F1 News, Views and Reviews

Massa Wins Brazilian GP But Hamilton Clinches Title

In a shocking Brazilian Grand Prix, Felipe Massa has taken the race win, but Lewis Hamilton just scraped the point he needed to take the 2008 FIA Formula One Drivers World Championship.

 

Race Review

The start of the race was filled with hype, which an inadvertent heavy rain downpour couldn’t wain.  The rain meant starting tyres were all important, and a delayed start led to most cars being fitted with Bridgestone Intermediates.  Robert Kubica tried the dry tyres but pitted after the formation lap.

One by one the lights went out, the tension rising and GO!  The cars streamed into turn 1, Raikkonen attacking Trulli, but not finding a way through.  Kovalainen acted as a great rear gunner for Hamilton, but defending the Brit led him to lost places to Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, both drivers out for all they could get.  Kovalainen tried and tried but there was no way back for him.

Further back in the field, it was a bit crazy.  David Coulthard, in his final ever Grand Prix, was nudged by Nico Rosberg and spun into Kazuki Nakajima before hitting the barrier.  Massive damage for him, and out on the first corner.  Nelson Piquet crashed into the barriers behind them, but it was an incident not covered by TV.

By this point, it was clear that half of the track was dry, and half wet, unfortunately for the drivers, the wet part was the Senna Esses, one of the best over taking places, and one of the most demanding set of corners on the Interlagos circuit.  This led to Jarno Trulli catastrophically losing control of his Toyota, and nearly taking out team mate Timo Glock, who inadvertently would play a huge part in deciding the championship.

Leading drivers Felipe Massa, and Lewis Hamilton were both having trouble through those corners.

As a dry line began to emerge, it was Giancarlo Fisichella who pitted first and put option Bridgestone’s onto the Force India.  He soon became the fastest man on the circuit and the leaders knew they had to pit.  Massa, Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel, Raikkonen – all pitted in.

Vettel was later pushing Massa right onto the limits, but the Scuderia Toro Rosso driver had to make a third stop, and that dropped him back.

With just 7 laps of the race remaining, all hell broke loose and the rain began thundering down once again.  Most of the leading drivers pitted, but Timo Glock stayed out on dry tyres.  The stops led Lewis Hamilton to be down in 6th place with 2 laps to go, and Felipe Massa was heading off into a championship victory.

With just 1 turn and the gliding left hander into the straight to go, Timo Glock took the corner well wide, and Lewis Hamilton pushed his McLaren Mercedes through the gap and into 5th place.

As Massa crossed the line, everyone in the Ferrari pits thought he had won it, but Hamilton took it, by just 1 single point.  Massa was in tears in the car at the end of the race, and frankly who can blame him.

Race Results

Classified:

The Brazilian Grand Prix 2008;

Interlagos, Brazil;

71 Laps;

Changeable weather.

Pos Driver Team Time
1 F. Massa Ferrari 1.34.11.435
2 F. Alonso Renault +13.298
3 K. Raikkonen Ferrari +16.235
4 S. Vettel Toro Rosso +38.011
5 L. Hamilton McLaren +38.907
6 T. Glock Toyota +44.368
7 H. Kovalainen McLaren +55.074
8 J. Trulli Toyota +1.08.433
9 M. Webber Red Bull +1.19.666
10 N. Heidfeld BMW Sauber +1 lap
11 R. Kubica BMW Sauber +1 lap
12 N. Rosberg Williams +1 lap
13 J. Button Honda +1 lap
14 S. Bourdais Toro Rosso +1 lap
15 R. Barrichello Honda +1 lap
16 A. Sutil Force India +2 laps
17 K. Nakajima Williams +2 laps
18 G. Fisichella Force India +2 laps

Fastest Lap: F. Massa, Ferrari:  1.13.376

Retirements:

Driver Team Lap Reason
N. Piquet Renault 1 Crash
D. Coulthard Red Bull 1 Crash

Felipe Massa

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