What was the best F1 pass of 2008?

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Felipe Massa takes Lewis Hamilton at the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix
Felipe Massa takes Lewis Hamilton at the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix

Overtaking can be rare in Formula 1. But when the planets align and someone actually gets close enough to make a move, a genuinely exciting pass is a thing to savour.

Although next year sees new regulations designed to enhance passing opportunities there were some fine overtaking moves this year.

We?ve seen double passes, wet weather passes and last-lap-for-the-title passes in 2008. But which was the best?

To pick the best passing move of 2008 we?re going to start with your nominations: pick your favourite pass or passes and name them below, explain why you think they?re the best. Post links to videos in the comments and I’ll embed them here.

Once we?ve got a short list of the top passes we?ll have a poll on Friday to select the best of all.

Let the nominations begin??

Suggestions so far

Massa on Hamilton at the Hungaroring

Heidfeld on Alonso and Coulthard at Sepang

Heidfeld on Alonso and Glock at Silverstone and Heidfeld on Raikkonen and Kovalainen at Silverstone

Alonso on Kubica and Vettel at Spa

Massa on Kovalainen and Barrichello

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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91 comments on “What was the best F1 pass of 2008?”

  1. hamilton on raikkonen belgian grand prix

  2. Hamilton on Kovalainen – British GP

  3. massa on hamilton and kovi at the hungarian grand prix (I am a big Lewis fan but i had to stand up and applaude Massa into turn 1 at the hungaroring)

  4. Massa on Hamilton at Hungaroring

  5. vettel on hamilton interlagos

  6. hamilton on glock, interlagos

  7. Massa on Hamilton at Hungaroring

  8. Is a good start an overtaking move?

  9. Ade,

    Hamilton on Kova – British GP: is hardly a pass, Kova dived out the way to let Hamilton through

  10. 1. hamilton- raikonnen- hamilton- raikonnen- hamilton- rosberg- raikonnen-crash (Belguim)

    2. hamilton- glock (brazil)

    3. Massa on two people (canada)

    4. Raikonnen first 4-5 laps (australia)

    5. Hamilton- DC (singapore)

    6. Massa- Hamilton (Hungary)

    7. Hamilton – KOvaleinen (UK)

    8. Rosberg? taking 2 people (UK)

    9. Vettel- Hamilton (brazil)

    10. Hamilton – MAssa (turkey)

    bonus prizes awrded to

    – Massa for Bourdais and nearly killing someone with Weber (Japan)

    – Alonso for the most optimistic pass of the year (Monaco)

    EDIT: has anyone noticed how Hamilton seems to involvedin nearly all of these, though i do like how he puts the other drivers noses out of joint :P

  11. I bet nobody else suggests this move.

    Piquet on Trulli at Montreal. It was one of those ‘Get out of my way, I’m quicker than you’ moves. It was also from a long way back, unexpected and on a wretched track surface.

  12. Oh, and it wasn’t like Trulli made a mistake on the previous corner either, so it was a genuine overtake

  13. Silversone:
    Nick Heidfeld’s double pass on Glock and Alonso and another one later on on Raikkonen and Kovalainen.

  14. massa on kovalainen and barrichello in canada

    if start counts too, i definitely vote for trulli’s belgium start, he overtook many drivers

  15. Christian Briddon
    10th December 2008, 12:57

    i)Hamilton on Raikkonen at Spa.
    ii)Hamilton on Glock at Brazil

  16. Hamilton on Massa, Hockenheim.

  17. I can’t remember most of the overtaking moves from last season off the top of my head, so when the poll goes up on Friday it would be good if you could put links to footage of the passes to refresh peoples memories. Some that stick in my memory are Hamilton on Massa at Turkey and Germany, and Heidfield’s double overtakes at Silverstone.

    Personally I think starts and overtakes are two separate categories so I wouldn’t vote for Massa at the Hungaroring in this poll, but if there was a best start poll I would vote for Massa there.

  18. Raikkonen on/between Hamilton & Rosberg, Spa.

  19. massa in hungary, more a good start than race-overtake, but nice moves;

  20. Massa in Hungary was meh – a better start not an overtake.

    Hamilton’s move on Glock wasn’t a great pass it was an important pass – there is a difference.

    I vote for Heidfeld’s double double pass at Silverstone….

  21. massa from p3 otudoing kovi and taking p1 on the outside of hamilton into turn 1 in hungary.

    that was a stand out – race winning move. too bad both cars failed.

    stand out overtake would be this move, schumi on alonso.


    the difference is that Michael didn’t just out power him or whatever, he actively took a different line into the first corner to stick a move on the next corner, smart driving.

