After Robbie’s woes with his web streams, it was up to me to do a liveblog for today’s Brazilian GP, now, by the time you read this post, you’ll probably already know who won and who won the championship, but I won’t ruin it for those that didn’t catch it. With that, SPEED’s pre-race show begins!
- Damon Hill was the last British driver to win the world drivers championship in 1996, Ayrton Senna was the last Brazilian to win the WDC in 1991. Today, British driver Lewis Hamilton has a 7 point lead over Brazilian Felipe Massa, both have a chance to win the championship here today in Interlagos.
- The odds obviously favor Hamilton, but after qualifying on the pole, Felipe Massa looks to have the edge and the hometown crowd is also on his side.
- Hamilton also needs to take it easy, the engine in his McLaren MP4-23 is on its 2nd race and he can’t afford having a failure, that will certainly cost him the championship, all he needs to do is keep his nose clean and run fast enough to finish 5th or better.
With all that said, the cars are lined up on the grid and ready for the formation lap.
Formation Lap: Delayed by 10 minutes as it suddenly started to rain on the grid, Massa’s heart rate is going up.
Formation Lap Take 2: Track is wet on the front straight and in turns 1 through 4 but it’s wet enough for everyone to be on inters. Kubica looks to be the only one still on drys and will start from the pits.
Start: Lights on, Lights Out! Clean start, nobody stalls but it gets a little hairy in turn 1 with everyone sliding around!
1: DC collides with the Williams of Kaz Nakajima, replay shows that Nico Rosberg, in the other Williams shunted DC around. What a terrible end to a career for Coulthard! Piquet somehow gets wrecked, safety car is deployed!
2: Pits are opened, no takers.
3: Back to live images, SC is still out, Fisichella is in the pits, looks to be on dry tires.
3: Radio transmission between Fernando Alonso and Pat Symonds, Alonso says track is dry everywhere but turns 2 and 3.
4: Safety Car in this lap.
5: Restart is clean, Kovalainen passes Alonso for 6th, but Fernando fights back and retakes it!
6: On board with Kovalainen as he battles Alonso.
7: Massa still leads, stretched it out to 1.9 seconds.
8: Raikkonen trying to get around Trulli. Rosberg pits in for hard compound dry tires.
9: Timo Glock, Kazoo, Jenson Button, Rosberg and Fisichella are on drys.
10: Vettel, Alonso and Webber pit for drys.
10: Fisi, in the atrociously slow Force India goes purple (fastest of all) in sector 2.
10: Rubinho also pits for drys, but something goes wrong and there’s foam eveywhere, not sure if it was a fuel fire or what.
11: Massa pits for drys, McLaren follows suit by bringing in Heikki, but the mechanics weren’t quite ready and the stop was long for him.
12: Trulli, Raikkonen, and Lewis in for dry tires, Hamilton really didn’t need Trulli to cut him off on pit exit.
12: Hamilton shown P7, not good enough to win the WDC with Massa leading.
12: Replay of Massa sliding, Nakajima spins out and somehow keeps it off the walls.
13: Trulli somehow saved the car from spinning out completely and taking out his teammate.
14: Fisichella is shown 4th, is the apocolaypse coming?
14: More commercials.
16: Back to live coverage, No changes in position.
16: Hamilton moves up to P6, still not good enough with Massa leading (Massa, if he wins would have the first tie-breaker of most race victories)
17: Hamilton has closed on Fisichella, but Lewis is being held up.
18: Hamilton gets around Fisi for 5th, Hamilton would win the title if the race ended(98 to 97).
19: According to Vettel’s engineer, no more rain is expected.
20: Massa still leads.
21: Trulli forces SeaBass all the way to the grass (hey, that rhymed!)
22: Vettel (P2) is closing in on Massa, more commercials.
24: Vettel is still closing on Massa.
25: Massa resets fastest race lap.
26: No changes.
27: Trulli and Kovalainen are struggling to get around Giancarlo Fisichella in the Force India Ferrari.
28: Kovalainen gets around Trulli, Vettel in the pits, he’s assumed to be on a 3-stopper.
