climax to final race

2008 Brazilian Grand Prix review

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Lewis Hamilton became F1’s youngest ever world champion as the destiny of the 2008 title switched between him and rival Felipe Massa on the final lap of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

In Massa was already over the finishing line when Hamilton took a crucial fifth place of Timo Glock as the German driver struggled on dry weather tyres as rain fell.

That gave Hamilton the priceless point he needed after 71 laps of incredible tension.

Start delayed

The race began and ended in unpredictable fashion – rain fell three minutes before the intended start. Race control delayed the start for ten minutes while almost every driver switched from dry to wet-weather tyres.

The only exception was Robert Kubica – but at the end of the formation lap he realised his mistake and pitted to take on dry weather rubber.

The top four got away cleanly – Felipe Massa held Jarno Trulli at bay at the first corner, and Heikki Kovalainen gave room to team mate Lewis Hamilton, allowing him to keep a hold on fourth. But behind the Finn Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso attacked, dropping him to seventh.

Nico Rosberg went deep into the first corner and slithered into the side of David Coulthard. It pushed the Red Bull into Rosberg’s team mate Kazuki Nakajima, but although the Japanese driver was able to continue, Coulthard’s final Grand Prix was over. Nelson Piquet Jnr didn’t make it past the first lap either – and it could prove his last F1 race too.

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Hamilton drops back

The safety car came out and after the pit lane opened Giancarlo Fisichella gambled on an early switch to dry weather tyres. It worked brilliantly, vaulting him up to fifth after everyone else had changed tyres.

Vettel and Alonso did so on lap nine, but Massa waited one lap later. This proved crucial as Hamilton waited until Massa had pitted to react, shadowing his title rival’s move. But having waited two laps longer than the drivers behind him to pit he lost position to both of them.

McLaren brought Kovalainen in on the same lap as Massa, after the Finnish driver had scrambled past Alonso at the restart only to lost the position again by running wide.

After the drivers had completed their change to dry weather tyres Massa resumed the lead from Vettel and Alonso, with Raikkonen down to fourth. Hamilton passed Trulli when the Italian went wide at turn one, and now the McLaren driver found the fifth place he needed occupied by Fisichella.

Hamilton bided his time as the track remained very slippery off-line. Finally on lap 17 he gingerly took the inside line away from Fisichella at the entry to the S do Senna. He was back in fifth place – and the title was back within reach.

Massa stretches his lead

Vettel had a crucial role to play later in the race in almost costing Hamilton the title. But for now, with a light fuel load, he was throwing everything he had at Massa. It was to no avail, and on lap 27 Vettel pitted – 11 laps before Massa needed to – wrecking Vettel’s hopes of repeating his Monza win.

That left Massa with a 4.1s lead over Alonso and the Renault driver’s hopes of beating the Ferrari took a battering when, on lap 34, Massa unleashed a lap of 1’13.755, almost half a second than anything so far in the race.

Alonso had a ten second advantage over Raikkonen, who in turn had five seconds on Hamilton, who was now up to fourth. Glock was now threatening Hamilton, but his pit stop on lap 36 removed the pressure.

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Massa pitted two laps later and took on enough fuel to last him until the end of the race. The rest did likewise – but most of them would end up coming back in one more time.

Alonso and Hamilton pitted together on lap 40 – Hamilton now so far behind that he only arrived in the pits as Alonso was leaving. Vettel staved off his final pit stop until lap 51, and that dropped him from second to fifth, behind Hamilton.

The middle part of the race had been quiet, even processional. But the first hints that was about to change came as the teams woke up to the likelihood of a second, late rain shower.

The rain returns

As rain began to fall on lap 63 Massa led Alonso, Raikkonen and Hamilton. The McLaren driver had only one second’s advantage over Vettel, but he knew that even if he lost the place he would still be champion.

Some drivers switched to wet weather tyres as early as lap 64. Nakajima and Fisichella were the first ones in. Two laps later the leaders took the gamble: Alonso and Raikkonen darted for the pits. Then the Hamilton-Vettel battle for fourth appeared in pit lane as one – Hamilton breaking out of his pattern of mirroring Massa.

Massa was in on lap 67, with four remaining. Now everyone had pitted except the two Toyotas – and this was crucial, because now Glock was ahead of Hamilton.

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Two stunning twists

After his early tyre blunder Kubica was fighting back and on lap 69 he unlapped himself from Vettel. Then he did the same with Hamilton, forcing the McLaren wide at Junaco. This was disastrous for Hamilton – as Vettel followed Kubica through to take fifth.

Hamilton was now demoted to sixth and staring championship defeat in the face. Around the final two laps Vettel’s Toro Rosso was tantalisingly out of reach.

On the McLaren radio Martin Whitmarsh was telling Hamilton to keep it cool – because the Toyotas were starting to struggle. His problem was Glock was coping with the conditions far better than Trulli – lapping five seconds faster than his team mate on lap 70.

But the 71st lap proved one too many for them. Robbed of tyre temperature and grip, the two floundered to the line. First Vettel, then Hamilton reached Glock in the final sector of the final lap – and both drove past him with ease.

As Massa crossed the finish line the Ferrari pit and the crowd erupted in celebration. But the cheers stopped as Vettel and Hamilton headed for the line with Glock in their mirrors: Vettel fourth, Hamilton fifth – and world champion by a single point.

A sad winner

For a few seconds, Massa looked like being champion
Massa could scarcely hold back the tears on the podium – but he was weeping with sadness, not joy. Not his home victory nor Ferrari’s 16th constructors’ title could ease the pain of having the drivers’ championship torn from his grasp at the last gasp.

