Foreign press react to finale

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Guest writer David Watkins looks at the Brazilian and Spanish press reaction to the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The Brazilian press was today united in praise for Sao Paulo’s Felipe Massa after he came agonisingly short of clinching his first world championship.

In ‘Gazeta Esportiva’ columnist Fernando Solera laments Ferrari’s fuel hose blunder in the pitlane in Singapore but concedes that both Massa and Hamilton would have been worthy champions

“There are very few head-to-head contests in which both contenders would deserve the crown.

“No-one could ever say that Felipe coming second would be no better than coming last. Because he didn’t lose it. The British driver won it.”

Livio Oricchio, in Jornal da Tarde, says Massa can hold his head up high after a flawless performance in a race that saw every conceivable type of track conditions.

“There are some defeats which see the fans leave the track, stadium or indoor arena with their heads held high. Hurting of course from losing the win or the championship but happy, proud of its driver who had just demonstrated his immense talent, mental strength and also the class to accept the defeat and congratulate his opponent as he watched him celebrate.”

He also says he can think of no driver in the last few decades that has improved so much in his time in F1 as Massa.

Some of the strongest criticism of new World Champion Lewis Hamilton has come from the Spanish media but there were generous tributes to him today, one of which comes from Manel Serras in El Pais.

“He (Hamilton) is one of those prodigies that appear in the sporting world once in a blue moon but who become true heroes as they fulfil the potential that they are blessed with”

“He’s been a blessing for the British, the inventors of so many sports in which they no longer manage to shine and therefore so much in need of some big stars.”

Writing in El Mundo Ferrari test driver Marc Gene says Hamilton’s victory is “good news for Formula one.”

“I bumped into him (Hamilton) at the Goodwood Festival where we drivers are always nice and relaxed and we chat quite a lot. He is a charming, friendly young lad, just like his father, no matter what view outsiders have of him. Lewis is a polite person even though this season he’s said some things he shouldn’t have. He has always spoken fondly of Spain and has never complained no matter what the circumstances. He’s enjoyable company. He deserves the title: the reward for being just a normal 23-year-old,” Gene writes.

However Carlos Miguel, one of Hamilton’s biggest critics, is less generous.

“The incomprehensible collapse of Timo Glock ended up handing the title to McLaren’s British driver. We’ll never know if it was the result of Glock’s aim to become Lewis’ friend for life or the result of something far worse,” Miguel writes.

“Did Timo let them past or was it an agreement the teams came to before the start? It seems strange that, on the last lap, Jarno Trulli did exactly the same lap time (1:44). It’s as if both Toyota engines had been turned down from the pitlane to avoid suspicion.”

Please post links to and translation of any other interesting foreign coverage of the Brazilian Grand Prix below.

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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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17 comments on “Foreign press react to finale”

  1. Carlos Miguel, you’re a star…. It doesnt happen very often, but I love it when England/Britain win anything. It makes me howl with laughter at all the vitriol that is hurled our way…. Black & English, lol the poor Spaniards just cant handle it!!!

  2. @Trip Hazard.

    Could not agree more. And for the ‘sports that we have invented and no longer shine’ quote from the Spanish press, have this in mind. Great Britain just came ‘THIRD’ in the Olympic games, had two English teams in the Champions League final and four in the last eight, were 2003 Rugby World Champions and 2007 finalists, and, oh, have more world championship drivers than any nation in Formula One history.
    Spain has had one star, Fernando Alonso. De La Rosa and Gene, who are they? And if Alonso had kept his bottle, he may still have been at McLaren this year, and may well have fought for the championship. With him gone, Hamilton has the ‘WHOLE’ team to himself. Thanks Fernando…..
    Have you guys ever considered that, maybe, just maybe, Hamilton wanted Alonso to quit the team in the first place?? But ofcourse, you lovely people have only followed the sport since 2003 havn’t you. FIFTY THREE years behind the rest of the world, and NINETEEN years behind me!

  3. Here in America, one of the premiere F1 jouralists is Dan Knutson of ESPN. His post-Brazil writing focused on Massa, reflecting what a good job he has done this season despite missing out on the title. You’ll find a link to it here:

    Knutson also normally dose a seaosn review posting that is both high-quality and entertaining, so keep an eye out for that as well.