  22. Kimis 1st few laps at spa
    Wheel to wheel with massa

  23. MY TOP TEN
    10.Massa on Heikky and Barrichello at Canada
    9. Vettel on Lewis at Brazil
    8. Massa on Lewis at Hungary
    7. Lewis on Glock at Brazil
    6. Lewis on Massa at Turkey
    5. Lewis on Massa at Germany
    4. Piquet on Fernando at France
    3. Lewis on Kimi at Spa
    2. Nick Heidfeld on Fernando and Coulthard at Malaysia
    1. Nick Heidfeld on Fernando Alonso (AGAIN!) and Timo Glock at Silverstone

  24. A missed a point: Nick Heidfeld made TWO DOUBLE overtakings at Silvertone:
    On Fernando Alonso and Timo Glock at Silverstone and On Heikky and Kimi.

    He is the BEST overtaker of 2008, no doubt!

  25. Massa passing Hamilton on the outside at the first corner at the start of the Hungarian GP after having already passed Kovalainen.

  26. I am going for Heifield’s double overtaking at the British Grand Prix

  27. Hamilton on Massa in Japan. OK, Massa cut the chicane and harpooned his rival but Hamilton’s part was a clean pass on horribly flat spotted tyres.

  28. Massa’s double overtake at Canada. I jumped out of my seat. Brilliant.

  29. Best overtaker of the season has to be Heidfeld. He made no less than THREE double overtaking moves – twice at Silverstone and one at Malaysia, making Alonso and Raikkönen look like rookies. I’d go for one of these or Massa’s move at Canada against Barrichello and Kovalainen.

    Best start og the season has to go to Trulli at Spa – that was propably the best start in years.

  30. For me its clear: Nick, Silverstone

  31. massa on hamilton is the ultimate best start of the year. it was a classic wheel-on-wheel move.

    the best overtaking?

    i dont know. actually i cant remember a classic pass where neither the winner nor the passed made a mistake. i mean heidfeld was great with his double passes but – at least the one on heikki and kimi – the mistakes of the others were needed too.

  32. Without a doubt it was Lewis on Kimi at Spa… absolutely brilliant!

    Other notable drives also include Lewis in the wet at Silverstone , Monaco and Monza (too many to mention).

    In fact many drivers had great moves in the wet races including Vettel on Lewis at Interlagos (gritted teeth lol).

  33. nick H, one of his doubles

  34. Nick Heidfeld’ Two Double Overtaking Move In British GP
    Nick Heidfeld’s Double Overtaking Move In Malaysian GP

  35. Kimi’s first few corners at Spa :D

  36. I can’t remember who he overtook now, but Hamilton on (insert name of driver) going into turn 1 part-way through the Brazil GP where he was off line on the damp track on dry tyres but made it stick…

  37. Nick at Silverstone

  38. I can’t remember who he overtook now, but Hamilton on (insert name of driver) going into turn 1 part-way through the Brazil GP where he was off line on the damp track on dry tyres but made it stick…

    It was Fisichella in a Force India

  39. Heidfeld on Silverstone. Easily.

  40. Massa passing Rubens and Heikki at L’Epingle in Montreal. I was sitting about 20 rows up and the (Ferrari) crowd was in awe.

  41. No second thought – Heidfeld’s two double overtakes at Silverstone
    Third was similar overtaking by Massa at Canada.

  42. One of my comments is stopped at the moderation, but don’t forget, guys, that Quick Nick had already made a double move at Malaysia on Fernando and Coulthard (click HERE).

    I think that Piquet on Fernando at France was a good one too…

  43. Rosberg passing Trulli @ Singapore

    That is – with all the push from the box a few laps before and with all the smoke, etc :-)

  44. #13’s got it for Silverstone:

    Nick Heidfeld’s double pass on… Raikkonen and Kovalainen.

    The one on Kimi and Kovy was simply class. Very much representative of the surgence BMW made in 2008 – or for the first half, at least – to be the best of the rest. This one fired the shot that if Ferrari and McLaren falter, BMW will be there to pounce.

    I got so excited at the pass that I, momentarily, forgot one of the cars being passed is one of those I support!

    That, or Massa’s start at Hungary. Though I can probably say it’s almost disappointing he doesn’t drive like this consistently when you know he can pull off stuff like this.

