…club of F1 World Champions. Lewis Hamilton bag his first World Drivers Championship Title by just one point in the final race in Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Lewis needed to finish at least 5th in order to clinch the title and his rival Brazillian, Felipe Massa needed to win and hope that Lewis finishes no higher than 6th. Massa was on-form and he drove superbly – better than his teammate and out-going champion Kimi Raikkonen. In fact Massa had been the better Ferrari driver than Kimi and it shows that he has out-qualified his more famous teammate.
Lewis drove a mature race – he need not risk anything and just bring the car home no lower than 5th place. He was on course to win the title and disaster struck.
5 laps before the end of the race, he ran wide on the last corner of the track to let German Sebastian Vettel driving for the Torro Rosso (Redbull Technologies designed Ferrari powered pass and move up to 5th. I guess the track conditions which was wet at the time was quite slippery. Hamilton and Vettel was intermediate rain tyres except for a Toyota driver Timo Glock – another German. Now here was the exiting part. On the last lap, Massa who was about 30 seconds in front crossed the finish line 1st and therefore was proclaimed the 2008 F1 Champion. The crowd when berzerk and went into histeria as their homeboy won the F1 title. The last Brazilian to do so was the late great Aytron Senna – who drove for Mclaren.
But on the last lap – Hamilton and Vettel catching Timo who was on dry tyres at very very fast rate. Timo was struggling for grip on a wet and greasy track. On the very last corner of the last lap of the track, Hamilton managed to pass Timo for 5th place and cross the finish line the 2008 F1 Champion. Ferrari crew, fans and the Brazillian crowd all of the sudden became silent. They could not believe that Hamilton who 30 seconds ago was running 6th managed to pass Timo for 5th and thus securing 1 more vital point to pip Massa by one point to the 2008 F1 Drivers title.
I couldn’t believe what I seen. I mean it was just plain incredible!!!! Never in my life as an F1 fan I was such a dramatic race for the F1 title. I was delighted for Hamilton and Mclaren for they have bulldozed by the FIA last year and this year for some dubious race penalties imposed on them. However my heart sank for Felipe Massa. He had the title in the bag for 30 seconds but was taken away on the final lap. He drove his heart out and see him cry at parc ferme was so touching because Massa like most Brazilians are very passionate about what they do. At times racing can be a cruel sport…
Massa richly deserves to be a champion as well and my instincts tells me that he will be an F1 Champion very very soon.
Anyway I am eagerly waiting for the start to the 2009 season.