Race-by-race review (F1 2008)

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Robert Kubica scored his maiden F1 win at Canada
Robert Kubica scored his maiden F1 win at Canada

We shared every twist and turn in the 18 Grands Prix of 2008 here on the F1 Fanatic Live Blogs.

Here’s a reminder of how each race unfolded and what we said about the most exciting moments of the year as they unfolfed before our eyes:

Australian Grand Prix

Hamilton started the year with a win at Melbourne
Hamilton started the year with a win at Melbourne

The season got off to a spectacular start with a hectic race at Melbourne. While Lewis Hamilton converted pole position into the win, there was plenty going on behind him.

Del: Be still my beating heart…the excitement!

Australian Grand Prix qualifying report: Lewis Hamilton on pole
Australian Grand Prix race report: Ferrari falter and Hamilton triumphs

Malaysian Grand Prix

Felipe Massa had spun at the start at Melbourne and then clashed with David Coulthard. In Sepang he lost the lead to team mate Kimi Raikkonen, then spun off trying to catch him. Not many expected him to end up leading Ferrari’s title charge. Raikkonen won, while both McLaren drivers picked up penalties in practice.

Rabi: If Massa continues this he will dropped before the end of the season.

Malaysian Grand Prix qualifying report: Massa on pole but McLarens could face penalty
Malaysian Grand Prix race report: Raikkonen routs the opposition

Bahrain Grand Prix

Massa rallied at Bahrain, winning as he pleased, but Raikkonen now led the championship. Hamilton had a horror show of a race, crashing into Fernando Alonso after making a poor start.

Rikhart: This is looking like an easy championship for Kimi, if McLaren are nowhere, he will fight with Massa mostly, who is quite worse than him.

Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying report: Insert Pole-on-pole joke here
Bahrain Grand Prix race report: Ferrari pair cruise to easy one-two

Spanish Grand Prix

Kimi Raikkonen led a Ferrari 1-2 at Barcelona
Kimi Raikkonen led a Ferrari 1-2 at Barcelona

A typical F1 Sunday snooze in Spain was interrupted by a heavy crash for Heikki Kovalainen. He was unhurt, but the appearance of the safety car proved rotten timing for Nick Heidfeld, whose race was ruined. It wouldn’t be the last time the ‘pit lane closure’ rules ruined someone’s race.

Ollie: The pit lane rules are so stupid. Just so stupid.

Spanish Grand Prix qualifying report: Raikkonen holds back home hero Alonso
Spanish Grand Prix race report: Raikkonen leads crushing Ferrari 1-2

Turkish Grand Prix

Raikkonen won in Spain but from this point on his form started to dip. The Istanbul round was our first experience of what would become a familiar phenomenon: Massa out-paced Raikkonen in qualifying, and though the Finn showed excellent pace in the race the shot at victory had escaped him. Massa won his third Turkish Grand Prix in a row, while Hamilton finished second.

F1Punter: That 1’26.5 shows that Kimi has pace in the car, he just hasn’t been able to deliver it consistently enough.

Turkish Grand Prix qualifying report: Hat-trick of poles for Felipe Massa
Turkish Grand Prix race report: Massa wins third consecutive race at Istanbul

Monaco Grand Prix

A wet Monaco Grand Prix provided high drama. Hamilton clipped the wall but survived with only a puncture. His early pit stop set him up perfectly to capitalise on the changing conditions later in the race, and he won from Massa. Adrian Sutil ran strongly in the points for Force India – until an out-of-control Raikkonen rammed him out of the race.

Doctorvee: What a TERRIBLE race Raikkonen has had
Gerdoner: The fastest car crashes into the slowest one
Tom: That’s really unlucky for Sutil

Monaco Grand Prix qualifying report: Ferrari shock McLaren with front row lock-out
Monaco Grand Prix race report: Ferrari mistakes let Lewis Hamilton in for win

Canadian Grand Prix

Robert Kubica scored his first ever Grand Prix win at Montreal
Robert Kubica scored his first ever Grand Prix win at Montreal

Raikkonen was the driver rammed out of the race in Montreal – by title rival Hamilton.

Andy: I don’t believe he wanted to do that…
Kris: Raikonnen beat him out the pits, and Hamilton took him out
Ponzonha: Disaster. Absolute disaster. I don’t mind who is responsible.