He was flanked by Alonso and Raikkonen. Glock held on to sixth ahead of Kovalainen – so his gamble actually paid off – and Trulli took the final point ahead of Mark Webber. Nick Heidfeld completed the top ten.

Kubica finished 11th ahead of Rosberg, Button and Bourdais – the latter losing a potential points finish after a lunge by Trulli forced him off the track at turn one. Revenge for Shanghai? Perhaps, but unlike Hamilton at Fuji, there was no punishment for Trulli.

Barrichello finished what could be his final race in 15th, ahead of Sutil, Nakajima and Fisichella.

In the pits Hamilton and McLaren were celebrating. Their driver hadn’t realised he was champion until well after crossing the finish line – but as the shell shock he wasted no time in catching up with the celebrations. He wasn’t the only one left reeling by this flabbergasting end to the season.

2008 Brazilian Grand Prix result

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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96 comments on “Hamilton denies Massa the title in epic last-lap climax to final race”

  1. We love you Timo We do, We love you Timo We do, We love you Timo We do, Oh Timo We love You………………………….But not as much Lewis…etc.etc

  2. The next Jacques Villeneuve! good thing they didn’t have the winners family waving the flag, would have been funny with the last lap change.

  3. Hamilton was given the championship. He did not earn it.

    Glock can take a hike. He handed this to Hamilton. What a joke… H

  4. They all looked pretty miserable on the podium, didn’t they? Never seen so many long faces on the winners dias.

  5. Congratulations to Lewis, he is a worthy WDC.

    I deperately wanted Massa to win as I’m definitely not a Lewis fan (I haven’t disliked a driver this much since Nigel Mansell, lol). It’s hard to be too sad though after being treated to a race like that, what a last 7 or so laps!

    I doubt I’ll ever see such a close conclusion to a WDC again.

    Now it’s a long long wait till Albert Park…..

  6. Will

    Both Toyotas on dry tyres did the last lap in 1:44. They gambled and didn’t quite win.

    If they had wanted Lewis to win the title they would have brought Glock in for wet tyres.

    Please try thinking about it just for a moment.

  7. TommyBellingham
    2nd November 2008, 22:56

    Will Massa handed Kimi the title last year. If Massa won this year the FIA would have handed Ferrari the title. Stop being a saw loser. If Glock had have pitted Massa wouldnt have been close at all to get the WDC

  8. OMG, It’s 22:54 GMT & my heart has just started again.. One thought though, isnt it about time the WORLD CHAMPION is presented with ‘whatever one gets for winning a world championship’ at the end of the race?? After those last 2 laps, it felt a bit of an anti-climax that Lewis wasnt up there.

  9. @David Watkins – No way that Glock should have collapsed that dramatically… even in the conditions with dry tyres. Glock hit the brakes and let Hamilton go by.

    This was not a completely soaked track like Spa in the last three laps. Glock just shut it down. I’ve lost complete respect for him.

  10. TommyBellingham
    2nd November 2008, 22:59

    I love it that all the Ferrari fans are annoyed at Glock. Hamilton fans should be annoyed at Kubica for nearly losing Hamilton the title by unlapping himself and letting him run wide so Vettel went passed him. I guess Hamilton fans just aren’t as sad as Ferrari fans

  11. TommyBellingham
    2nd November 2008, 23:01

    Look at Trullis lap times Will and the maybe realise you are wrong and be quiet

  12. Will, look at the lap times of both the Toyotas. There was nothing Glock could do – in fact, he did a far better job of coping with the dry weather tyres than Trulli did.

  13. Hamilton shouldnt have let Kubica affect him. Bad mistake that nearly cost him everything.


    Look at Glock coming out of the final corner. He swings from side to side like a teenager after a 20-pint session. He had no grip at all

  14. Such a fine line between success and failure. As to Ferrari fans blaming Timo Glock, they should remember Spa, inwhich Hamilton was robbed of victory at the last. What goes around comes around. They should use Massa’s example, and that is to lose with dignity and respect.
    Two, very foreign words to the tifosi I am sure.

  15. Ferrari fans who are blaming Glock should be blaming whoever did a mistake in Glock’s second pit. He was just behind Lewis till then, and pit 5 second slower than everyone else which put him behind both Hondas, Bourdais and Rosberg for a few laps. Between the pit and the trafic he certainly lost more than the gap to Lewis in the end.

  16. @Will. Perhaps your attention should also be drawn to a number of dodgy stewards decisions that forced the title to Brazil. But apart from that, the Toyotas were slow, Mclaren knew it (read Whitmarsh’s comments) and that was that. If Massa hadn’t walloped a few walls earlier in the season, he’d be champion. It’s the way it goes.

    I must say it was tragic watching the vision of Massa’s family going mad only to have to calm down after being told he’d missed out. Thought it a little unpleasant to replay that vision…

    I think some Ferrari fans were expecting Massa to take the title given his overall improvement in the second half of the season and the, er, external help he’s been given. Massa was valiant in defeat and my respect for him is up yet another notch.

    My next door neighbour is going to be gutted…hee hee…we were both awake at 4am to watch.

  17. Massa did not hand the title to Kimi. Kimi passed him in the pits. Kimi shut his car down to give Massa a chance to win this year.

  18. I nearly had a heart attack watching the race! What a thriller!! Congrats to Lewis and roll on ’09 season.

    Keith – Many thanks for running the site, it’s brilliant!!