    Hamilton’s win did get front-page coverage on many of the mainstream sports websites here in America, keeping a place even during a full day of NFL action!!! Most of the reports were from wire services, but still good publicity. In terms of TV outside of SPEED network, Lewis did get a mention at number 6 or 7 on today’s list of weekend sports hilights on the leading sports TV show in America- “Sportscenter” on ESPN. I had no real complaint with the ranking, as there was a slew of fantastic plays from some American football games (and one from what we call “soccer” over here) that needed to be high on the list. The only thing that irked me a bit was the anchor describing the new champion as an “absolute phenom…..over across the pond”

    Grrrrr….who won the last USGP, sweetie?!?!?

  4. @Gman.

    Yeah, and Hamilton may go into the history books for that too. The last ever winner, to the last ever F1 race, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. BOO HOO!
    Oh well, atleast we have NASCAR there and their exploding Goodyear tyres, and Indycar with their non exploding Firestone tyres. I suppose that it better than nothing, right sport?
    Or you could watch Garcia for the Tampa Bay Bucs spend the best part of four hours falling onto his backside everytime he gets put under pressure. Oh BOO HOO.
    How many weeks is it to Albert Park?? FOUR MONTHS.

  5. First, I forgot to say very good post David- this is quite interesting information that I would not get to see normally, so thanks for bringing it to all of us.

    the limit,

    I think you’re on my side in this discussion, although I am not quite sure with your very creative comment. If you are acting in good spirits, I give you my compliments on your excellent NFL information- I obviously do not come to this site expecting to find that, but it is very neat on the occasional post such as yours!!! Garcia did have a hell of a game yesterday and the team is sticking in the race in the resurgent NFC South, so enjoy the ride if you’re a Bucs fan.

    On Hamilton and Indy, hopefully that will not be the case and we will see it return, although I grow more skeptical of an F1 return to Indy as the months tick by with no deal. Lewis was also the first black driver to win at Indy in any motorsport event, including the 500, so that is quite a bit of trivia!

  6. Hamilton is a worthy champion, and suggesting that Glock let Hamilton pass is stupid or evil. Unfortunately is an opinion which sells well in Spain so is no doubt that the worst media will use it.

    But attributing a single opinion to 45million people is no less stupid or evil.

  7. I almost fell into the zone of criticising someone above for their emotional outburst , but rightly refrained from doing so , remembering everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

    Of course , lot’s of writers will come across as favouring their country , and the sports people who “make it” from their own country . The thing that separates great people from the mediocre , are those who even in the face of defeat can still acknowledge the greatness of the one who has beaten their own , as some above do.

    Lewis no doubt deserved this championship , and I take this opportunity to congratulate him and wish all his fans well on the wonderful achievement , made even more special by the fact that it certainly was no easy win amidst a generally difficult year for F1.

  8. @the limit

    So you are 14 years behind me following F1.

    You are a little bit shortminded, as trying to say that Carlos Miguel´s opinions are shared by the whole nation (my wife even hates F1, she does not understand how a procession of cars is funny. She does not like football not say rugby, golf…..). Also you´ve got other opinions in this article from Spanish press.

    Do you really think that we as a nation hate the British?. There are quite a lot of people who hate certain people but not the abstract anonimous people of a nation. And that goes for everybody, including you.

    Take it easy med. BTW I do not hate anyone in the world so far.

  9. Hi Keith,

    You shouldn’t of bothered publishing Miguel’s quote – he’s clearly a clown who doesn’t understand racing. Is this guy actually employed as a motorsport journalist? Or is he just some deranged Alonso fan?

  10. @Santiago.

    My comments were not directed at the Spanish people, but at the writer of this piece. That comment he made really rankled me, but I am in no way directing my attack against the whole of Spain. I guess at times, my emotions do get the better of me.

  11. David Watkins
    4th November 2008, 14:10


    Carlos Miguel is F1 correspondent for AS, the second biggest-selling sports paper in Spain behind Marca.

