In a hard fought season between Robert Kubica, Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa, and Lewis Hamilton a conclusion was finally reached over the weekend in Brazil. As Formula 1 2008 came to a close Kubica and Raikkonen were mathmatically out of the championship chase and it came down to Felipe and Lewis.
As the points stood Lewis only needed to net a 5th place finish to lock out Felipe and secure the title. However it looked as if the Vodafone McLaren team over compensated by litterally setting up the car and their strategy as a 5th place contender. The plan worked out for most of the race however towards the end it began to fail as Red Bull bad-ass Sebastien Vettel snatched 5th place away from Lewis during the last 3 laps while Massa was in first place.
Due to extremely worn and graining tires combined with a wet track Lewis struggled to take 5th back from the blazing fast German but was fading fast. Salvation came for Lewis in the last lap when Toyota driver Timo Glock fell back from 4th place also due to worn tires which allowed both Vettel and Hamilton to blow by. This controversial occurance placed the Brit back into 5th place thus securing his championship crown as he crossed the line.
I couldn’t help but hurt for Massa as he and his team were litterally informed at the last possible moment that they had not won the championship. Cameras captured the very moment when Felipe’s father was jumping up and down cheering then the imediate drain of joy from his face and the other red coats as they were told the unfortunate news that Lewis swooped the title away.
I also couldn’t help but get a tad emotional as I saw Lewis take the title and celebrate with his team, family, and friends. A while back it had been a dream of mine to be the first African American in Formula 1 and to win the title. Obviously that isn’t going to happen now and even though the media has generally tried to keep the issue of race out of the amazing story that is Lewis Hamilton I can’t help but feel proud that history was made. If I couldn’t do it I’m happy that Lewis could. Congrats!