  19. Filipe

    I think Glock was the first guy to fill to the end and he was right on the limit. His stop was necessarily long I think. doesn’t mean there was no mistake though

  20. David, Massa pit I think 3 laps after glock and his pit was 9.4 (against glock’s 14.5).

  21. 27.
    You are looking too narrowly at the lap times. It’s true that Jarno and Timo ran the same approximate lap time, but they did it in vastly different methods.

    Jarno ran faster throughout the last lap when comparing lap times with the rest of the pack. As the sectors progressed, he gained ground.

    Timo did the opposite… running the worst sector three time of the race. Jarno, running on the same tyres, pulled much closer to Timo throughout the last lap of the Brazilian grand prix.

    I’ll admit that traffic makes this analysis imperfect. But the confluence of events at the end of this race is peculiar. Clearly, even Jarno was gaining on Timo at the end of this race.

  22. Martin Brundle seems to be the only commentator in whole world who spotted the pass as it happened and called the finish correctly!

  23. Will

    Sector 3 began just as Hamilton and Vettel passed Glock (just before Junccao)

    In S1 and S2 of the last lap, Glock was 2.3 seconds quicker than Trulli. His sector three is irrelevant as his goose was already cooked before it started.

    Trulli finished 13 seconds behind Kovalainen who did the last lap 20 seconds quicker so Kovi must have passed him early in the lap.

    So Jarno, other than backmarkers, had no-one to bother him after that. Whether he had trouble with backmarkers I don’t know

  24. Was this the first race where a driver had to compete against four drivers from the same team (Ferrari of course): Massa, Raikkonen, Alonso and Vettel?!

    Will. A Brazilian reporter said he saw Timo’s tyres after the race: some completely worn down to the canvas. He just had zero grip by the end.

  25. Trip Hazard (#8)

    One thought though, isnt it about time the WORLD CHAMPION is presented with ‘whatever one gets for winning a world championship’ at the end of the race?? After those last 2 laps, it felt a bit of an anti-climax that Lewis wasnt up there.

    I totally agree that after a whole year of racing, you sometimes do not get to see the Champion be crowned after they finish the final race if they’re not on the podium. At every other sporting event you see a ceremony for the winner: football, the olympics, tennis, you name it, whereas I believe F1 hides it all away at a VIP’s only dinner-awards-type thing in January. They’re really missing a trick there by not letting the fans see the champion crowned. Plus I’m sure they could make some money out of it.

    Interesting point made by Keith there as well, where was Trulli’s penalty for ‘pushing another car off the road’? I seem to remember that 3 weeks ago, the stewards were very quick to punish a certain someone for doing the very same.

  26. In some ways I’m glad there was no public presentation. It would have been merely an orgy of abuse from the “fans” (by no means all of course but a significant number)

  27. Im so glad hamilton won, but i got to say Massa is going to be on fire next year and i hope he can strike back with WDC!

  28. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=XR36LbhBAg4

    teehee. Here’s the Spanish TV live coverage. They (unsurprisingly) didn’t notice them passing Glock and were thus dumbstruck when Hamilton was shown as finishing fifth.

    You need to understand Spanish to register the stunned disappointment in the commentators

  29. As a Ferrari supporter, I do not blame Glock. Well…I do just now (;-)), but I know he didn’t hand it to Hamilton, there was little to nothing he could do to retain that position.

    In the end, it was one of the most exciting finishes to a race, a championship deciding race at that, and if last year it was all about the fat lady singing, then this year’s been wait till she’s finished her song. Taking a snapshot of the positions when Massa crossed the line, he was champion – little surprise about the pre-celebration in the Ferrari camp.

    Commiserations also to DC. I somewhat knew his car wouldn’t make it to the end, but didn’t think it would be Senna S on the first lap. That was pretty harsh, but then again, it’s summed up his season pretty succintly.

  30. Congrats to Lewis on the WDC – he earned it. Kudos to Massa, too – a sad scene to watch as the emotions poured out of him after coming so close. I do think the points system ought to be revisted – there’s something not quite right when the driver who wins the most races during the season isn’t champion…

  31. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=XR36LbhBAg4

    Here’s the Spanish TV covergae. They (unsurprisingly) didn’t spot Glock being passed and are dumbstruck with disappointment!

    On the final straight the commentary is:

    1: “He’s lost the world championship. I cannot believe it! It’s the curse of Hamilton!”

    2: “There are a few metres to go…”

    1: “No, no no it’s all over!”

    2: “Fourth to Glo.. Vettel, Hamilton fifth! What the hell happened to Glock?!”

    You don’t need to understand it to find it funny. Tones of voice are universal!

  32. I feel pleasure seeing Ferrari fan boy whim…
    Massa don’t deserved the championship. Raikonnen just let Massa over take to take extra point during the Chinese Grand Prix. Every body know the FIA Stewart is a jokes and always favor Ferrari.

    Thanks to Lewis, formula 1 is now more exciting to watch…

  33. nail biting stuff today $:) Anyone talking nonsense about Glock should be reminded of the equally nonsensical Bourdais Fuji penalty – without that, 6th would have been good enough anyway.

    Well done Lewis. You have brought excitement into f1, and won the championship in what was in my opinion the second fastest car on the grid.

  34. Watching a race on TV and the ability of the cameras to give a clear picture even when its raining hard, doesn’t allow the viewers appreciate how bad the conditions really are.

    Do you really think Glock would want to hand Hamilton the championship?. Its always best to get a clear perspective of a situation before getting emotional. Remember the very first lap of the race, I mean the parade lap. It had seemed to just drizzled lightly, but even Kubica couldn’t keep on with the grooved tyres and had to change to wets. Towards the end of the race, even Hamilton using the wet tyres could be seen sliding around, then you can imagine a driver using dry tyres.

