Five-way title battle

  • If Alonso wins in Brazil, he will be champion unless Webber is higher than fourth
  • If Alonso is second, he will be champion unless Webber is higher than eighth, Hamilton higher than fourth or Vettel wins
  • If Alonso is third, he will be champion unless Webber finishes in the top 10, Hamilton in the top four and Vettel in the top three
  • If Alonso does not finish on the podium, it will go to Abu Dhabi
  • Button can only stay in contention if he finishes first or second but is out if Alonso finishes in the top six or if Webber is in the top two
  • Vettel must beat Alonso on track to stay in contention
1 ALONSO 231pts
2 WEBBER 220pts
3 HAMILTON 210pts
4 VETTEL 206pts
5 BUTTON 189pts
Source: BBC
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Barrichello on pole during wet qualifying in Interlagos

Rubens Barrichello will start the race from pole position for tomorrow’s Brazilian Grand Prix. Barrichello needs to score 5 points more than Jenson Button to take the championship fight to Abu Dhabi GP after Brit only qualified 14th. Vettel could also only qualify 16th after a bad day in office.

In tough conditions, it took over two and a half hours to get to the end of qualifying. Fisichella spun his car early in the Q1 which brought out a red flag. During Q2 Tonio Liuzzi hit the pit wall hard and brought out a red flag again.

Both McLarens and Sebastian Vettel missed out on Q2 during tough first qualifying session.

Tonio Liuzzi’s crash in Q2

Looking back: Some classic Brazilian GPs

In this blog I will only concentrate on races after 2000 as most of them were action packed.

2001

Rainmaster Schumacher is beaten in the rain. Schumacher was overtaken twice in the races by Montoya and Coulthard and both taking place at the “Senna S” corner of the track.

2003

A controversial race decided by a court case. Fernando Alonso failed to slow for the waved yellow flags, and hit Webber’s tyres at full speed on the 55th lap. Race was subsequently red flagged,ending the race immediately for safety concerns. Now, the confusion begins….

2006

This race was first of the three continuous seasons when the drivers championship was decided here. Fernando Alonso won the WDC.  Michael Schumacher finished fourth in his last race despite starting the race in 10th position and having a punctured tyre during the race. This was one of his best drives.

2007

Lewis Hamilton was slowed by a gearbox problem early in the race and could only finish seventh. In the process he lost a seven point lead over Raikkonen and losing the championship to him.

2008

Light rain began to fall on lap 63. Massa pitted on lap 67, meaning that all of the frontrunners, with the exception of Glock, were now on intermediate tyres. The rain began to fall heavily on lap 69, as Hamilton ran wide, which allowed Vettel to take fifth position. As Massa crossed the finish line to win the race; confusion reigned as TV showed Ferrari garage celebrating but it was found out soon that Hamilton finished the race in fifth position, clinching the WDC. Vettel and Hamilton passed Glock in the final corners as his dry-weather tyres slid on the wet track.

2008 season review in videos

The collection of videos best describing 2008 season of Formula 1 –

The first 17 races

The last lap, the last race – What a finish!

Start of the season – Massa in Hungary

Overtaking move of the season – Massa on Kovaleinen and Barichello in Canada

Controversy of the season – Hamilton being stripped off the win after steward ruling

Crashes of 2008

Hamilton wins WDC, Glock gives emotional rollercoaster to Massa fans!

The jaw dropping, heart sinking and nerve breaking moments in the final laps of the Brazilian GP will be remembered as one of the finest title showdown in the years to come. Massa almost won the WDC during final 2 laps of the season and lost in last 500m of the track!! It took minutes to fathom the result. Massa fans were confused, some commentators (Steve Slater!) were confused and Hamilton fans were ecstatic. The nearly 70,000 fans at Interlagos were on their feet and celebrating as Massa took the checkered flag, but a few seconds later they were in dumbstruck after realizing that Hamilton had overtaken Toyota’s Timo Glock just a few hundred meters from the finish.

“Massa loses title by 500 metres,” read a headline at the O Globo newspaper, adding the question: “Is God English?”

Gracious and dignified after defeat

Gracious and dignified after defeat

For a second year in a row F1 provided races to savour for life. Massa can be proud of the character he showed to put the ball in Hamilton’s court at the end of the race. Hamilton has become the youngest ever driver to win the F1 world championship. Massa was almost down to tears when he stopped his car and when he went to the podium. He was dignified in his defeat at the last corner of the track. A humble man!

The Vettel scare

The youngest F1 champion was hunted down by Vettel and then, with two laps to go, and then passed him to stage a torrid finish

The Glock theories

Massa fans believe that Timo Glock intentionally slowed down to pave a way for Hamilton. But i don’t think so, Glock risked running of the dry tyres and gamble didn’t pay off!

Timo Glock                   Jarno Trulli
69 1:18.688                  1:22.428
70 1:28.041                  1:33.539
71 1:44.731                  1:44.800

The data, I think, clearly shows that both Toyotas were struggling!

Champion!

Hamilton, who squandered 17 points lead to finish second in 2007, deserves this victory. He is a phenomenol driver, a wet-race specialist, a qualification guru. His drives at Silverstone, Hockenheim and Shanghai were really special. He is bound to learn more and F1 viewing can only get better by his involvement.

The world media on the WDC, Massa and Hamilton – Telegraph

Most exciting finish ever? – Times

Victor

Victor

Massa takes pole at his home grand prix

The qualifying for last race season is now over. Massa is on pole. Hamilton is fourth with Raikonnen on third. There is every chance now of this race being a nail-biter as Ferrari are in a perfect place to put some strategy to hold Hamilton through Raikonnen and let Massa fly away at the front. Obviously, they need luck along with strategy. A ‘Raikkonen train’ to let Massa (and potentially Trulli) get away and hope a few cars pass Hamilton is possible in the same way as Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine adopted with Jacques Villeneuve at Suzuka in 1997.

Pole-sitter Massa

Pole-sitter Massa

With rain a possibility at Interlagos circuit according to various reports, safety car can play a role in title decider. Safety car rule has already destroyed races of few drivers since its inception.

* Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg, Montreal, 2007
* Heikki Kovalainen, Melbourne, 2008
* Nick Heidfeld, Catalunya, 2008
* Robert Kubica, Singapore 2008

Can it do today with Massa or Hamilton?

Hamilton will just need a fifth finish at Brazilian GP and with his teammate Heikki at fifth place during qualifying, McLaren can also try to form a ‘Kovaleinen train’ to hold off the rest of the grid.

Who’ll succeed and who’ll not will be clear after the race. My heart wants Massa to win WDC but it would take a heart of steel to see Hamilton lose it twice in a row!!

Qualifying Report – Autosport

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