  45. Its Hammer time
    10th December 2008, 15:45

    Heidfeld past Raikkonen, Kovalainen @ Silverstone

    Worse/ Most Cruel
    Raikkonen into Sutil @ Monaco

  46. Hamilton’s pass on Piquet and then the repeat on Massa at whatever track that was. Absolutely awesome for me to watch because it was one of those ‘***?’ moments where the team made an apparent mistake and it was up to Hamilton to get the job done and win the race. Shows what stuff he is made of.

    Then of course the Hamilton/Raikkonnen battle at Spa.

  47. My picks are Heidfeld’s three doubles in the season, and the Raikkonen/Hamilton sparring in the final laps of Belgium before Kimi crashed. Both drivers pushing so hard in atrocious conditions and both actually going all out for the win by pushing so hard. Great stuff.

  48. I’d say Heidfeld’s double pass @ silverstone, hamilton on massa @ germany, kovalainen on alonso @ australia or
    hamilton on massa @ turkey were all good moves.

  49. Has to be Quick Nick, I was lucky enough to be see him pull off that double overtake on Kimi and Heikki right where I was sitting at the Grand Prix, he made it look so easy.

    I was indifferent to Heidfield before, but he’s one crafty geezer and I’m quite glad BMW have kept him.

  50. Kimi on Hamilton at Spa on the first few laps.

  51. Has to be Heidfeld’s double overtakes at Silverstone


  52. Hamilton on Raikkonen at spa

  53. 1. Hamilton on Massa at Hockenheim
    2. Hamilton on Raikkonen at Monza
    3. Hamilton on Massa at Instanbul Park
    4. Hamilton on Alonso at Magny-Cours (estoril corner)
    5. Raikkonen on Kubica at Bahrein

  54. heidfield double @ silverstone.
    it will be intresting to see this post in 12 months time if bernie has his medals way………..

  55. My favourite move was Vettel on Hamilton is Brazil,
    I would also like to point out to everyone, with all due respect, Hamilton on Glock in Brazil was hardly an overtake…
    I have nothing against Hamilton, but I’ll be fair, if the overtake Hamilton made on GLock was so amazing, Vettel did the exact same overtake.
    It may of got Hamilton the championship, but it was hardly an overtake for the record books.

  56. If we count starts, we have to say Massa at Hungary to the lead. You have to focus on situations where the performance at the time was more equal and the lead driver made no glaring error. And so I also list, reserving my ranking,
    -RAI on MAS at Spa
    -HAM on MAS at Turkey
    -HAM on MAS at Hockenheim
    -HEI on RAI and KOV at Silverstone
    -ROS on TRU at Singapore (4 smoking tires, street course, like CART in the olden days)

  57. OK here are the nominations I’ve got so far in the order they were received

    Hamilton on Raikkonen at Spa
    Hamilton on Kovalainen at Silverstone
    Massa on Hamilton at the Hungaroring
    Vettel on Hamilton at Interlagos
    Hamilton on Glock at Interlagos
    Hamilton on Massa at Istanbul
    Massa on Webber at Fuji
    Piquet on Trulli at Montreal
    Heidfeld on Glock and Alonso at Silverstone
    Heidfeld on Raikkonen and Kovalainen at Silverstone
    Massa on Kovalainen and Barrichello at Montreal
    Hamilton on Massa at Hockenheim
    Raikkonen on Hamilton at Spa (the Rosberg one)
    Raikkonen on Massa at Spa
    Piquet on Alonso at Magny-Cours
    Hamilton on Massa at Fuji
    Hamilton on Fisichella at Interlagos
    Rosberg on Trulli at Singapore
    Kovalainen on Alonso at Melbourne
    Hamilton on Raikkonen at Monza
    Hamilton on Alonso at Magny-Cours
    Alonso on Kubica and Vettel at Spa

    I’d like to whittle this down to between five and ten nominations to put to a vote, so:

    Which ones definitely should be in?
    Should starts counts (e.g. Massa at Hungary)?
    Should drivers passing cars on the wrong tyres for the conditions count (e.g. Hamilton on Glock and Alonso on Kubica and Vettel)?

    And do post any videos showing any of the other passes…

  58. Starts shouldn’t count but wrong tyres are fair game….. after all, car no.12 had bald tyres (i.e should have been in to change them / wrong tyres) at the French Grand Prix 29 years ago and you can’t accuse that of not being “real” overtaking ;)

  59. I’d agree with Ted, but with another point of if the performance difference is massive (e.g. Hamilton on Glock at brazil), it’s not really an overtake worth its name, in the same way that if a car breaks down, the person immediately taking the place isn’t really responsible for that either.