  35. Terry Fabulous
    3rd November 2008, 1:20

    Spot on AJ Ball

    He is damn good at what he does.

    Although I must admit that my heart sunk when I heard him say that…
    But lets not kid ourselves, Lewis is pretty good at what he does!

  36. Rob B – You’re very welcome, thanks.

    AJ Ball – They were really on the, erm, ball, I thought. I wonder what the Brazilian commentary sounded like?

    David (#24) – I think ‘same team’ is taking it a bit far. Alonso’s a racing driver, he’d’ve had Massa for the win if his car was quick enough.

    Loki – I was really disappointed to see Coulthard go out so soon, and through something that really wasn’t his fault either. A shame.

    Erik G – I felt sorry for Massa too, which I wouldn’t have thought possible beforehand, what with the Spa penalty and all. But he drove a brilliant race and composed himself with great dignity afterwards. And I don’t agree with those who think this is his only shot at the title.

  37. http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=lB7Xlyfo_VA

    Here’s the Brazilian one Keith.

    Galvao Bueno has been around for years and I think he’s wonderful.

    He just repeats “on the last corner” over and over again.

    “Na ulllllllllllltima curva”

  38. yorricksfriend
    3rd November 2008, 1:57

    @ teamorders, my thoughts exactly – what a race, what a fitting way to end it. although i don’t like lewis, he dam well deserved that

  39. After watching the replay it almost looks like Glock was a backmarker which no one was paying attention to till Martin Brundle noticed it was Timo Glock. I guess most people were thinking including myself that Glock was so far ahead the real battle for final position was between Vettel and Hamilton.

  40. I actually think that the F1 result was incorrect this year. McClaren as a team made few mistakes whereas the Ferrari team make a few which cost their drivers. Massa made very few mistakes whereas Hamilton made a few. So McClaren should have the constructors and Massa the WDC. Hamilton benefited enormously from LUCK this year, luck with the weather and for being at the right place at the right time. Take the last race for example, qualified badly and lost a place during the race, yet because of another team’s bad decision, he wins enough points to win the WDC. Hamilton is talented but luck and bad decisions of other teams gave him this result, it was not 100% earned.

  41. David – thanks, wish I spoke some other languages, wretched philistine that I am. Still, something to do in the off-season…

  42. Andrew Smith

    If Toyota had changed to wet tyres Glock would never have been in front of Hamilton.

    And I’d like to know when he was lucky because of the weather?

    “being at the right place at the right time”

    what does that mean?

  43. If it wasn’t for Vettels move on Hamilton and Glocks risky strategy staying out on the dry tyres this race would just been so ordinary and boring so I think we all have to thank some of these drivers for bringing some of the most exciting racing we have seen in along time even if some of us hated the end result.

  44. Keith Collantine, and you think Massa deserved to Win? FIA favor Ferrari and handled down stupid penalty which got him a lot of advantage. Plus Raikonnen let Massa pass him during the Chinese Grand Prix to the the extra point.. All in All Hamilton deserved his win.

  45. A lot of this drama came down to the first 3 corners. I know I’m down on Kovalainen, but the 2nd and 4th place cars were the two that blew by #23 on lap one. Alonso plain schooled Kovy on lap two and then left him for dead—my palms began to sweat as soon as I saw Kovalainen disappear behind Alonso. Because at this point a “conservative” race for Hamilton became an attempt to beat the likes of Glock and Vettel while saddled with a precautionary freight of fuel and running low revs. With the top 10 covered by a second in performance terms, that was not going to be easy. It wasn’t.

  46. Keith@

    The comment ‘same team’ was fairly tongue in cheek! However, I didn’t mean Alonso and Vettel wouldn’t have fought Massa, only that both are probably looking for a Ferrari berth and wanted to make their claim very clear (to Ferrari).


    Thanks for posting the clip. Bueno repeatedly shouting ‘Seguuura Vettel!!’ (‘Hold on to it Vettel!’) was almost unbearable at the time!


    Agree completely. I think McLaren very often over-elaborate. The extra fuel off the grid proved useless when everyone had to come in after a few laps anyway. They also have to be careful about curbing Lewis’s racing instinct with these conservative strategies. FIA are already doing that with their penalities this season.

  47. I’m not a Lewis supporter, but I must say the WDC trophy must feel much heavier and more substantial in his hands. Here’s what he had to overcome to get this:

    1. Inconsistent FIA
    2. Useless teammate
    3. Psych games from a two-time world champion
    4. Animosity from other drivers
    5. Inexperience
    6. Boo-ing crowd; thousands of them

    Maybe he deserved some of the above, maybe not. But he finally did what it takes.

    Let’s hope the top 5 finishers this season get almost equally competitive cars next season -it’ll be great.

    Thanks to Keith for a great content and community.

  48. Kevin – No, I don’t think that (don’t think I said so either?) More on that here though: Felipe Massa: a class act

  49. there is no logical reason why glock or toyota would “give” fifth place to hamilton. its quite obvious he and toyota took a risk by staying on slicks. hamilton (and vettel for that matter) were just much quicker, just like how alonso and the bmws made up tons of places on the last lap at spa.

    i think in more ways massa was actually “given” the chance to challenge for the title in front of his home crowd, to provide a final-race showdown, by the stewards of course – what with the spa penalty, bourdais/fuji penalty, perhaps his own valencia non-penalty. credit to him for driving well and winning convincingly but for hamilton to have lost the title would have been a huge injustice.

