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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-02-2008, 02:49 PM
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I thought it had gone, and was cursing the Force India that seemed to get in Hamilton's way in sector 2 and throw him completely off his rhythym. Vettel kept close through Mergulho and Hamilton made a complete mess of Juncao, losing all momentum leading into the climb. Possibly the STR had better traction out of Juncao, but it hadn't been too evident on the previous laps.

Halfway around the next lap the ITV commentator Martin Brundle noted that Glock's first sector time looked fine... it looked to be all over. It was clear that there was no way LH was going to pass Vettel, so when Massa crossed the line I was already slumped in my seat.

Excitement rapidly rose again as both Vettel and Hamilton left the struggling Toyota behind on the run up the hill. I couldn't quite believe it until the names flashed up on the screen. Sheer delight for Hamilton and McLaren-Mercedes, and a deep feeling of sorrow for Massa. A cruel and bitter blow to take in front of your home crowd after outdriving everybody including a resurgent Alonso.

I've seen a lot of exciting GPs in my time, including some classic championship scraps, but this was something else. One point the difference, last corner, last race... you couldn't script it.

Now we just need to work on the Constructors Title! Need to do some work on HK...

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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-02-2008, 07:16 PM
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Not a very convincing win for Hamilton but a win nonetheless. Vettel had him beaten and only after Glock gave the position away did Hamilton get to the points position he needed. Massa showed strength and did everything he should have. I would really like to see his reaction after he saw Glock's gift to Hamilton. There will be bad blood between Massa and Glock for sure. F1 has really suffered some lousy moments this year. This race was the culmination.

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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-02-2008, 09:03 PM
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What a swing of emotion -- in a half a lap! Wow. Congrats to Lewis and McLaren Mercedes. WDC!

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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-02-2008, 09:11 PM
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Not a very convincing win for Hamilton but a win nonetheless. Vettel had him beaten and only after Glock gave the position away did Hamilton get to the points position he needed. Massa showed strength and did everything he should have. I would really like to see his reaction after he saw Glock's gift to Hamilton. There will be bad blood between Massa and Glock for sure. F1 has really suffered some lousy moments this year. This race was the culmination.
Gift? Did you see the race? Glock and Toyota gambled and were on dry's in the wet. All of the leaders came in for wet's. That is how Glock got in the top 5 to begin with, almost--almost knocking Lewis out of the championship. If Glock was trying to help Lewis, he would have pitted like the rest of the field and slotted back in in 6th or 7th. Both Toyotas were 20 seconds off the pace on the last lap.

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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-02-2008, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Holy smoke, what a cliffhanger of a championship. Win or lose not just in the last race, but almost the last corner, unbelievable.
Congratulations to Hamilton, but I can't help to feel sorry for Massa.
Without the recent fuel hose debacle costing him a certain win in Singapore, + Turkey.......
All part of racing.
Man, do I need a good drink.
Cheers
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post #16 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-02-2008, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Massa victorious, Hamilton champion after nail-biting finish in Brazil

02 Nov 2008
Massa victorious, Hamilton champion after nail-biting finish in Brazil

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton is the 30th - and youngest-ever - world champion. Lady Luck was on his side after title rival Felipe Massa dominated at Interlagos. The Brazilian crossed the line first after a pluperfect performance - and seemed to have achieved the impossible - as Hamilton trailed in sixth.

Rain in the closing stages had prompted the first five - Massa, Renault’s Fernando Alonso, Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, Hamilton and Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Vettel - to pit for wet tyres. Crucially, Timo Glock, running sixth for Toyota, did not.

Massa, Alonso and Raikkonen resumed in first to third places, but Hamilton and Vettel fell behind Glock. That was still good enough for Hamilton. But then, under pressure on the 70th lap, he made a crucial mistake and slid wide. It was all Vettel needed and the Toro Rosso driver pushed through to snatch away the fifth place that Hamilton needed to become champion.

