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Seven Days: Vermont Car Blog

November 03, 2008

Bob Sr.'s Weekend Racing Highlights

Editor's Note: Bob Sr. is my dad. He has been racing cars for almost 50 years. If he's not racing on the weekend you'll find him watching auto racing on TV. Every Monday he'll post an update with highlights and the inside scoop on the previous weekend’s big races.


Interlagos, the Final F1 Race of the Year
Sao Paulo, Brazil

Ferrari's Filipe Massa dominated qualifying sessions taking pole position with ease on Saturday to his hometown fan's delight. Each time he went past the jam-packed grandstands you could hear them cheer for their hero even over the screaming roar of the 20,000 rpm Formula One engines. To win the championship Massa needed to finish 1st or 2nd and Hamilton no better than 6th.

Just before the start on Sunday an unexpected cloudburst sent the teams scurrying for Intermediate and Full rain tires. The start was held up for 10 minutes to allow the changes. Filipe immediately got a great start and started to pull away from the field. He absolutely dominated the entire race and with just a few laps remaining rain fell again.

At this time the order was Massa, Alonso, Raikkonen and then Hamilton comfortably in 4th in front of  Sebastien Vettel. They all had to pit for rain tires and resumed in the same order Massa, Alonso, Kimi in 1,2,3, but Timo Glock did not pit and Hamilton and Vettel had to fall in behind him. Hamilton now in 5th, where he had to be to take the Championship, the ever dangerous Vettel just behind him. Moments later in the pouring rain Hamilton made a tragic mistake going wide. Vettel pounced and took over 5th place leaving Hamilton 6th and his Championship hopes smashed with but a few laps left.

The crowd, the announcers and the pit crews were going wild and had conceded the race win AND Championship to Massa. He crossed the finish line, the winner and World Champ. BUT WAIT A MINUTE... further back, last lap, last corner, Glock, who had not changed to rains, bobbled and gifted Hamilton with the position, the 5th place he HAD to have to win the Championship. OhMiGod!!!

Meanwhile Filipe, his loyal fans screaming with delight was running the cool off lap having been told by his crew that he was World Champ. It was only when he pulled into the impound area that he learned that Hamilton had gotten by Glock for 5th... taking the crown. Filipe walked  to the edge of the grandstands acknowledging the roar of his fans with his hand on his heart and tears in his eyes. Filipe had done all he could - pole position - fastest race lap - complete race dominance - only to lose the Championship by one lonely point.

No Hollywood script could have topped this ending.

The McClaren team was also in shock finally realizing that they had won the title with Hamilton scraping by in the last corner to take 5th.

Ferrari did take the Constructor's Championship handily for the eighth time in the last ten years.

Kimi, 2008 World Champ finished third in the race, third in the Championship.

Massa swallowing hard, graciously saying to the post-race media whom were also in shock, "...we must recognize Hamilton as Champion, he won because he got more points, that’s racing".  I'm sure Filipe was thinking of the two races when he scored zero points because of mechanical failures while leading. If only...
…but that's racing.


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Brian kilpatrick

I got to watch this race with Bob Sr. (My Dad) and it was pretty freakin' exciting! What an emotional roller coaster for the drivers and the fans.

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