  50. I’ve watched the replay several times… Glock’s line was pretty dry. I still really believe that Glock hit the brakes big time at the end of this race. This was not Spa or Silverstone. The conditions, while damp, were not so unbearable that Glock had to crawl into the finish. There’s just no way he had to slow down like that so close to the end…

    Is Hamilton still a legit champ? Probably. I would agree with most here that Hamilton was screwed at Spa. Obviously, he’s a historic champion as well… and does deserve to be celebrated.

    Do I think of Glock as much less of a racer? Yes.

    I’m not sure what history will say about this year. Lots of controversy: several great races and several absolute duds. Nonetheless, I hope we can all agree that F1 is far better off when the championship is competitive. While I am hugely disappointed by what I perceive as Glock’s unsporting behaviour, its still a better ending than having Schumacher wrap things up in July.

    Parity is, ultimately, good for F1.

  51. Spectacular finish, just the right amount of rain at the right times (maybe not for the Toyotas) to spice things up..

    Well-deserved champion but I do feel for Massa. To me, it is just strange that Massa has more wins yet Hamilton takes the title. Consistency is important, but winning is even more so. I’d prefer the 10-6-4-3-2-1 system.

  52. Almost forgot, splendid drive by Vettel… the Red Bulls were very far down though, don’t know if going there is a mistake, have to see their 2009 car.

  53. Marvelous race, loved it.
    BTW Will, u know there’s such a thing as telemetry, to which the FIA and more crucially, toyota have access right? So you are implying that a young driver with a bright future would throw away his future career in order to get what? what’s in it for Glock? i’d say you better come up with something better than money

  54. Love the comment from Whitmarsh to ITV “we knew Hamilton would easily catch & pass Glock”. Well dopey why did you tell him he had to attack and pass Vettel and have him nearly run himself off trying then?

    Really … what a McLaren stuff up all weekend. No wing for the rain and no chance for Kovy to run foil with even less wing and a dumb fuel load … crikey maybe Mercedes should look at pensioning Whitmarsh as well as Dennis! Who in the pit is going to be able to tell Mr Hamilton and his dad and their egos that they know better than them now?

    Congratulations to Hamilton’s supporters anyway, a win is a win.

  55. Andrew Smith,

    Lewis just lucky? Right place right time? Hmm..what does that make Massa then who happened to be 2nd at Belgium and luckily inherited the win from Lewis?

    This is the problem with FIArrari fan boys, they’re just damn blind. I hate FIArrari and don’t want Massa to win but I must admit that he drove a strong race and deserved the win, plus he was dignified at the end. But take a look at the whole season and probably the last few years at how everything conspired to try to block Lewis from winning (and McLaren too) but God is great.

    Even tho I support Lewis, I felt his win this year was not that strong and that Massa did put in a great effort. But pls Andrew, Will, Amy and other blind Tifosi, even tho you are blind, your other senses still work. Pls use them.

  56. What if Hamilton couldn’t get his steering wheel back on? The tv coverage showed him struggle with it for at least a minute. I’m guessing the stewards would’ve had something to say about it.

  57. I call it karma, baby. The comedy act of Spa no longer matters. As a devote McLaren fan i shed a tear today.

    How ever i really feel sorry of Massa, to lose it like that, after thinking it was in the bag. It really felt like this was perhaps Massa’s one and only chance with all the talent filling up the grid.

    Congratulations Lewis. Amazing!

  58. Well done to Hamilton – and yes hard luck for Massa – but thank god that Massa didnt win the championship – because all those dubious penalties/descisions by amatuer stewards and fia(persons) – would have meant that all during the off season – we would have the tiffosi lauhing and us cursing their friends in low places.
    As for glock – he didnt give the position up he was struggling for grip – so roll on next year and more quality arguing on the site – thanks for that Keith

  59. i just want to see hamilton’s onboard camera video while kubica was unlapping himself and glock’s on-board video in the final two laps….

    anyway great win. hamilton totally deserves to be world champion


  60. @Will
    Different race tracks have different grip characteristics. If you have any experience of driving a car, even a road car, you will appreciate that fact.
    Its very easy to criticize from the comfort of your living room.
    In my opinion Glock will be the very last person to want to hand Hamilton any extra point after their clash at Monza.

  61. Alonso should learn from Massa and stop being such a sore loser.Nail bitting stuff dont think ive ever seen such a dramatic finnish.

  62. Go Vettel! Go Vettel! I hope next year is much better for you……..

  63. So he’s got the monkey off his back. Well, i was rolling on the floor, not able to control the laughter. Lewis lost the championship. Bugger! Glock ran out of fuel… as the commentary said… I couldn’t but think, it was a lucky championship, as Steve Slater opined. Exact words were, “lucky championship gained for Lewis… unlucky loss for Massa”, so i remember.

    Top drivers in my opinion…
    Fernando… 2 wins in a Renault.. scored more points in last 7 races, than other runners
    Kimi… no doubting his speed…
    Vettel… you have to hand it to the boy
    Our WDC… truly pathetic… no mechanical/ engine problems year round… yet only one point ahead… i wonder what Patrick Head would have had to say about this… remember he took a swipe at JV for making a “fist of it”.

  64. Next year will be amazing, but i hope McLaren get both Championships next season!

    Hamilton, Massa, Raikkonen, Alonso, Kubica, Vettel, plus possibly some others, fighting for the championship. I can’t wait!

  65. What a race! Even if most of it was boring, the last 5 laps totally made up for that, it was the best end to a race I’ve ever seen, probably edges Dijon ’79! At the middle part of the race I was yawning, but during those last laps I was literally shaking, and couldn’t stop trembling untill some minutes after the flag, even if I wasn’t rooting for any of the drivers in particular.