29: Kovalainen gets around Fisi.
30: Top-5 areMassa, Alonso, Raikkonen, Hamilton and Glock.
30: Commercials, you would think that a race as big as this wouldn’t be filled with random ads.
31: Raikkonen is closing in on Alonso for 2nd.
32: Hamilton sets fastest lap at 1:14.1
33: Glock resets fastest lap at 1:14.0
33: McLaren reportedly spent $7.5 million between Shanghai and Brazil trying to find .05 seconds to beat Ferrari. And who said that the $100 million fine would affect them?
34: Massa resets fastest lap at 1:13.7
35: Commericial break right before another set of stops.
38: Back to live shots, Hamilton is up to P4, would clinch the WDC if the race ended.
38: Glock pits, as does Massa, no more stops expected for either of them.
39: Bourdias and Fisichella in.
40: Alonso is the race leader by 11 seconds.
40: McLaren mechanics setting up for a pitstop, Alonso in for his final stop.
40: Hamilton in for tires and fuel, no more stops for him, he rejoins in 6th.
41: Shot of Hamilton’s HOT girlfriend, Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls, he is one lucky man.
42: Raikkonen leads.
43: Massa 2nd, Kovalainen in for his 2nd stop.
43: Kimster in for final pitstop.
44: Nothing to report.
45: Hamilton is 5th, still has the point lead.
46: Lewis is showing patience.
47: Commercials, meh.
48: Live shots, Vettel is 2nd, another brilliant drive in the wet.
50: Shots of Kubica getting lapped.
51: Vettel is closing in on Massa, but Vettel is expected to pit again.
52: Vettel in the pits, rejoins in 5th, just behind Hamilton.
53: F-in commercials.
54: Kovalainen is P6.
55: Vettel closing in on Hamilton.
56: Vettel is closing more and more on Hamilton.
57: Shot of a radar showing a possible rain shower that may come over the track towards the end.
58: Rain may be expected in 10 minutes.
59-60: Nothing to report.
61: Debate among the SPEED commentary about Bernie’s proposed medal point system.
62: No rain as of yet, but the threat is still there.
65: Rain is starting to fall!!!
65: Heidfeld choosing a similar strategy like he did at Spa, ptting in for Inters!
65: Rosberg and Bourdais in for wets. Raikkonen closes a ton on Alonso, Vettel is all over Hamilton’s rear.
66: Webber in for wets.
66: Ferrari and McLaren mechanics prepping wet tires, Hamilton and Raikkonen pit, Massa stays out.
67: Massa can’t afford to gamble, pits for inters and retains the lead.
67: Everbody but the Toyota’s have pitted for Inters.
67: Hamilton is in P5, good enough to clinch the title, but Vettel is on his gearbox!
68: Vettel is pressuring Hamilton!
68: Hamilton and Vettel navigating through traffic, Vettel is looking for a place to get around Hamilton, looks to use the lap car of Kubica to get around!
68: Kubica blocks Hamilton which allows Vettel to get past! Hamilton to P6, loses the championship lead to Massa, who still leads!
69: Rain is falling heavier!
70: Hamilton despereately trying to get around Vettel!
71: Last lap for Massa, Hamilton is losing ground to Vettel! Can Massa pull off the upset!
71: Checkers are out, Massa wins the Brazilian GP!
71: Hold on, Hamilton is P6, struggling to get around Vettel, but wait, Timo Glock, in the Toyota who is still out on dry tires is struggling to keep control!
71: Coming out of the last turn, Hamilton and Vettel pass Glock and move into 5th and 4th respectively!
71: Hamilton, crosses the line in 5th position! Good enough to clinch the WDC!!!
Lewis Hamilton is the 2008 F1 World Champion!!!
To quote David Hobbs “Lewis, you are one lucky, lucky boy!”
What an incredible end to an incredible 2008 season! Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton on the championship and congrats to Felipe Massa on the win of his home GP and to Ferrari on clinching the constructors title!
Robbie and I will keep you fans updated with silly-season news, schedule news and everything else we feel is worthy of sharing!