Even as Massa crossed the line, Hamilton was only sixth and the Brazilian was the champion. But as Vettel and Hamilton slammed out of the final corner, Glock’s Toyota was slowing in front of them, the German struggling for grip on his increasingly unsuitable rubber. From the jaws of defeat, the British driver snatched back the crown in one of the most dramatic title deciders in history. No Hollywood script could have been more exciting.

Rain at the start had added to the drama, and saw Red Bull’s David Coulthard make an undignified exit from his last Grand Prix after he was tapped into a spin by Williams’ Nico Rosberg, which then involved Rosberg’s team mate Kazuki Nakajima. Coulthard was out on the spot, while Renault’s Nelson Piquet went off in Turn Three and was also out.

Massa controlled things throughout, with Toyota’s Jarno Trulli soon falling back from an initially strong second-place run as everyone began changing from wet to dry-weather tyres after seven laps. Vettel, running a different fuel strategy to the other leaders, was always a threat, running second ahead of Alonso and pressuring Massa several times before stopping earlier for fuel. Raikkonen ran some way behind this trio, but closed in rapidly on Alonso in the final stages and was close to him as Massa crossed the line 13.2s ahead.

Hamilton took few chances, was always around fourth or fifth, and looked easily on target until that dramatic battle at the end. Glock finished sixth, limping across the line well ahead of McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen, and Trulli, the final points scorers.

Mark Webber brought his Red Bull home ninth, ahead of the BMW Saubers of Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica, the team thus failing to score for the first time in 2008. Rosberg was 12th ahead of Honda’s Jenson Button, Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Bourdais (whose chances of points were ruined after a clash with Trulli in Turn One), Honda’s Rubens Barrichello, Force India’s Adrian Sutil, Nakajima and Giancarlo Fisichella. The Italian Force India driver was the first to stop for dry tyres on Lap Two, and ran as high as fifth before the inevitable decline as faster machinery hit its stride.

After those gripping final laps there was almost disbelief at McLaren as Hamilton scraped home, but Massa had that covered as he graciously conceded defeat.

“We need to congratulate Lewis,” he said. “He did a great championship, and he scored more points than us, so deserves to be champion.”

Ferrari’s consolation was to win the constructors’ world championship but, ultimately, and in the most dramatic circumstances imaginable, this was Lewis Hamilton’s and McLaren’s day.
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post #17 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-02-2008, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Hamilton speechless after dramatic title finale

02 Nov 2008
Hamilton speechless after dramatic title finale

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was almost lost for words after he took the 2008 drivers’ title by finishing fifth in Sunday’s Brazilian Grand Prix. He secured the place on the final corner of the final lap of the final race of the season to finish the year with 98 points, one more than Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, who won the Interlagos race.

"The most dramatic race of my whole life,” said Hamilton. “It’s pretty much impossible to put this into words: I’m still speechless. It’s been such a long journey, but I’ve always had the support of my family, the team, our partners and the fans. We did a fantastic job throughout the whole year and, with all the sacrifices we made, I’m so thrilled to be able to win this for everyone.”

Prior to that dramatic final lap, Hamilton had looked set for heartbreak once more in Brazil, scene of his failed 2007 title bid. Toro Rosso’s Sebastian Vettel had forced his way past in the closing stages, leaving the Briton sixth when he needed to finish fifth. But Toyota’s decision not to pit for wet tyres when a late shower arrived meant that fourth-placed Timo Glock rapidly became easy prey for both Hamilton and Vettel.

"Before it started to rain I was quite comfortable, and I was just focused on having a clean race,” added Hamilton. “Then it started to drizzle and I didn't want to take any risks - but Sebastian got past me and I was told that I had to get back in front of him. I couldn’t believe it. Then at the very last corner I managed to get past Timo - it was just amazing. This was one of the toughest races of my life, if not the toughest. I was shouting, ‘Do I have it? Do I have it?’ on the radio. It was only when I took the chequered flag and got to Turn One that the team told me I was world champion. I was ecstatic."

At the age of just 23 years, 10 months and 26 days, Hamilton is the youngest champion in Formula One history. He is the 12th man to win the drivers’ title with McLaren, who last took the crown with Mika Hakkinen back in 1999.