  60. Why the heck shouldn’t starts count! Absolutely they should count. The reaction on the blog to Massa at Hungaroring was immense.

    Thats my nominiation, along with

    Vettel on Hamilton at Sao Paulo
    Hamilton on Raikkonen at Monza

  61. Mr.Soap – fair point, see my earlier post ;)

    …as for Massa at Hungary it was hardly Piquet on Senna at Hungary Turn 1 was it??

  62. – Definitely: QUICK NICK on Heikky and Kimi at Silverstone
    (Nick has the best amount of masterpieces in the year!)

    – Starts CAN´T count! If it could count, The rookie Lewis on both Ferraris, MASSA and KIMI at Malaysia last year, could be considered the best overtaking of the decade!!!!

    – Fights between Drivers in Wrong Tyres CAN´T count!

  63. Vettel passing Hamilton & Hamilton passing Glock @ Brazil

  64. I think starts are fair game but I cant really say that cars of not an equal performance due to tires should qualify. Lewis on Glock at Interlagos is not worthy of this vote no matter how much excitement it generated, it was not a pass of skill that required a driver to make it stick. That being said, Hamilton/Raikkonnen at Spa, Massa on Lewis at Hungaroring and Lewis on Massa at Hockenheim are among my favorites of the year. Yes, I am a lewis fan, so that is why my answer is a bit more biased towards him. I would have to review all the vids above in order to bring some of Heidfeld and Alonso’s passes to memory.

  65. My nomination for the top 10 would be.
    1. Lewis on Kimi on Lewis on Kimi on wall?!?! – Spa (can we say enough about how this race ended?)
    2. Kimi on Massa – Spa (Loved it! Nearly running his teammate off the track! get-out-of-my-way!)
    3. Lewis on Massa – Turkey (Ham on 3 stopper made this whole race a lot more exciting)
    4. SebVettel on Lewis – Brazil (becuz it meant so much, and no one in the cars realized it)
    5. Nick on Raikkonen / Kovi – Silverstone (quick nick, oh so slick!)
    6. Lewis on Timo – Brazil (again… it meant so much, not spectacular… kinda like blowing past the neighbor’s kid on his BigWheel with your Harley… but watching Timo struggle on the wrong tires and knowing the impact on the championship of the position made it heart pounding)
    7. Piquet on Trulli – Montreal (watch it again… pure magic! Nelson slices down the inside, forces Trulli wide with a perfect wheel touch to slam it home… booyah! Earned his seat for next year.)
    8. Lewis on Kovi, then Massa, then Piquet – Hockenheim… (oh snap! you had to give Lewis his due. He was in a league of his own that day)
    9. Lewis on Kovi – Silverstone (did Lewis even lift? Stellar drive overall)
    10. Lewis on Kimi – Monza (did he just blow past him in a high speed corner? What the deuce?)

  66. If were going to allow starts I would have to say Massa’s pass on Kovalainen and Hamilton in Hungary but the jury is out on whether you can or not.

    Passing wise I’m going to say:
    > Hamilton and Raikkonen at Spa, both on the same tyres so the battle was fair in my opinion. Both drivers did extremely well in the conditions until Kimi decided he’d had enough and parked it in the wall.
    > Heidfeld at Silverstone taking both Kovi and Kimi in one move was pure class in the conditions and a great show of quick thinking.
    > Hamilton on Coulthard at Singapore impressed me as it was a move that could have ended very badly for Hamilton if it had gone wrong.
    > Hamilton on Massa in Germany as Hamilton was in a different league in that race and Massa’s attempt at a come back in the next few corners made me laugh.
    > Hamilton on Glock in Brazil simply for the significance of the move.

  67. Without a doubt it has to be Massa’s incredible double pass on Kovalainen and Barrichello on turn 10 at the Canadian Grand Prix.

  68. Rosberg on Trully in Singapore.
    The pass was alsome because Rosberg lock the four wheels and all that smoke from breaking wasreally cool to see at night. On top off that Rosberg made the first overtaking move and found the only overtaking spot of the race.

