Is Lewis Hamilton's 2008 WDC flawed?

Is Lewis Hamilton a worthy World Drivers' Champion?


  • Total voters
    15

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
Even before the events at Singapore came to light, there were those who said Lewis Hamilton did not deserve to be the 2008 World Drivers' Champion.

Some claimed that as a result of "Spygate", the McLaren car contained Ferrari IP and therefore should have been disqualified from the Championship. This is despite it being proven by the FIA that this was not the case.

Yet others claimed that there was some sort of conspiracy during the last race which saw Timo Glock slow dramatically allowing Hamilton to secure the 5th place he needed.
Again this is despite the fact that Glock was on dry tyres on a wet track and Glock's team mate, Jarno Trulli actually recorded a slower time on his final lap.

And now there's "Crashgate" which saw current race leader Felipe Massa lose out due to a bungled pit stop after Nelson Piquet deliberately crashed to maximise team mate Alonso's chances.
If the crash had not happened and Massa and Hamilton had finished where they were prior to the crash, then the points after Singapore would have been Hamilton 86, Massa 87.

If this was translated to the final standings then it would have resulted in the WDC going to Massa on 107 points with Hamilton runner up on 100 points.

Of course the crash did happen and Hamilton managed to secure 3rd place and 6 points at Singapore with Massa trailing home in 13th.
That gave Hamilton a 7 point lead over Massa with 3 races to go.

What we don't know is what would have happened in the remaining races if Massa had left Singapore leading the WDC by 1 point.
Would Massa have suffered from nerves or changed his strategy to be more cautious?
Likewise, would Hamilton have gone more aggressive, especially so at Brazil which saw him qualify in 4th place?

So is Hamilton's first WDC going to be considered as flawed with caveats always being applied to it or did he win it fairly and squarely?
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff member
Premium Contributor
Hamilton won it fair and square. (or as fair and sqaure as modern F1 allows these days)

Like all F1 titles it will fade into memory soon enough. How many people still talk about the Senna/Prost battles of 88 and 89. Did Senna win his title fairly? Who cares to be honest. Schuie/Hill in 94 is the same, Schuies title year was riddled with potential reasons for hims to be stripped of the title right up to and including the coming together with Hill in Adelaide but there you go, the stats are there for all to see. 7 World titles etc.

If people are going to claim that Hamiltons championship year was tainted then I am sure that if you look hard enough you can level that same accusation at almost every World Champion.
 

Muddytalker

Points Scorer
I agree CaT, if anything Lewis won despite everything, and not because of events (manipulated or not) in his favour.
 

GeoffP

Thank you and good night
Contributor
He won it, and despite McLaren not have the pit lane position that it's drivers points would have earned in the previous year!

Spygate, my ###### left finger nail! Name me one car on the grid in the last 20 years that hasn't had any IP from another manufacturer that has been obtained through the type of discussions that happen but are not approved.

McLaren got caught, banged to rights, but they weren't unique in what they did, were punished in a disproportionate manner in the year of the action, and their penalty made it harder for them the following year by giving the smallest garage in the pits - and they still got WDC. Some achievement!

Here's a consiracy theory - Is it the CIA that are coming up with all these consiracy theories in order to maintain the cloud around Kennedy's assassination?
 

RickD

Pole Sitter
Agree with CAT and Muddy on this. If anything, spy-'gate' (god, I hate that word being added to every bloody contoversy!) made it harder for Hamilton as it was a distraction he didn't need.

you could as simply say that if he hadn't stayed out so long in China, he would have easily won the championship and it could be argued that there was a conspiracy with the FIA telling McLaren not to win as no sane team would leave a driver out on those tyres, especially when he only had to score a few points to clinch it.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Well, lets close the 7 point bridge if Massa finished 1st in Singapore and Hamilton finished 2nd...

Belgian GP - Hamilton disproportionately moved from 1st to 3rd in accordance with rule written by FIA after and because of the punishment applied to Hamilton. Hamilton loses 6 points, Massa gains 2. Hamilton WDC.

And that doesn't take into account Hamilton should have won the European GP because Massa was unpunished for unsafe release.

So to the question "Is Lewis Hamilton's 2008 WDC flawed?", the answer is no.
 
Indeed, I would say that if Massa had won it then he would have always been something of a flawed champion because of the Spa stupidity amongst other iffy stewards judgements. Hamilton is a worthy champion IMO, no question.
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
You can't say that Massa wouldn't have hared off down the pitlane with his hose still attached, they had problems all year with their silly traffic light system.