    Massa did a great job, as well as Alonso and Vettel. Hamilton seemed way to cautious this time around, but even after Vettel was in front, he didn’t seem to have the pace to challenge him, which I found surprising. Kudos to Timo Glock, made a risky gamble, gained one position I believe with that, but now is facing unwarranted criticism. The people who criticize him are being sore losers, and don’t understand what they’re watching.

  66. It was good to see an exhilarating final race! It’s just a shame people are already intent on spoiling it by somehow suggesting Glock let Hamilton win. It’s a huge discredit to Glock who is a fantastic driver and drove a great season. It’s pretty obvious the dry tires weren’t working for Glock and he was losing momentum before Hamilton had caught him.

    Congratulations to Hamilton anyway. The season was won with flawless drives like Silverstone and China.

  67. What a way to decide the championship, the rollercoaster of emotions everyone must have gone through is what sport is all about.

    Good drive from Massa. After the last couple of Brazilian GPs I thought that Massa would dominate barring unforeseen circumstances. Hamilton seemed to be driving for 5th place for the whole race, and I was worried it would cost him. To people criticising Glock, he was slow because he was on dry tyres on a wet track, if he had pitted for wets like everyone else then he would not have been ahead of Hamilton anyway.

    I was disappointed for Coulthard, to crash out in the first few corners in his last Grand Prix. I am sure no one would have wanted that.

    If Vettel gets a top car in the next few years he could well take the title of youngest F1 World Champion.

    I am glad neither championship was decided by the 7 points from the dubious penalties at Spa and Fuji.

  68. Great race ! ! I am so gutted to miss it. But I am downloading it now :-)

    Perfect race ! ! Perfect championship.
    Lewis wins WDC, Ferrari win WDC ! !I couldn’t be happier.

    Luck did come Lewis’s way, but it was deserved

  69. keepF1technical
    3rd November 2008, 10:14

    whatever the arguments we are all having with the outcome, just imagine what these arguments would be like if massa was champ. the best man won.

    one thing to pay huge respect to is massa being a great and dignified driver, if not the champion. many other drivers and f1 people (and fans) could learn a lot from his behaviour.

    well done lewis, the championship is won over the whole season not just one high pressure race at the end (i think he knows you can only a lose a championship at the last race)

    also i have to note the lack of enthusiasm on the fia website. in years gone by their site has been plastered with schu and ferrari (or alonso and renault) pictures within minutes of the race finish. this year not even the sunday press conference is up yet. its as if they have spat their dummy out and gone home!

    2009, bring it on… and let racing occur.

  70. Anyone heard from Flavio yet? Or is his mouth still stuffed with Crow?

  71. Motion –

    Love the comment from Whitmarsh to ITV “we knew Hamilton would easily catch & pass Glock”. Well dopey why did you tell him he had to attack and pass Vettel and have him nearly run himself off trying then?

    My reading of Whitmarsh’s quotes is that he didn’t tell Hamilton to pass Vettel:

    We knew we couldn’t take any risks. We couldn’t take any risks with Vettel, he is a young charger, we were saying to Lewis just take it easy.

    We knew we were racing Glock. We came here for fifth place, we could see Glock, we had the GPS and we could see Glock coming back towards us. We had the conviction, that we were going to catch him.

    But then you start to worry, ‘Is it raining as hard as we think it is?’, ‘Are we going to catch him?’ staring at the predictions and wondering whether we had got this wrong.


    Obviously we told Lewis, don’t worry about Vettel, Glock’s on dry tyres, you are going to find him in that last lap, but you know, until you do it, you haven’t done it!. Lewis kept his cool.

    I’m sure he was much cooler than the rest of us on the pitwall anyway.

    Alan –

    Roll on next year and more quality arguing on the site

    I think ‘quality arguing’ might become a slogan… Thanks :-)

    Mbuyi –

    Alonso should learn from Massa and stop being such a sore loser

    Alonso did congratulate Hamilton afterwards, which I thought was very sporting. I don’t think the animosity runs as deep as the press would have us believe.

    PJA –

    I am glad neither championship was decided by the 7 points from the dubious penalties at Spa and Fuji.


  72. I agree Hamilton is the deserving champion, as Massa could be, but none of them are worthy champions, too many mistakes during the season, and I found hamilton quite paralized after Vettel got past him. I do not believe that Martin W. told him to take it ease, because you are racing Timo and you can catch him in the last lap, they are not that precise :-)), as they proved to be. Hamilton took Timo in the last sector of the last lap!!. What an end of the season….

    For me the best drivers of this year were Vettel and Alonso in that tuned Renault.

    And Kovi? too much that car for him? We should speak about what has happened to him this year.

  73. I’ve never been a fan of James Allen, but I thought the commentary was pretty good that race. Murray, bless him, really wouldn’t have had a clue what was going on at the end there.

  74. And for the second year we do not have a real f1 champion. The last one is still Alonso and next year he wil show it.

    Dont get me rong. If massa had won the championship i was writing exactly the same. and a team like mc laren has disorve it. And i like close finishing but the mistakes that they made this year it was realy the siliest season of all time.

    I repeat it again Alonso is the only one who won from the big Schumacher and there is no way that Hamilton or Massa in a season like this won from him.

    Last but not least a big congretiolations to all Hamilton fans (whole britain i guess)

  75. Everybody keeps going on about all the mistakes Hamilton made during the year… Just remember its only his second year in F1 and he is up against guys like Alonso and Kimi and Massa..AND BEAT THEM (Without any help).. Well Done Lewis.