"Well, that was a really tough race,” said team boss Ron Dennis. “We never pushed hard, we never did anything silly, but of course the late rain made things extraordinarily tense. Even so, even when Sebastian got past Lewis, we never gave up, and Lewis never gave up, because we knew that Timo was on intermediate tyres. But Lewis took his chance brilliantly, and the result was one of the most thrilling finishes in sporting history. I'm so proud of Lewis; I'm so proud of the team; everyone - every single one of them - did an absolutely fantastic job."
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post #18 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-02-2008, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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Heartbroken Massa gracious in defeat

02 Nov 2008
Heartbroken Massa gracious in defeat

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa put in the drive of his life at Interlagos on Sunday, doing everything within his power to become 2008 world champion. And as he took the chequered flag he, his team and his family all thought he had done it.

But jubilation rapidly turned to disbelief as just seconds later title rival Lewis Hamilton passed the Toyota of Timo Glock at the final corner to clinch the fifth place he needed to snatch the drivers’ crown from Massa’s grasp. The Brazilian knew how close he had come, but had nothing but praise for the McLaren driver.

"It was an exciting day,” he said. “We did everything to perfection and we almost managed to pull it off. Then, as I crossed the line, (race engineer) Rob (Smedley) told me that Hamilton had finished fifth and therefore he took the title by one point. Sport is like this and one has to accept that. Congratulations to Lewis: whoever gets the most points deserves the title.”

Massa’s only consolation was a magnificent home win, and the knowledge that he and team mate Kimi Raikkonen, who finished third, had done enough to guarantee Ferrari the constructors’ championship.

“I am very proud of the whole team and how much support they have given me during this fantastic season,” he said. “Now we must be happy with what have done, namely bringing home the constructors' title which I know is so important for the team.

“It was a season of highs and lows and we have learned a lot, from the good moments and from our mistakes. I can leave Interlagos with my head held high because once again I have won in front of my home crowd and because this is an unforgettable day. Now I want to celebrate with my family, my friends and my team. We deserve it!"

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali paid tribute to Massa, commenting: “Felipe has grown so much, year after year, demonstrating his talent and personality, answering his critics with his driving and with his mind. He has had an amazing season and would have deserved the title. That's sport, it can sometimes be cruel.”
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post #19 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-03-2008, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Case1906 View Post
Gift? Did you see the race? Glock and Toyota gambled and were on dry's in the wet. All of the leaders came in for wet's. That is how Glock got in the top 5 to begin with, almost--almost knocking Lewis out of the championship. If Glock was trying to help Lewis, he would have pitted like the rest of the field and slotted back in in 6th or 7th. Both Toyotas were 20 seconds off the pace on the last lap.
Spot on!

How was the look on Massa's dad's face when he was just starting to celebrate the WDC victory.

Priceless!


I really felt sorry for Massa as he stood on the podium. His time will come but after the debacle of Spa, Lewis deserved this one.

Andrew

"That's the way I like it baby, I don't want to live forever"- Lemmy


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post #20 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-03-2008, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
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The race of the century

The race of the century

Victory, Brazilian GP 2008
© The Cahier Archive
Timo Glock won the World Championship for Lewis Hamilton in Brazil. He did not mean to do it. When the rains came at the end of the race Toyota took a chance and left Glock and Jarno Trulli out on dry tyres. Timo has been running in seventh place and had nothing really to lose. As those ahead dived into the pits he stayed out and was suddenly fourth. Lewis Hamilton had been running fourth before that, trying to stay ahead of a charging Sebastian Vettel. He had the option to let the German go ahead as Lewis needed only fifth place to win the title. But when Glock stayed out things became rather more critical. Lewis was fifth and could not afford to let Vettel go ahead. There were three laps to go. Halfway around the lap Hamilton slid wide. Vettel went through.