    He’s a good writer in my opinion but, even on Hamilton’s best day, he can’t resist having a go at him.

    After the Silverstone race Miguel said that if Hamilton had been driving the R28 he wouldn’t have finished the race.

    A totally unprovable statement that is not worthy of a paid writer even though it was on his personal blog.

  12. A Spanish article much less disdainful than the one by Miquel (his name is Carlos Miquel, not Miguel boys) from the href=””> site:

    History’s most dramatic finale
    A WDC that changed owner in just a couple of curves, and slipped away from the local hero, the same one that just a few dared to bet for before the red lights went out. It’s been an authentic “Maracanazo” * in full fashion.
    But no one can blame Timo Glock. Honest, when Hamilton and Vettel were fighting for 5th place, I was thinking that Lewis should avoid any risk and had to let the German thru, because ahead in the track was a Timo Glock that had not changed to wet tyres, and I really doubted he could resist those 3 impending laps.
    And for my astonishment, he DID resist! So much, that a little bit further he could have ruined the Briton’s title, but it was not to be, and when it seemed that Vettel and Hamilton were just passing lapped ones before the track’s last sector, it was clearly seen that one of them was Glock’s Toyota, who did more than enough withstanding his dance on the slippery Interlagos tarmac with dry tyres, to end in a worthy 6th final place.

    * Maracanazo: a soccer term that commemorates the 1950 FIFA’s World Cup, in which Uruguay defeated Brazil 2-1 in the final minutes of the match, at Brazil’s famous “Maracaná” stadium.

    The pathetic “journalist” Miquel just doesn’t give up with his href=”“>”exclusive news”“: that Ferrari has a secret pact with Alonso to join the team, to be announced very soon. And Räikkönen? He will just switch to Renault, of course!

  13. David Watkins
    4th November 2008, 17:21


    I’ve been reading him for ages and it’s the first time I’ve noticed that it’s a ‘q’ and not a ‘g’!

    Thanks for the correction and other links.

    Miquel has just updated his blog and continues his tirade at Timo Glock:

    “No-one realised that he (LH) had passed Glock because what the German did was embarrassing for the sport. He was so slow that he looked like a lapped car.”

    “I won’t repeat again that McLaren snatched the title from Alonso and that the 2007 points standings were completely ficticious. Having had similarly unfair treatment Kovalainen ended the year more than 40 points behind Hamilton.”

    “As for Timo, in my view he violated one of the basic tenets of motor racing: that a driver must try to finish as high as possible and must defend his position.”

    “Frankly it smells like a fix, of a personal choice by Timo to get in Hamilton’s good books because he didn’t care whether he finished 4th or 6th. Or maybe it was a team decision, and he was ordered not to get in the Englishman’s way.”

    Miquel was, apparently, told that Ron Dennis and Norbert Haug went into various teams’ pit areas to ask them not to involve themselves in the title fight.

    Either he is deluded or, more likely, he is just telling his readers what they wish to hear

  14. Hi David,

    Cheers for that, i’m somewhat stunned, how an earth is the guy still in a job. Given some of the quotes that have been attributed to him, i wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up in court for defamation.

  15. David Watkins
    4th November 2008, 17:45


    It’s certainly very close with his remarks questioning Glock’s integrity

  16. The German tabloid “Bild” is generally giving the event a pro-Mercedes slant, although one interesting feature: their commentator, Matthias Bruegelmann, is pleading with Schumacher to use his influence at Ferrarri to get Vettel signed away from Red Bull.

    The Italian “La Stampa” (daily news from Turin) throws caution to the winds and judging by their other coverage, might be leaving itself open to legal action(!): “Breathtaking Brazillian GP. Massa wins, but it doesn’t matter. The first black man to win. Hamilton the victor thanks to the German from Toyota.”

    In a different article (
    Steffano Mancini describes Hamilton as a “black devil” (“diavolo nero”) – not entirely sure how that should be read – my italian isn’t good enough to suggest that there may be a light-hearted/tongue-in-cheek way of interpreting that!
    They are very complimentary about Nicle Scherzinger though and this seems to reflect well on Lewis!

  17. just imagine what they would of said if massa had won

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