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Hamilton becomes 2008 F1 champion

2008-11-02 21:39

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton roared into the record books as Formula One's youngest champion on Sunday when he snatched the title in last lap drama at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

The 23-year-old, needing only a fifth place finish in the season-ending race to become Britain's first champion since Damon Hill in 1996, was seconds from failure for the second year in a row as Ferrari rival Felipe Massa swept to victory.

Hamilton entered the last lap in sixth place after a late shower forced a change to wet weather tyres and saw Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari-powered Toro Rosso overtake the McLaren.

With the title disappearing as fast as Massa's Ferrari approached the chequered flag, Hamilton had Toyota's Timo Glock to thank after the German stayed out on dry tyres and was unable to hold on to his fifth place.

Hamilton powered past as the final corner approached.

"Amazing, I can't even get my breath back," said the astonished Briton, who embraced his father and brother before being mobbed by the team.

Home winner

Massa, Hamilton's sole title rival, won his home race for the second time in three years to chalk up a record 16th constructors' title for the Italian team.

Hamilton, who missed out by a single point to Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen in Brazil last season, ended the 18-race season one point clear of Massa.

"He scored more points than me, he deserves to win the title," said the disappointed race winner. "I know how to win, I know how to lose.

"This is another day of my life that I'm going to learn a lot from."

At 23 years and 301 days old, Hamilton broke the age record set by former McLaren team mate Fernando Alonso, the Spaniard who won the first of his two titles with Renault in Brazil at the age of 24, one month and 27 days.

Hamilton's title was the first for Mercedes-powered McLaren since Finland's Mika Hakkinen in 1999.

Massa, the first driver since Alain Prost in 1989 to miss out on the title after winning more races than anyone else, led from pole position after a start delayed for 10 minutes by a sudden downpour while the cars were waiting on the grid.

The safety car was then deployed for two laps after a collision that sent Britain's David Coulthard crashing into retirement after 15 seasons in Formula One.

The Scot's Red Bull tangled with the Williams of Kazuki Nakajima and Renault's Nelson Piquet, who was also eliminated from the race.

Alonso took second place in the race, with Raikkonen joining him on the podium to seize third place overall from BMW-Sauber's Robert Kubica on race wins.

Reuters

Comments
  • Anonymous User - 2008-11-02 22:13

    i blame Glock!!! srill think massa should of won the title

  • Sabs - 2008-11-02 22:17

    Well done LH! You are the best!

  • Mengistu - 2008-11-02 22:27

    Phew! All Lewis haters must have had a heart breaking moment when King Lewis overtook Glock with the finish line so so tantalizingly close. In my book, Lewis won the championship a while ago. The stewards kept Massa's interest too long only for it to be dashed so dramatically. He reminds me the late Ayrton Senna. Hated by those who couldn't handle his skillful command of F1 cars. Yeeeeha King Lewis.

  • Anonymous User - 2008-11-02 23:35

    FIXED is all I can say! Pitty as I thought he was good enought to win this on his own one day but to have done it this way does not earn him any respect. In fact most people did not even congratulate him and the crowed booed him as he got out of his car! I think WWE is more real then this rubbish!

  • Anonymous User - 2008-11-02 23:37

    mass deserved the title wayyyyyy more that you! Infact Massa dropped 40 points this year due technical DNF's and pit-lane mistakes by the team! Timo Glock! You useless canniving con!

  • Abs - 2008-11-03 02:23

    What a fantastic race, to win the world championship in just one last corner to go. Lewis has been fantastic through out the season and God, luck has been with him all out.

  • Adama - 2008-11-03 06:52

    From a Kimmi supporter I'd like to say congrats to Hamilton, he deserved it. It would have really dissapointing if he had lost it yesterday. The race was one of the best races I've seen in years and hopefully we have another season like this one next year.

  • Anonymous User - 2008-11-03 07:01

    Congratulation Hamilton.

  • Anonymous User - 2008-11-03 07:16

    Who cares how it was won. The fact of the matter is that LEWIS is the new F1 KING. That is all that matters. A few weeks down the line how it was won will be forgotten, but who won will be remembered.