That set Kubica up for the win which he delivered – his maiden victory, at the circuit where he survived a shocking crash in 2007.

Canadian Grand Prix qualifying report: Hamilton takes pole as track starts to crumble
Canadian Grand Prix race report: Kubica takes maiden win as Hamilton hits Raikkonen

French Grand Prix

With Hamilton on a ten-place grid penalty following his Montreal blunder, and Kovalainen picking up a penalty in qualifying at Magny-Cours as well, Ferrari were left to run riot. It should have been an easy win for Raikkonen – but then Wolf spotted a problem with the Ferrari:

F1Wolf: There is something flying around the car at the engine area.

It was Raikkonen’s exhaust, and as his lap times dropped off Massa took the win off him.

French Grand Prix qualifying report: Raikkonen storms to Ferrari?s 200th pole position
French Grand Prix race report: Problem for Raikkonen hands win to Massa

British Grand Prix

Heavy rain hit Silverstone and Hamilton quickly moved to the front, passing Kovalainen on the way. The crucial moment came as he and Raikkonen made their first pit stops together. McLaren and Hamilton made the correct call to put on a fresh set of wet weather tyres while Raikkonen kept his used set on.

Ollie: Hamilton pits with Raikkonen
Cyanide: No tyre change for Ferrari
Journeyer: …but Hamilton’s tyres are cold.

As fresh rain fell Hamilton left Raikkonen behind – and won his home race by over a minute.

British Grand Prix qualifying report: First pole for Kovalainen as Hamilton stumbles
British Grand Prix race report: Lewis Hamilton scores home win as Ferrari flounder

German Grand Prix

McLaren were unstoppable at a cool Hockenheimring. Despite inexlicably failing to pit Hamilton under a late safety car period, Hamilton picked off Massa and Nelson Piqet Jnr to score his second win in a row.

F1Fanatic.co.uk: My McLaren strategic blunder sense is tingling
Chaz: This really throws cat amongst the pigeons
Snoopy: No red lights to Hamilton and Kimi LOL
Doctorvee: Why on earth have they kept Lewis out?

German Grand Prix qualifying report: Hamilton beats Massa to Hockenheim pole
German Grand Prix race report: Lewis Hamilton wins despite strategy blunder

Hungarian Grand Prix

Massa trudges back to the pits after his engine failure
Massa trudges back to the pits after his engine failure

McLaren were expected to run away with the race at Hungary too, and when Hamilton took pole position it looked like business as usual. But Massa burst through from the second row, passed Hamilton and ran away with the lead. But cruelly, he was not to take the win…

Kris: Massa blown up
Tom: OMG that is unlucky
Doctorvee: Whoa kovy for the win!
Diseased rat: Oh poor Massa, man he deserved that win
Gerdoner: Just as the german commentators spoke about Hill’s 1997 race

Kovalainen inherited the win, becoming F1’s 100th Grand Prix winner.

Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying report: Lewis Hamilton heads McLaren one-two
Hungarian Grand Prix race report: Massa loses Hungary win to Kovalainen

European Grand Prix

There were little drama at Valencia. Massa took a straightforward lights-to-flag win, but he escaped a penalty for being un-safely released in the pits.

Chaz: will massa get a drive through penalty
Journeyer: Nothing will come out of it. A fine at most.
Tom: Well I hope he does get a drive-through, hopefully that should put a stop to all that because it has been going on repeatedly and it IS dangerous

European Grand Prix qualifying report: Felipe Massa pips Lewis Hamilton to pole
European Grand Prix race report: Felipe Massa scores flawless win at Valencia

Belgian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton won the Belgian Grand Prix... for a few hours
Lewis Hamilton won the Belgian Grand Prix... for a few hours

A late shower in the Belgian Grand Prix transformed the race. Hamilton and Raikkonen scrapped furiously for the lead, and Hamilton seemed to have done enough to earn the win, passing Raikkonen before the Finnish driver crashed out. When it was announced that the stewards were investigating the battle, it wasn’t immediately clear why.

Diseased rat: LOL at people thinking Hamilton cut the chicane, he quite obviously gave the place back after doing so.
Doctorvee: Stewards investigating incident between Lewis and Kimi – is that when Lewis cut the bus stop? Or when they crashed at La Source?