"I don't know what happened," Hamilton said. "My tyres were shot. There was nothing I could do, I was trying to keep the car on the track. My heart was in my mouth. Then I heard it was the last lap I was pushing to get close to Sebastian. Vettel was the guy to beat and I could not catch him. I don't know what would have happened if I had lost it on the very last lap. Then the team told me that I had to get past Glock. I did not know where he was. I was told that he was just ahead but I did not know how far. I was praying that I could catch him. I couldn't believe it when I saw him at the exit of Turn 10.

I knew I had to pass him in the final few corners. He was tiptoeing and I managed to pass him in the last corner. I can only thank God. My heart was about to explode. I don't know how I kept my cool. I was very fortunate. I am going to celebrate with my family. I am speechless. I am struggling to say anything. It was one of the toughest races of my life. I kept saying 'Do I have it? Do I have it?' to the team and they told me as I went into Turn 1. I was ecstatic. It was very emotional. I have cried. My heart is under so much strain right now."

At 23 Lewis Hamilton is the youngest ever World Champion - and so much more.

A little further up the road Felipe Massa's world was falling apart.

"The race was just perfect," he said. "We did everything perfectly. It was such difficult weather at the end and I am so proud about that race. I am so proud of the team and all the people supporting me, more than I ever expected. That is an emotional day for me. You have almost done everything perfectly but then Lewis passing Glock. That's racing. The race finished with the chequered flag. We finished at the front, but unfortunately we missed by one point. We need to be proud of our race. I know how to win and I know how to lose. That is the way it is."

When he climbed from his Ferrari Massa bowed to the crowd.

There was not a soul in the place who did not feel for Felipe. He had been the hero. He had given his all. He stood proud on the podium, holding back the tears with an almost superhuman strength.

He could have done no more. He took defeat with a grace and a style that one rarely sees in modern sport.

It was a showdown so improbable that even Hollywood would not have made a film of it. The scriptwriters would have been laughed out of the studios.

Reality is, was and always will be, way wilder than fiction.

Up in the Media Centre the English and Brazilians agreed that both men were champions. It may not say it in the history books but anyone who watched Felipe Massa knows that inside the chirpy little Brazilian is the heart of a champion. The record books don't really matter.

Glock found himself the centre of attention. Had he slowed down deliberately, they asked.

"People who think I would decide the championship or I would let Lewis pass, they do not have a real idea about racing. First of all, you cannot plan a race like this. We had to stay out. It would have made no sense to pit because we would have lost even more time."

He was disappointed to have lost places to Vettel and Hamilton.

In the whirlwind that came after the chequered flag scant attention was paid to Fernando Alonso and to Kimi Raikkonen, who finished second and third, battling all the way to the flag. The result took Fernando to fifth in the Drivers' World Championship, ahead of Nick Heidfeld and Raikkonen to third in the Drivers' ahead of Kubica.

"We did our maximum," Alonso said. "The team made the right decisions at the right times, and I managed to keep Raikkonen behind me until the finish. It's a fantastic result for the team and a great way to end the season."

Indeed so.

Nelson Piquet's race was rather less successful, however, as he crashed at the second corner.

"I don't really know what happened," he said. "If I was touched or if I simply lost control of the car, but I couldn't see that much and I lost the rear of my car in Turn 3."

For Raikkonen third place was a good end to a poor year.

"I am sorry for Felipe, who has lost the title by a single point," he said. "That's racing and we have to live with it. I am particularly happy for Stefano (Domenicali), in his first year as team principal as I know how much pressure he has had to deal with and I think that this result is a good reward for that. A not very positive season for me has come to an end, but I will do all I can to make up for it next year."

Fourth place was a great result for Vettel, after another terrific race.

"It's great to end the season on a high with this," he said. " I didn't make any mistakes and I feel we deserved this result. It was great to be racing against Massa, Alonso and Hamilton. Great fun! Towards the end I was concentrating on staying on the track and I didn't know where I was in terms of position. I just tried to pass Lewis like any other guy and I succeeded. I passed Timo just at the last corner, as he was struggling on dry tyres. Lewis was behind me at that moment, but as I wasn't sure where I was after the final pit stop for rain tyres, I was definitely not aware that I might be influencing the World Championship. It was hard to know who was a backmarker or not and as it got darker and darker it was even difficult to know who the cars in front of you were."