  76. “I repeat it again Alonso is the only one who won from the big Schumacher and there is no way that Hamilton or Massa in a season like this won from him. ”

    Well, not quite. Villenueve did, Hakkinen did, And Raikkonen also beat him in 2005.

    F1 history does not begin with Alonso, I’m afraid.

    I can’t see why you’d think Raikkonen didn’t deserve it last year, and I’d disagree with you regarding this year to.

  77. I do not believe that Martin W. told him to take it ease, because you are racing Timo and you can catch him in the last lap, they are not that precise :-)

    actually santi you are wrong there. we only see the sector times but the teams have access to GPS on every other car and all this is fed into computers back at base. so they knew exactly how glock was doing and the computer would have been screaming at them that lewis would catch him!

  78. Romain from Grenoble
    3rd November 2008, 14:16

    Wahoo. What a race. What a finale. I must confess that before this last race, I was rooting for Ferrari (or more accurately, against McLaren and Ron which I don’t like). But now that it is Monday, I remember why I watch F1 : for these racing moments, when there is rain and overtaking. Because whoever won the title yesterday, the real winner was racing. These last 10 laps were incredible, at first waiting for the rain, then everybody pitting for wet tyres. Kubica unlapping himself, forcing Lewis wide, Vettel passing him. My heart stopped at that moment. But there were 2,5 laps left (or 1,5?), I was screaming my support for Sebastian, and I could just not believe it, that Lewis was 6th.
    And then, the Glock incident. I had not noticed he had not pitted, and was running with dry tyres. (And I didn’t hear the french commentary since I was screaming my support for Sebastian). When he was overtaken, I though he was a lap down, and useless for the championship.
    Massa crossed the line on the final lap, soon followed by Alonso and Raikkonnen. I told myself “OK, 3 more to go, Glock/Vettel/Hamilton, and it’s in the bag”. One of them was missing.
    Another great racing moment was Fernando overtaking Heikki at the beginning of the race, a move that took place in Turns 1, 2 & 3. Good job, Fernando.
    Finally, good job to Lewis for this championship (although he was very lucky several times this year :p), good job to Felipe for being fair in losing (great attitude on the podium ceremony), and good job to Fernando and Sebastian for these final-rainy-laps-overtakings.

    Now I have one question regarding Vettel comments, something along the line “I didn’t know the outcome on the championship of me overtaking Lewis, I was just focused on the racing” (more precisely : http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/71962).
    – Is there some indication on the steering wheel of the position of the car? (i.e. P5, P6)
    – Do you believe Sebastian didn’t know he changed the “virtual world champion”, by relegating Lewis to P6?

    Ok, the cars are fast, you don’t have much time to think about these details, but these racers think fast too :) . I’d rather think Sebastian knew all this.

    PS: no way Timo let Lewis through at the end.

  79. Man, my heart was pounding the last few laps and man I was bumed when I thought Lewis was going to lose it again by a point, but then he gets around Glock and he is the WC. That was the greasest finish I have seen all year. OK now who else besides me was waiting for the STEWARDS to comes out with some penalty!

  80. congrats to lewis. Well done.Wish they (McLaren) had to win this race, hence setting up the car to be more competitive.You are now in a select group of successful black champions in they sport.ie Tiger Woods,Serrena Williams.I am sorry but I can,t feel sorry for massa after he drove into Hamiltons car a few races back. As for Alonzo, he can take his tongue out of the fiarrari rear end now.

  81. well done lewis

  82. Looking at the race, you have to point out that McLaren did everything possible to lose this championship. The qualifying strategy turned out to be very questionable. The heavy fuel in both cars let ALO and VET jump KOV and put immediate serious pressure on Hamilton. Then they brought Hamilton in too late for the first stop, allowing ALO and VET to leapfrog into a lead that could not be reversed with a “conservative” performance. Further the low downforce plus heavy fuel scenario knackered Hamilton’s tires throughout the race so at the end he was easy pickings for an STR. This race was a strategic disaster that Hamilton basically rescued for the team by for once keeping his cool.

  83. Corking race, terrible tactics from a lucky McLaren, deserved world champion goes to Lewis thankfully…

  84. Well done Lewis! To get that championship he had to beat Ferrari, the FIA and the Stewards not just Felipe Massa.

    Well done to Massa as well for taking it so well, although I’ll never tire of watching that Ferrari garage turn from celebration to anguish. Never tire.

    O and Max, after this year not only does the whole world know what a sexual freak you are but you can’t even rig your own championship successfully. Ha, idiot! Hamilton reigns, lets have more of the same next year.

  85. Wow, well it took me a while to get my head round that one! I was supporting Massa but was really pleased for Hamilton. Formula 1 is the star though, this season has been unforgettable!

  86. DMW I’m not sure I agree with you about the McLaren tactics. If it wasn’t for the rain I’m sure they would have been a comfortable third. In both situations where tyre changes were required, they did the only thing they could do and covered Massa. They couldn’t have brought him in any earlier and only lost out to those taking a gamble. It worked for Vettel and Alonso but not for Glock, luckily for Lewis!

    I do agree that they were probably wrong about Kova. They should have fuelled him light and got him up front. He has failed miserably as a ‘rear gunner’ for Hamilton over the last few races of the season. Whereas Kimi played a massively important role for Ferrari – the start at Fuji, the change round at Shanghai and taking points off Lewis in Brazil.

  87. That was quite a race! I cannot recall when a championship went down to the wire like that, apart from when I watched the movie ‘Grand Prix’.