*edit D'oh I missed my CTA birthday yesterday ;)
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff member
Premium Contributor
I'm not the biggest fan of this debate (all though it's good to have it) becuase as I've said before I think we can find numerous ways to question almost every world championship and ask was it flawed, was he worthy, was it all the car.

Jeremy Paxman wrote about the British saying "They like nothing better than to see someone rise up against all the odds to reach the top and then slapping them back down again afterwards".

Was Keki Rosberg's championship flawed? after all he only won one race all season.
Was Nelson Piquets 1983 championship flawed? after all they were alledged to be using higher than permissable octaine fuel, alledgedly using lead wings in scrutineering to run under weight in the race and of course they pioneerred the "jack up system" to get around the 6cm ground clearence rules.
Was James Hunts championship flawed? after all he was way behind in the championship until Lauda's crash
Was Damon Hill's championship flawed? after all he had the best car in the field by a country mile.

It really is that easy to try and pick holes in every world championship but do we want to?

Why take away the magic of those last few laps in Brazil? Remember how it felt to see the championship change hands in less than one mile of the last lap of the last race. We would have been pleased to get any where near that feeling (weather it was joy for Hamilton or heartbreak for Massa) during the height of the Schumcher era.

Ironically I'm not a Hamilton fan mainly because I'm really not a Mclaren fan but that's neither here nor there in this debate. Hamilton's name is on the trophy and it ain't coming off.

That's just my feelings anyway.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
cider_and_toast said:
I'm not the biggest fan of this debate
I did debate about whether to start the thread or not but It is something that has been mentioned numerous times over the last few weeks so I figured it was worth it just to raise the question and generate some discussion.

Your comments hit the nail on the head for me c_a_t :thumbsup:
 

RickD

Pole Sitter
King_Alonso786 said:
Brogan said:
[quote="King_Alonso786":sfjvv9s7]Yes. His WDC is flawed
Care to elaborate or is that it?
Yep, If Renault didnt cheat Massa would most likely have been WDC. Hamilton's title is tainted imo[/quote:sfjvv9s7]

And if the FIA hadn't tried to find anyway to get Massa into a winning position, the WDC would have been wrapped up before Brazil. What is your point???
 

bogaTYR

Points Scorer
teams will go a long long way to get to the WDC so a better question might be which WDC was NOT tainted. there have been so many doubts and suspicions over the years. to me , its basically luck. one driver is more lucky then another. maybe schumie was the exception.

Still, at the end of the day, unless someone goes off to make some copies at a local copy shop, most of it remains just rumors and the guy with nr 1 is the reigning WDC. thats actually a good point of F1, once the season is over its really water under the bridge and the teams move on.
 

GeoffP

Thank you and good night
Contributor
Let's face it, even if you ignore the fact that the 2008 season is closed and the trophy is inscribed - who knows who would have one Singapore 2008 anyway.

Even if Massa had been the only one to finish in the whole field, how do we know how the change in relative points would have effected the drivers and teams mentally, the team strategies and the media's pressure over the remaining races.

How much of Hamilton's poor performance in Brazil was to do with his ability on that specific track, not being able to use one of the best cars in the field, or just Lewis cra##ing himself about being in control because he only needed 1 point?

It's really not hard to see why the FIA didn't want to change the points allocated in a season where the Singapore was just a single part of many controversial events. It just so happens that Singapore is the one where the UK champion was beneficially effected...

cider_and_toast said:
Jeremy Paxman wrote about the British saying "They like nothing better than to see someone rise up against all the odds to reach the top and then slapping them back down again afterwards".
:givemestrength:
 
RickD said:
King_Alonso786 said:
Brogan said:
[quote="King_Alonso786":9q6zu6uu]Yes. His WDC is flawed
Care to elaborate or is that it?
Yep, If Renault didnt cheat Massa would most likely have been WDC. Hamilton's title is tainted imo
And if the FIA hadn't tried to find anyway to get Massa into a winning position, the WDC would have been wrapped up before Brazil. What is your point???[/quote:9q6zu6uu]

Through no fault of Hamilton, His title is tainted. Had Piquet the cheat not crashed intentionally, no safety car, no need to pit and (most likely) no fuel rig problem for Massa

Massa would have won the race with ease hence him winning the WDC.. Also Hamilton's penalties were harsh to some but the majority of them were justified imo
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff member
King_Alonso786 said:
Had Piquet the cheat not crashed intentionally, no safety car, no need to pit and (most likely) no fuel rig problem for Massa

Massa would have won the race with ease hence him winning the WDC..
Ah but for the reasons I stated in the first post, you can't assume that if there hadn't been a crash that Massa would definitely have won the race or the WDC.

Ferrari could still have messed up the pit stop, Massa could have crashed, etc.

We'll never know.
 
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