Eventually we learned Hamilton was to be stripped of his win, and victory was handed to Massa.

Belgian Grand Prix qualifying report: Lewis Hamilton on pole position at Spa
Belgian Grand Prix race report: Lewis Hamilton is moral victor in Spa thriller

Italian Grand Prix

Another wet race, but this time Hamilton didn’t win as he’d picked the wrong tyres in qualifying and started 15th. Sebastian Vettel and Toro Rosso called the race beautifully, winning from pole position, making Vettel the youngest winner and pole sitter.

Journeyer: Vettel’s lead down to 9.5s, but still has a comfy gap.
F1Wolf: So Vettel for the win :-)

Italian Grand Prix qualifying report: Sebastian Vettel on pole as Massa leads title rivals
Italian Grand Prix race report: Sebastian Vettel brushes title rivals aside to win

Singapore Grand Prix

Massa was leading the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix comfortably when disaster struck at his first pit stop.

Franton: Massa ripped out the fuel hose
Darren: Massa ran over mechanic
SpareTomato: Massa nearly hit a Force India there too

With Massa not scoring, Hamilton settled for third behind Alonso and Nico Rosberg. Raikkonen crashed out of the race in the dying stages, his fourth consecutive no-score of the season. But the untimely arrival of the safety car ruined Kubica’s race and effectively ended his title hopes.

Singapore Grand Prix qualifying report: Felipe Massa takes pole by huge margin
Singapore Grand Prix race report: Fernando Alonso?s bad luck turns good for win

Japanese Grand Prix

Felipe Massa scored two valuable points at Fuji
Felipe Massa scored two valuable points at Fuji

More controversy in Fuji. It started with Hamilton’s lurid out-braking move at the hairpin, for which he was handed a penalty. Massa bundled Hamilton into a spin and got a penalty himself. After the race, Bourdais was given a penalty for angle with Massa – but at first many thought Massa was the one at fault.

Osama: Massa’s move will be invstigated
Chunter: What the hell good does a penalty on Bourdais do?
MacademiaNut: Massa will be given a 25 second advantage instead of a drive through for Bourdais

Alonso capitalised on the mayhem to score his second win on the trot.

Japanese Grand Prix qualifying report: Lewis Hamilton on pole again at Fuji
Japanese Grand Prix race report: Alonso wins as Hamilton and Massa stumble

Chinese Grand Prix

After being heavily criticised for his Fuji performance, Hamilton hit back by dominating the Chinese Grand Prix weekend. Only in FP3 did anyone displace him at the top of the times sheets. Raikkonen led Massa and had to make way for his team mate late in the race – though he took his time over it.

Snoopy: Well…proof that Kimi is team player
Chaz: Come on FIA do something about these team orders
Brendan: About as blatant as Kovalainen at Hockenheim
Tom: You could hear Kimi lift there
Zerogee: Ha, did you hear Kimi’s engine?
Sumedh: No mechanics celebrating Massa’s pass

Chinese Grand Prix qualifying report: Lewis Hamilton on pole in China
Chinese Grand Prix race report: Lewis Hamilton on cusp of F1 title after dominant win

Brazilian Grand Prix

We won’t forget the heart-stopping title decider in Interlagos any time soon. Hamilton looked to have thrown it all away when he was passed by Vettel late in the race. But the pair overtook a slow Glock on the final tour and Hamilton clinched the championship. The live blog went into

Eugene: Glock just went from hero to zero in brazil
Journeyer: What a season. For all the right and wrong reasons.
Scott Joslin: In my life I have never experienced drama like it!
F1Fanatic.co.uk: Staggering. I’m almost in shock.
Svaeyens: I’m exhausted….
Robert McKay: That was unreal. Unreal.
Journeyer: Keith, shock is an understatement.
NDINYO: Best F1 season of all time!
DanD: Didn’t see that one coming at all
David Watkins: My face is burning my heart is at about 200. And Hamilton is champion!

Brazilian Grand Prix qualifying report: Felipe Massa takes pole for title decider
Brazilian Grand Prix race report: Lewis Hamilton is champion in epic climax to final race

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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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  • One comment on “Race-by-race review (F1 2008)”

    1. The track in the map is not Nurburgring. It´s Hockenheim

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