  • Anonymous User - 2008-11-03 07:20

    I'm a Ferrari supporter and congratulate Lewis on winning the title. I still however think that he is fortunate to have entered the world of F1 in a top team. All previous champions had to cut their teeth in lesser teams when they made their respective F1 debuts. So the fact that he is the youngest driver to win a F1 championship does not hold much water.

  • Anonymous User - 2008-11-03 07:27

    Not a Lewis fan but congrats to the young man. What a cracker of a race!!

  • Rule - 2008-11-03 07:33

    AT LONG LAST... THE BEST RACE EVER!!!!! WELLDONE LEWIS!!!!! NOW LET'S LOOK FOR THE OTHER 9 CHAMPIONSHIPS

  • Mike - 2008-11-03 07:49

    Stop crying Anonymous. If you can drive a F1 in the rain on slicks faster then Glock, then you should be there not here. Well done " HAMMER" you deserve it

  • CRV driver - 2008-11-03 08:01

    At the beginning of this season, many anti-Lewis people here said he has no talent, skill or what it takes to win the championship and Ferrari will show him. This is a perfect moment for all of them to acknowledge that they were wrong. But still some deny Lewis the win even though the person with the most points are the most deserving person to win the championship. Blame Glock, blame the Ferrari pit crew, blame the Ferrari engine or blame it on the weather. Thank you Lewis for showing all these idiots what you are made of. Thank you for making them have a crappy day. Lewis is the world champ!!! What a beautiful Monday morning!

  • Anonymous User - 2008-11-03 08:01

    perfect ending.... had it not been for the luck of rain and such at the beginning LH would have even done much better.... So luck came back to him at the end of the race. Haters can cry all they want now.... Hamilton is CHAMP!

  • Krommie - 2008-11-03 08:08

    Lewis my booikie!!!!!!!! Nearly had a heart attack when Timo came passed!

  • Anonymous User - 2008-11-03 08:11

    In the End the right person won the title......no one can even argue with that,afterall it was not Lewis who tried to keep it interesting for the crowds but the stewards. Lewis should have won it last race.

  • Anonymous User - 2008-11-03 08:13

    Well done LH. One of the most exciting races ever

  • Ponitro - 2008-11-03 08:13

    To all massa fans, half of Massa's points this season were earned for him by the stewards (and Kimi letting him take pos.2 in the last race..or the one before, don't recall well) so stop all this Timo Glock bull... Hamiliton is the Champ finish-n-klaar...

  • Ronnie - 2008-11-03 08:15

    Hamilton fully deserves the world title. Massa supporters: learn to lose with pride. I've been a Ferrari supporter for years...but Hamilton and McLaren, against all odds and some unfair calls by the stewards, did it! So, come on people, give credit where it's due.

  • Anonymous User - 2008-11-03 08:17

    Congrats Lewis, now you just have to start earning respect. Massa deserved the title more than you. Just drop the arrogant British attitide, perhaps the fans will even start liking you.

  • Anonymous User - 2008-11-03 08:17

    FIXED...what are you smoking? LH had the tiltle in his pocket before the rain came, with three laps to go. What...did they plan the rain.......and then instructed Glock to slow down, so that Lewis could overtake him? Yeah right...sore grapes if you ask me

  • Gavin - 2008-11-03 08:20

    Pathetic, F1 = WWE Glock should be banned from the sport for the rest of his life. Hammy is a joke, i would give the title back if my team played dirty like they did but alas they wont - Massa deserves it. I just wish we could see Alonso in a Ferrari - Hammy would see his ASS then!!!! He wouldnt win a race again!!!

  • Lewis' SA Fan Number One(Ngalo) - 2008-11-03 08:25

    That's How It Should Be Done...! To all you haters God is GREAT..!

  • Gavin Kent - 2008-11-03 08:25

    CRV DIVER , you are a TIT! F1 is going to lose a lot of supporters after this season. I hope you get retrenched today.

  • Anonymous User - 2008-11-03 08:29

    God is great. Lewis won a few races back and the win was handed to Massa. Lewis was punished for so little thing and in the end he has got what he deserve last year already. I hope he is even more successful next year. Go Hamie

  • Anonymous User - 2008-11-03 08:33

    LEW (YOU) BEAUTY!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous User - 2008-11-03 08:35

    How typical. Ferrari fans laying blame on everyone other than themselves. Massa's DNF and pit gaffes is his OWN teams fault! Lewis reigns! WORLD CHAMP! Tifosi - cry me a river.

