Lewis Hamilton – 2008 Formula One World Champion

In the last few minutes the Brazilian Grand Prix has finished and with it the 2008 Formula One Championship Season.  I often am heard saying that Formula One isn’t as exciting as when I was young but I’m often wrong.  What a nail biting, fantastic race!!

Basically Lewis Hamilton had to finish 5th (started 4th) to guarantee himself the title.  Massa (started 1st) had to finish first or second to be in with a chance.

From the start it was a strange race.  At 5 minutes before the start rain poured onto the circuit delaying the start while teams switched to wet tyres.  On the start the front of the pack got away cleanly.  Further back their was an incident which forced the retirement of David Coulthard – The most successful racer not to win a championship.  This was Coulthard’s last race and I will miss seeing him on the TV, he has played a fantastic part in my Formula One history.

Through the race Massa went for the win while Hamilton seemed content in 4th / 5th position.  Although that’s “all he had to do” Martin Brundle kept saying he had to push more and I think this is very true as playing it safe does not account for external factors.  Better to build a safety margin.

Within the last 7 laps rain fell on the circuit forcing the majority of the drivers in to change onto intermediate tyres.  It could be argued that this playing it safe cost Hamilton.  He stayed out a lap to see what everyone else was doing.  When he came back out he was fifth but with a fast Sebastian Vettel behind.  With two laps to go Vettal took Hamiliton.

That was it, it felt like it was all over, for a second year in a row Hamilton would just miss at being the World Champion.  Indeed as Massa passed the line to take the chequered flag Hamilton was in 6th.  Ferrari exploded into celebration.

But then on that final corner Glock mysteriously slowed (I don’t know why!). He was on Dry tiyres in the wet but lap on lap lost 18 seconds on the final lap! and Hamilton edged past to take 5th position and with it World Champion by 1 point.

A surreal end to the race, particularly as 5th meant Hamilton was not on the Podium or in the press conference.

Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton!

With ITV’s F1 coverage ending, watching their montage of their best bits got me thinking, what are my memories of Formula one.  Here are a couple.

Firstly Damon Hill Winning the 1996 World Championship.  It was around 1996 I started watching Formula one so for me Damon Hill will always be the number one driver!  Just listen to Murray Walker explain it in a way only he can!

Next would be another Damon Hill moment (sorry it isn’t the last) in the Jordan at Spa in Belgium.  I was up at an ungodly hour in a little B&B on Vancouver Island in Canada to watch the race.  On the first corner 22 cars collided in the rain.  The race was restarted an Damon Hill and Ralf Schumacher went on to win a 1, 2, for Jordan – their first ever win.

There are so many great moments, those are probably the biggest for me.  But One last…  TODAY.  Relive below that final nail biting lap!

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