Title Decider Gold - Brazil 2008


Valued Member
If we're talking about excitement at the end of a season, I don't think its necessary to go back to 1964. There has been one hell of a climax in the last couple of years.

Lewis Hamilton, of McLaren, had blown a 17 point lead to Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrrari in the last 2 races of his début season in 2007. The last 7 points of those went due to inexperience and mechanical problems suffered at Interlagos the previous year.

He returned for the 2008 season, ready to do battle with Ferrari and Raikkonen again. Six races in, at Monaco, the Englishman had taken 2 wet victories and lead the Championship from Raikkonen, but the Ferrari had not been beaten in the dry, with Raikkonen taking 2 victories and Felipe Massa 2 others.

At Canada, there was a catastrophic mistake for Hamilton. He crashed into the back of Raikkonen at the end of the pitlane when the Finn was stopped at the red light stopping him being released into the Safety Car chain. Robert Kubica won the race and took the Championship lead. A 10 place grid drop put Hamilton out of contention for the French GP at Magny-Cours, which Ferrari won at a canter. However, an exhaust problem for Raikkonen allowed Massa through to become (as yet) the last French GP winner.

The British Grand Prix was next, and Hamilton took a dominant victory in the wet. He won next time out in Germany too, a McLaren strategic bungle meaning he had to pass Massa and Nelsinho Piquet to take the win. In Hungary, a tyre failure looked to give Massa the edge as Hamilton trailed in sixth, but Massa's engine exploded three laps from home to give Lewis the win. Raikkonen took 2nd in the Championship, but would not score for the next 4 rounds.

Massa took the honours at Valencia's first race, and then controversially took the Belgian GP after Hamilton was punished for chicane cutting. A wet Italian Grand Prix saw mistakes from Hamilton, who finished just behind Massa in 7th. A third place in Singapore worked well for Hamilton as Massa failed to score after a refuelling mistake from Ferrari, but Hamilton failed to score after a mistake off the line at Fuji. Lewis' uneventful win in China gave him another 7 point lead to defend against Interlagos specialist Massa.

The Ferraris were likely to be infront of McLaren at Interlagos, and duly Hamilton qualified behind them, as well as the Toyota of Jarno Trulli. The race started in intermediate conditions, and the cars were kept behind the Safety Car after the accidental retirments of Nelsinho Piquet and David Coulthard. Most teams changed to dry tyres on lap 12, Hamilton needing to pass the non-stopping Giancarlo Fisichella for 5th, behind the Ferraris and the early stoppers of Fernando Alonso and Seb Vettel.

Vettel had moved onto an earlier strategy, however, and pitted on lap 27, falling behind Hamilton for 4th. The front 4 all pitted between laps 38 and 43, not changing position. There was to be one last twist.

On lap 62, Kazuki Nakajima became the first to stop for wet tyres, as the rain had restarted. The top 5 all pitted on lap 66 bar leader Massa who came in one lap later. They all maintained position relative to each other, but the Toyotas had not pitted for tyres, placing Timo Glock in 4th. Hamilton needed a 5th place and headed Vettel.

However, Vettel's had won the wet Italian GP and had better grip in the conditions. 3 laps from home, the young German passed Hamilton for 5th, putting Massa on the driving seat. Hamilton strove to pass Vettel for 2 laps and failed. However, on the final lap, the Toyota tyres of Glock gave up the ghost, allowing both Vettel and Hamilton to blast past at the final corner. Hamilton had stolen the title from under Massa's nose. In Sao Paulo!
teabagyokel said:
Hamilton had stolen the title from under Massa's nose. In Sao Paulo!
Funniest thing about that was that for about 3 seconds the Ferrari team thought Massa was WC :D

I was watching it on dutch TV where for the last two laps I already anticipated that it would be a close call for Hamilton to catch up with Glock, but the reporter didn't pay any attention to Glocks' laptimes. So I was in the dark as well.
Top Bottom