  • Anonymous User - 2008-11-03 08:43

    "I blame Glock" .." Massa should have won" Nobody cares what u'll think. LH won and congratulations to him.

  • 0000 RINGS TO RULE THEM ALL - 2008-11-03 08:45

    HE IS FERRARI F1 WORLD CHAMPION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well done Lewis! Some stupid people on this forum want to blame Glock, for what? He let Lewis through? If he did then you have to admit he let Vettel through as well. Lest you forget, Glock was let down by his team's tire decision. It cost him so live it you sour losers. I said it on friday and I say it again, regardless of the outcome, Lewis's achievement is more than being world champion. Massa and Raikonen did congratulate him on being world champ and not the cry baby Alonso. Vettel, Massa and Raikonen have my respect but not Alonso. Lewis, well done and may we see many more where that one came from. Hatred and racism have no place in society or sport. Had Massa won I would have been disappointed but would not hated him.

  • j3hro - 2008-11-03 08:46

    You cut them haters deep Lewis. You cut them real deep son. Good job.

  • Anonymous User - 2008-11-03 08:46

    Well Done Hamilton!!! Regardless of what anyone says you have a god given talent. Second year in formula 1 and you’ve won the title. You are defiantly going to be a forced to be reckoned with when you have a few more years experience under your belt. Congrats.

  • salim - 2008-11-03 08:56

    glock took his foot from the accelerator and gave Hamilton the victory this could have been easily seen there was a drypatch in front of him which was the racing line and also kubica which was on dry had overtaken both cars so glock handed over the championship remember he is german and Mercedes is german ,so lewis u won with the ultimate favour

  • Hendrik - 2008-11-03 09:05

    Congratulation LH!, but if I was Ron I would fire you for the dismal way in which you finish the last race. You threw it away again but luckily glock was there to save you. You may have the most points but you are no champion.

  • kd - 2008-11-03 09:17

    Gavin Kent - Squeal all you want - the fact is next year Hammy will have no. 1 on the nose of his car, and Massa won't. Don't blame Hammt if Ferrari could not get their pit stops or their reliability right this year. Glock is a rookie, and could not handle the wet conditions on slick tyres. Do yourself and the rest of the world a favour and learn to lose with grace.

  • Josta - 2008-11-03 09:22

    Hammie Reigns, congrats. U were sure superior than circumstance.

  • Sibo - 2008-11-03 09:24

    Why do you guys keep saying that Massa "should" have won? if that was the case then surely he "would" have won? its about points & Ham got more therefore he deserved & EARNED it. Those are the facts

  • Anonymous User - 2008-11-03 09:29

    I wonder how many F1 race teams is now on Maclarens books for next year tp try and help LH win again because clearly he can't do it on his own. And for everyone who talks about the rain. THERE was not enought rain to hinder glock at all. Thsi was no weher near as bad a spa. It was fixed plain and simple and I am not even a Ferrari fan, I just use to like watching F1 but they have lost at least one viewer for next year. I dont like corruption in sport, we have enough of that in SA already!

  • Wincer - 2008-11-03 09:39

    Ron Dennis' 10 year talent investment has finally paid off.

  • Alastair Fyffe - 2008-11-03 09:40

    Gavin youre right, F1 will loose a lot of supporters after this. Many are disappointed that even after the apparent assistance Massa received from the officials, he still didn't get it. Its surprising how many in F1 circles loathe the guy (Hamilton) - Nelson Piquet Sr' comments, Brazilian fans booing & jeering Hamilton' dad, Alonso' comment early in the year, the list goes on. Fact of the matter is, ever since Hamilton arrived, F1 has not been as exciting and much talked about. who remembers the times of Michael Schumacher -boring when he had no competition and ramming into people' cars when he had some stiff competition. So, 1 might loose some supporters but it sure has gained some new ones.