  69. Massa in Hungary no doubt about it. It game me goose bumps all over again watching it.

  70. How odd that the suggested video’s show situations where a driver has an advantage because of the tyres, a better start, two other drivers pushing each other off etc

    I guess real overtaking moves are not as entertaining …

  71. ??????….. Kubica on Vettel on Hamilton….:) last lap Brasil

  72. as dolec said…
    kubica on vettel on Hamilton.. brazil..:)

    between it seems that only the top driver are being included.what about the rear cars in the grid? there is also overtaking in those ones,but TV channels often don’t show it.

  73. Keith

    Should drivers passing cars on the wrong tyres for the conditions count (e.g. Hamilton on Glock and Alonso on Kubica and Vettel)?

    Every overtaken driver will have some disadvantage or other maybe tyre wear, maybe fuel load, maybe lack of traction.
    If Keith your logic is to be agreed to (and I think should be agreed to) all overtakes of Silver cars of Red Cars should have to be disqualified. For everyone who knows enough about F1 was aware that Ferrari drivers were essentially fighting with one hand tied to their backs when it came to wet weather conditions given that McLaren cars were able to work better with tyres.

  74. Massa on Kovalainen and Barrichello

  75. Hamilton on Kimi at Spa at La Source wasn’t a really good pass. Kimi made a foolish mistake; going too defensive.

    Massa’s pass on Hamilton at Hungary was good. Hamilton’s on Kimi at Monza was good too

  76. Another one no one mentioned was lewis on kubica at monza lewis was on his outlap from changing to inters and took him at the roggia chicane. Also when lewis took fisichella at interlagos, this was such a good pass because hamilton had to go onto the wet line of the track

  77. I think alonso’s last lap at Spa was pretty impressive.

    Although the cars will look like crap, I’m looking forward to the closers races and more passing oppertunities.

  78. Heidfeld’s last lap at Spa was pretty impressive….but he was on different tyre so I guess that doesn’t count eh?

  79. I reckon Massa’s pass on Webber at Fuji should definitely have had a few more mentions. Seeing Webber squeezing and Massa threading the needle between the pit wall and Webber to finally get past, i thought was breathtaking!

  80. Im amazed no one else remembers Lewis amazing overtake on Webber at Monza that even blew Brundle away! Out of the pits onto a wet track and straight past at the second chicane. Phenomenal!

  81. Ben

    Right on! That was a corker

  82. kimi on massa spa/.my fav

  83. If people keep mentioning Massa’s start at Hungary and his overtaking two drivers who were sliding off line at Canada, then why not suggest Kubica for overtaking Hamilton, Raikkonen, Kovalainen, Massa and Alonso in a single move at Fuji?

    Personally I’m more attracted to the fights for position where the cars are more or less equal and the driver fight for several corners to take and/or defend their position. Like Raikkonen and Kubica fighting for third at Fuji, or the overtaking moves of Hamilton at Hockenheim and Monza.

  84. ok, so for me its Kubica for overtaking Hamilton, Raikkonen, Kovalainen, Massa and Alonso in a single move at Fuji ;)

  85. Patrick:
    It is difficult to get your point. You say that you are more attracted to the fights where the cars are more or less equal but you don’t like Massa’s moves in Canada and Hungary. In Canada he overtook Kovi’s Mclaren (with Rubens as a bonus) and in Hungary it was Lewis’ Mclaren. Could it be more equal?
    You seem to like LH moves, that is what I get. In Monza, most of his overtakes were agains also runs. In Hockenheim, he was lapping close to 2secs a lap faster than Massa’s Ferrari when he overtook him – and then he went on to overtake a Renault. Hardly a car in the same league of Mclaren

  86. Fans demand more overtaking in the 2008 ING/F1 Racing Survey.

    96 percent of respondents said that they wanted more exciting racing and OVERTAKING.

    Jonathan Noble written:

    The survey results suggest that the quality of the racing remains the key factor for fans.

    (At least, we have Hamilton and Heidfeld at the grid to satisfy the fans!)

    I think they should have shown those results before SPA. Can someone imagine if we have a bunch of Kubicas on the grid?

    Keith, given the 2008 ING/F1 Racing Survey results, I think you should instate another poll at your blog: Who is the most exciting driver of Formula 1 today?

  87. michael counsell
    11th December 2008, 17:39

    Vettel on Glock at Interlagos surely opened teh door for Hamilton…

    Seriously though the 3 double overtakes of Heidfeld was the most impressive becuase he can read a situation like no one else in F1. It wasn’t about having a faster engine, braking later, having the right tyres. It was all about positioning the car in the right place and making the pass. It is a rare skill. His pass on Alonso at Bahrain last year one of the best I have ever seen.

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