One had to feel a little sorry for Sebastien Bourdais (again) because having been penalised in Japan for something ridiculous, he was shoved off the track in Brazil and there was no action from the stewards. Trulli's assault on Bourdais was - at best - clumsy. It was a racing incident but if Bourdais was punished in Japan, Trulli ought to have been punished too.

However, it is probably better that we hear less from the stewards rather than more. Let's hope it stays that way in the future.

Bourdais ended up 14th.

Glock and Jarno Trulli ended up sixth and eighth, which was a good result for Toyota but it might have been so much more.

"Finishing in the top six is a decent result for me because I'd been struggling with the car earlier in the weekend but we were very close to fourth place so I am a bit disappointed," said Glock.

Trulli figured strongly early on but then got caught behind Giancarlo Fisichella on dry tyres.

"I didn't have the top speed to overtake him so I lost a lot of time over those laps," he said. "As soon as I got away from him I was one of the quickest on the track, I was recovering quite a lot and closing the gap to the guys in front but it was not enough. When it rained we took the choice to stay on dry tyres and we got a point. Having started second we missed an opportunity."

Kovalainen was pretty much forgotten in the excitement over Hamilton. He finished seventh.

Missing out on points was Mark Webber who was the last man left unlapped at the finish.

"The pace wasn't there and I struggled," he said. "We knew some of the problems we had from practice and we tried to cater for those in the race, but in the end most of them were still there."

David Coulthard went out of F1 with a bang. The only problem was that it was at the first corner. It was not his fault that an errant Williams, driven by Nico Rosberg, punted him up the back, spinning him around and he snagged Kazuki Nakajima. DC was mildly upset as he had a cunning plan.

"I wanted to get to the chequered flag," he said. "I was going to do some doughnuts for the crowd, which is something you normally get fined for, but it didn't work out. I can't complain though, I've had a good career, so thank you to everyone who has supported me."

The big losers in Brazil were the BMW Sauber drivers. They had an awful weekend.

Nick Heidfeld ended up 10th with Robert Kubica 11th

"Losing third place in the Drivers' Championship in the last race is definitely not the best situation," the Pole said. "We made too many mistakes during the weekend and this is the result. During the race I was stuck behind Adrian Sutil for quite a long time. I managed to make up some positions in the final laps of the race, but it was too late."

Stuck behind Adrian Sutil. Oh dear...

It was best to gloss over the Williams weekend as well. At the end of the race Nico Rosberg seemed to think he had driven a good race to finish 12th, failing to mention that he had punted David Coulthard into Nakajima and messed up things.

"The car took a lot of damage to the bodywork and to the suspension which compromised my pace a lot," said Kazuki.

One hopes that the people at Williams will focus on what is important this winter. They need a better car and better drivers. End of story. And if the team does not recognise that then there are big problems ahead.

The two Hondas were 13th and 15th which was nothing to write home about.

"When I did have clean air, the car's performance was actually not bad," said Button, who finished ahead. "Unfortunately the strategy didn't really work out for us. We then needed to stop again for wet tyres at the end of the race anyway and fitting the extreme wets didn't pay off."

Rubens Barrichello also felt the car was competitive but the gamble of going on to extreme wets did not work.

"I was forced to stop again just three laps later because the tyres completely overheated," he said.

At the back in 16th and 18th were Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella. This was frustrating as the team made a good strategic move and ran Fisichella on dry tyres from early on and thus he emerged in fifth place at one point (rather than third as the team claimed). During the pit stops the car stalled twice and so Giancarlo returned to his usual hunting ground. Sutil drove a steady race and finished a dull 16th.

It is rare that one sees a sporting event, any sporting event as exciting as the Brazilian GP of 2008. It is rarer still that one sees such sportsmanship and such heart.

Both Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa deserved the be World Champion. Hamilton won it, but for many people Massa was the hero of the day.

The real winner, however, was the sport.

F1 could not have asked for a better race.
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