  • Carla - 2008-11-03 09:50

    Congrats to Lewis, for showing everyone that even with FIA biast to Ferrari and all the penalties he still won. Congrats to Filipe for being a great gentleman. The true spirit of sport. Besides all the drama the right person won. this is a proud moment for Mclaren fans, Mclaren Haters cant ruin this moment of victory

  • doorboot - 2008-11-03 09:53

    No Gavin Kent, the tit is the one that stares at you in the mirror. Lewis not only deserved to win, but it would have been a travesty if he did not win. That would have cost F1 fans. Enough people are tired of FIAt and their bias towards Ferrari.

  • Anonymous User - 2008-11-03 09:57

    Lewis is the King and he proved it against all odds.Mclaren deserve it after last season spy saga.Ferrari you might have FIA in your corner but remember this Maclaren had a better car and brilliant driver.Viva Lewis Viva

  • Jack Jack - 2008-11-03 09:58

    Let's look at the facts of this year. Massa was given the race at Belgium. Didn't deserve to win it. He had no pace there. Singapore he's own team shafted him by their mistakes. China he was given second place due to team orders. in contrast McLaren had one engine failure the entire season, Heikki's car. Lewis' car has been more consistent than the ferraris. And let's face it (no one can deny this fact) the Stewards have been very biased this season in ferrari's favour. Consistency and reliability wins championships. Massa has been a phenomenal driver this year, probably the best over all. But it comes down to points and teamwork in the end. And this was Lewis' year. Well Hamilton. Maybe next year Massa might be the king, but 2008 belongs to the Hammer!!

  • Nishmo - 2008-11-03 10:05

    Lewis is KING!!!! To all the haters don't be so bitter!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • EmTee - 2008-11-03 10:07

    I so wanted Massa to win, but this is F1. Everyone has their lucky break at some stage. Lewis is damn quick, and a pretty good driver(still no Senna or Schumi), but he needs to lose the arrogance and the "the world owes me" attitude. Then he might just become a worthy champion, and not just a winner. Alternatively he may go the route of Montoya if he's not careful. Congrats to him.

  • Jack Jack - 2008-11-03 10:13

    Salim, wake up Timo can't stand Lewis. It has nothing to do with Mercedes being German and him being German. Mclaren is actually a British team and just to prove there is no love loss between Timo and Lewis....Here is a quote from Timo Glock and how he feels about Lewis Hamilton. This was after the Japanese Grand Prix where Lewis almost through the title away.."Toyota's Timo Glock was also not pleased when asked about Hamilton's driving. "I do not know what he was thinking. I was right next to him but he left me no room. Sometimes he drives as though he is completely alone on the track," the German is quoted as saying by RTL. "The next time I am with him (on track), I will behave with him in exactly the same way," Glock promised. Timo just had the wrong tyres on his car in the rain. No grip and speed. That's all. Lewis took the opportunity and won the Championship with it!!

  • Anonymous User - 2008-11-03 10:30

    How can all these LH supporters say this was not fixed? Never in the years I have been watching F1 have I seen a driver make up 18 seconds in one lap. Glock slowed down to let LH win. All you LH fans get real

  • Anonymous User - 2008-11-03 10:31

    It is a pity that it had to come down to this. Another report say that McLaren spent 7 million to refit the car to get where they are now but the race did not really show that money. Although i am a Ferrari supprter i feel none of the two should have been crowned champion. The true drivers and stars are the upcoming guys for example Vettel and even Alonso that came back from nowhere and brought their cars into play. As for Glock i am sure he will have to live with the paycheck he and his team received for that situation. Maybe that is where the 7 mill will end up. Well let us see what happens the next season. If Hammi is the true champ he will be there again next year as for the next 7 as like Schumi. If not he will be remembered the same way as for Damon over the Hill. The only reason why so many remember him is because the biast commentators always mention him and not the true stars of the sport.

  • LuanE - 2008-11-03 11:07

    Congrats to Lewis, you did have the most points at the end of the day. I firmly believe that Glock let him pass since he was only 5 seconds a lap slower than the pack and somehow lost 17 seconds on that last lap, but that is racing. Massa's pit crews cost him the championship, but that is racing. I still say Massa deserves it more, but that is racing. I really just hope that Lewis will drive next season without all of his reckless stunts. He almost threw this last race away but at least he drove like a gentleman. He did well but my heart breaks for Fillipe, he should've been champ... but that is racing.