High drama as last corner crowns champion

Sun, 2 November 2008, 09:48

Nov.2 (GMM) Timo Glock and Sebastian Vettel played a vital role in the outcome of the 2008 world championship, played out over a dramatic Brazilian grand prix where emotions ran high

In the drizzly confusion on the last lap, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton lost his necessary fifth place to Toro Rosso’s Vettel, only to win it back again at the final corner of the 71-lap race when Glock, who drives for Toyota, could not hold the Briton at bay on his unsuitable dry tyres

The Felipe Massa camp in the Ferrari garage, having watched the Brazilian driver race to a dominant victory from pole position, initially celebrated winning the world championship against the odds — before a sober team mechanic turned scenes of delight into despair by shouting the words “No, No!”

Massa, having also initially believed he had won the title, was in tears when he pulled into parc ferme, but ultimately congratulated Hamilton, declaring he knows “how to win, and how to lose, but for sure I am very emotional”

“That is racing. The race finishes at the chequered flag,” said the devastated 27-year-old, who finishes the season one point shy of the title

“We need to congratulate Lewis as he did a great championship, he scored more points than us so he deserves to be champion,” said Massa

Emotions were also running high when a reporter for the British broadcaster asked Hamilton for his thoughts in pitlane, before father and manager Anthony intervened, insisting his 23-year-old charge – now the youngest winner of the drivers’ title in F1 history – return to the McLaren garage for a drink

Hamilton Snr had already expressed his displeasure with the booing ranks of Brazilians, claiming the Massa supporters “should be sportspeople”

After regaining his composure, and a long and tearful embrace with his father, Lewis Hamilton recalled the sheer drama of the decisive final lap of the 2008 season

“He (Vettel) got past me and I was told I had to get in front of him, and I couldn’t believe it

“I was trying my hardest to get to Vettel but he was just as quick as me, if not a little bit quicker

“Then at the last corner I managed to get past Glock and I’m telling you it was just amazing. It was one of the toughest races of my life, if not the toughest,” said the new world champion

As if the protagonists’ emotion was not enough, a physical scuffle broke out among the clamouring ranks of press and camera men, as they elbowed for position at the back of the McLaren garage

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