Brazil 2008: Hamilton defeats the odds

ASI LEWISIt is wet and windy, not ideal for open cockpit racing. Interlagos is almost unrecognisable under the Brazilian floods as Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa fight for 2008 championship glory. 

It was an unforgettable race, one which perfectly reflects the unpredictable nature of Formula 1. In other words, it was a showcase of how talent and destiny can combine to create one iconic race and an emotionally-charged victor to match.

Excuse the pun but racing is somewhat of a lottery, a game of luck out of the control of its participants. Wins and losses occur on a knife’s edge, hovering tentatively until a team decision is made to swing the result to one side. This time, it was one tyre choice and one lap which made the crucial difference as Lewis Hamilton stormed to championship victory for McLaren.

The roar from an adoring Brazilian crowd was deafening as Felipe Massa initially clinched his first title, an honour he held for just thirty-nine seconds. That moment of true edge-of-your-seat racing is extraordinary – goosebumps and all, it was a feeling anyone watching will understand.

As Hamilton curtailed Massa’s premature celebrations, the world watched as a nurtured talent grew from a boy racer to champion of the world, joining an exclusive and elite world. It was a day far removed from tales of team orders and overly-wealthy teenagers. Instead, it was proof of a meritocracy. The 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix inspired my subsequent writing and taught me to dream the seemingly impossible.

Talent put him in contention and chance secured the win. For the almost-victor Massa, the final word in this championship story is likely to be: “nearly”.

Formula 1 was at its very best that day.


FORMULA 1: My favourite moment of the last twenty-five years

ASI Competition Entry 2015

Autosport International Show 8-11th January 2015

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