    Despite having won less races than Massa, Lewis Hamilton deserves to be crowned champion – and I speak as someone who doesn’t particularly like the guy. He may be an arrogant sod who has the potential to end up thinking that he’s bigger than the sport (his dad seems to think that already to judge by his comments about the Brazilian fans after the race), but he has been THE driver to watch this year. Being arrogant makes him the successful driver he is. He has taken risks and, although they haven’t always paid off, he has been well rewarded for doing so. F1 is more exciting for his presence.

    Interesting to see what the British press has made of it; from what I read today, they’ve already convinced themselves that Hamilton will dominate the sport for years to come. We shall see, but I do hope that they’re not implying that they’d like to see a return to the days where one driver bestrodes the sport like a colossus.

    I don’t believe the ‘Glock’ conspiracy for a minute, though it did make me laugh! Face it, conspiracy fans, Glock and Toyota gambled on not changing tyres when the weather changed, and he lost places on the last lap as a result. It could just as well have gone the other way, with those who changed – ie. just about everyone else in the top six – struggling instead. That’s racing; gambles like that don’t always pay off; just look at what happened to Kubica at the start.

    And now – roll on 2009. I look forward to a season in which McLaren and Ferrari are challenged on a consistent basis by the likes of Renault, BMW Sauber and Red Bull, where drivers like Vettel and Kubica pose a serious threat all year, where daft stewards’ decisions don’t interfere with the race, and where Jenson Button might (just might!) end up driving a slightly more competitive car than the one he’s had to put up with this year.

  88. (his dad seems to think that already to judge by his comments about the Brazilian fans after the race)


    could you report here what Anthony has said about the Brazilian fans, please?

  89. So DONALD

    You are telling me that McL had in their computers the data taken from the GPS that LH was overtaking Timo within 15 sec. after the end of the race? And also you are asking me to believe that?

    I´m so sorry, but you know, I can´t take it. And not because of the computers, because of the human factor, you have to introduce such amount of data regarding the changing conditions in the track, tyres temp., grip,traffic,data from Lewis car, etc.. that they surely would still by now introducing that data in their Pcs.

    It is quite easy to say after the race everything went like planned, just to take out what for me was a paralized Hamilton when Vettel got past him. That is my point of view, of course LH is the one who can say if I´m wrong, but I read today that he said “Glock has done a good jod letting me past instead of taking me out of the track”. No comment for it.

  90. So, how many other drivers have been champions on their second year? there’s Jacques… who else?

  91. @DONALD

    This is from El Mundo, one the serious newspapers of Spain

    “Me dijeron por radio que necesitaba estar delante de él (Vettel). No podía creerlo. Pero en la última curva pude pasar a Glock. Sólo puedo dar gracias a Dios”.

    I´ll translate it for you. ” They told me on the radio that I needed to stay ahead of him (Vettel). I couldn´t believe it. But in the last corner I could get past Glock. I can only give thanks to God”

    There you are. They told him dont take that easy, you are lost. But he couldn´t bear it. That is way I do think he is not a worthy champion, only the deserving this year´s champion. He thanks God not the marvellous computer system of McL.

  92. I hate the guy but well any champion deserves the title, so congratulations to LH and all fans.
    I was also not big fan of MAS at the begining but I have to admit my view has changed a lot during these months. Everybody always remember the Silverstone race but if we consider that he is not at best in wet (and we had plenty of that this year), realibility problems and team mistakes (pits) and that after all that he was SOOO close to win… then you have to respect the guy. If you add a perfect weekend and very dignifing behaviour after the race then you have to admire him.

    A word about MCL. I can not believe that they did not learn anything from past mistakes. Even if they won, RD made a very risky strategy and LH, what on hell was he thinking to go so wide with Vettel so close!!! Then don’t tell me he knew about Glock, he tried to pass VET but somehow was not able, looked paralised… As I said any champion deserves the title but he better improve as next year I anticipate that RAI and ALO may be back in business.

  93. As a McLaren fan I’ve never liked Hamilton but I am relieved (as opposed to joyous) for their win. As a said McLaren fan needless to say I’ve never been big on the enemy, Ferrari, especially during the Todt-Brawn-Schumy era.

    And I have been one of the biggest scoffers of Massa’s chances and abilities. All that has changed, at least for me.

    Here’s to you Felipe. You showed more class than any other driver of late, who has come so close only to lose it all in the end. As you stated at your press conference, you know how to win and you know how to be gracious in defeat. I would dare say that you gained more fans by losing the title than if you had won. Count me amongst one of those converts.

    And what of next year? I can only hope that we fans will be witness to the unrealized title clashes we expected from Senna and Schumacher by the duo of Hamilton and Massa. And for years to come. Congratulations Felipe, you may not have won the title but you are furthest from being a loser than I could ever have imagined.

  94. Becken:
    “could you report here what Anthony has said about the Brazilian fans, please?”

    At the end of the race Anthony Hamilton was interviewed in the pit lane by ITV, the fans booing in the background was very loud (on my Hi-Fi anyway :~>) and he mentioned that it was sad to hear them booing & that they should maybe be a bit more respectful.

    That isn’t a direct quote, just what I remember watching live on Sunday.

    To be fair, if Felipe won the championship at the last corner, under the same circumstances and it was at Silverstone then I reckon there’d be a fair bit of booing too & I can understand how gutted they all felt.

    In AH’s defence it must be horrible hearing your son being booed by anyone, especially when he’s just won his first F1 title.

  95. Bene – Thanks, mate. I´m from Brazil and I must to say that this is completely embarrassing. I just finish an article on my blog reporting this shame and condemning such a disrespectful act.

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