Lewis Hamilton is the 2008 Formula One World Champion

And I’m so gutted to have written that post title. Absolutely shattered and sad about the way things happened. From a neutral point of view it might have been a great season, but for Massa and everyone who likes and supports him, its been a day to forget. Knowing what he had to do Felipe Massa did all he could, got the pole position, drove the the fastest lap during the race and eventually won it, and while winning it in hope that he just won the title too, but for the luck. Lewis Hamilton was behind Timo Glock when at the very last corner of the race, during the uphill climb, he overtakes Glock and grabs that 1 crucial point which sealed the title in his favor. For a moment I felt as if something was fishy in that move, why did the huge lead which Glock had over Hamilton suddenly just vanish over a single lap, and although Glock has said he was loosing grip, which might be even true, its caused an irreversible verdict on the championship. Many a times its been said that sports can be cruel at times, and we once again saw what it meant. I never felt this bad when Michael Schumacher lost the titles to Fernando Alonso, Alonso drove like a champ and won it, although that engine failure at Japan broke my heart when Schumi’s last hope went up in smoke, but still I always hated Lewis Hamilton and this year the hatred reaches supreme levels. Some of Lewis’s fans might argue with me, but then a champion is not just about who has the maximum points at the end of the season, its also about the way he gets the maximum points. Luck has been with him as much as against him, but whenever it was with him he benefitted more than when it wasn’t. And when that happens you have more good days than the bad ones. Anyways congratulations to Lewis Hamilton for winning the title. And Massa will have his day someday.

2008 Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix Preview

Its the final race of the season and its the Brazilian Felipe Massa in his home race against the Brit Lewis Hamilton. The math is simple:
Hamilton will be champion if:
– He finishes fifth or higher
– He finishes sixth and Massa is second or lower
– He finishes seventh and Massa is second or lower
– He finishes eighth and Massa is third or lower
– He fails to score and Massa is third or lower

Massa will be champion if:
– He wins and Hamilton finishes sixth or lower
– He finishes second and Hamilton is eighth or lower

If the pair are tied on points at the end of Sunday afternoon (which would happen is Massa wins with Hamilton sixth, or if Massa finishes second with Hamilton eighth), Massa would win the title by virtue of more victories (six to Hamilton’s five) or more second-place finishes (three to Hamilton’s two).

So there you have it, both know what they have to do, and both know the stakes. Hamilton might be in a comfortable position thanks to the seven point lead he has, but he knows that it aint over till its over, and Massa would love to win the title at home infront of his fans and becoming the first Formula 1 champion since the great Ayrton Senna. Last season too Hamilton was in a comfortable position, he lost the title to Kimi Raikkonen. Constructors’ wise, Ferrari’s 11-point lead should be enough to win their title from McLaren. BMW Sauber is 10-point behind McLaren so they still have an outside chance of grabbing second from McLaren.

Its also the final grand prix of David Coulthard, aka DC. The oldest man on grid and a veteran of 245 grands prix starts, DC has been a popular figure in F1. Never won the title, 13 wins over a career of 15 years, with his last win in the 2003 season. Not an out and out championship material but he’s been always a tough guy to overtake. DC will surely be missed in F1. Farewell DC.

Here is the race schedule (all timings are in IST):
FRI Practice 1      17:30
FRI Practice 2     21:30
SAT Practice     18:30
SAT Qualifying     21:30
SUN Race     22:30

You just cant miss all the action. And I hope its Massa who wins it.

In memory of people who died in Formula One

I was casually browsing Youtube when I found a video of the news report on the day when Ayrton Senna died. Everyone remembers that on May 1, 1994, the Formula One triple world champion Ayrton Senna died in a crash that occurred while he was leading the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix at Imola, but only a few know that another Formula One driver died in the same grand prix a day earlier on Saturday 30 April, 1994, during the qualifying. It was Roland Ratzenberger who died in the high speed crash he had which resulted in his death. But Senna’s death overshadowed Ratzenberger, and still today not many people know the fact that 2 Formula One drivers died in the same grand prix event making the darkest day in the history of Formula One racing.

Ayrton Senna died the following day. According to Wikipedia “When track officials examined the wreckage of Senna’s racing car, they found a furled Austrian flag. Senna had planned to raise it after winning the race, in honour of Ratzenberger.” Such a tragic incident really, makes you feel very sad about it.

Ratzenberger was doing 314.9 km/h when his car struck the wall. The cause of his death according to Wikipedia “Suffering front wing-damage on the previous lap, the high speed on the backstraight, and therefore high wind pressure, finally broke the wing off, sending it under Ratzenberger’s car. His car failed to turn into the Villeneuve Corner and struck the outside wall at 314.9 km/h. After the car carried on down the track, spinning around and stopping at the next corner, Ratzenberger’s lolling head was revealed; he had clearly broken his neck. The cause of death was a basal skull fracture.” On February 18, 2001 NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt also had a similar injury at the 2001 Daytona 500 when he had a high speed crash and died because of serious injuries.

The double tragedy was marked before the start of the next race in Monaco, with the front row of the grid left empty and the two slots painted with a Brazilian and Austrian flag. Although Formula One cars are a lot safer, thanks to the San Marino tragedy, and even after a high speed crash, the drivers survive the accident. But we still remember the drivers we have lost in motor racing. May their soul rest in peace…