Archive for the ‘2008 Season’ Category

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Lewis Hamilton- Britain’s Favourite Champion

March 2, 2009

In the years that will follow, many fans will tell the story of how Formula One ace Lewis Hamilton clinched his first world title.

Sunday 2nd November 2008, and after a season that saw many highs and lows between the Briton and his title rivals, Felipe Massa is set to take the driver’s title at the Interlagos circuit in Sao Paulo, Brazil, after taking the chequered flag. Hamilton, having lost his all-important fifth place to Sebastian Vettel of Toro Rosso because of lack of grip in his intermediate tyres, appears to have lost a championship that he had led for most of the season.

Back in the UK, Lewis’ fans watch and wait in disbelief as history repeats itself for the second year in a row.

Then enter Timo Glock, the young German driver in a Toyota, the man who has now officially become Britain’s number two sporting hero. As the rain pours down onto the track, Glock starts to lose pace; his slick tyres just don’t have any grip left in them, it’s too wet, and Lewis who has been busy hunting down Vettel has started to close in on the Toyota on the final lap. Lewis is on the penultimate corner, Massa, his only title rival has already won his home Grand Prix; the Ferrari team and Massa family are prematurely celebrating what started out as the nearly impossible, their man is champion… Then in the words of Martin Brundle, “is that Glock, is that Glock? It is! That’s Glock!”, and Hamilton is back in that all-important position again. The McLaren garage goes wild, Lewis’ father Anthony and brother Nic are on their feet, the Ferrari team and Massa family have realised, and over the radio Massa is told, “he has passed Glock.”

The chequered flag has drawn an end to the 2008 season, it is over, Felipe Massa has won the Brazilian Grand Prix and the world title; and then in the last 20-odd seconds of Lewis’ race, he steals it back in what is likely to be the most memorable, nail-biting season finale ever.

The Brazilian fans in the grandstands, who seconds earlier were on their feet to cheer their man home to victory, are now booing at the man who has just taken it away from him; the man who could not quite make it stick twelve months before.

But boy didn’t he deserve it.

OK, so Hamilton has made some big mistakes in his championship year, but then again, was Michael Schumacher ever squeaky clean in his seven winning years?

Some might say that the bad luck Hamilton has had this year, with no less than six penalties from the F1 governing body, the FIA, makes him less worthy of the title; but then again, Massa has made his share of mistakes this season too. Think of that Singapore pit lane incident, for example.

In years to come Hamilton fans will look back on their man’s first world championship and remember the day when he left them hanging, waiting until the very last opportunity to celebrate. Needless to say, many fans were left teetered on the edge of their seats, praying for that all-important fifth place; not to mention losing their voices from the sheer determination that screaming at the television was going to give them what they had been dying to see for a whole year.

But now lays the question of what is next for the British number one? With new and tougher regulations expected for 2009, a Ferrari team determined to claim back their number one car, and a Spanish man going by the name of Fernando Alonso, the question is can Lewis defend his title? Let it be known he is determined to succeed, in fact McLaren boss Ron Dennis has promised the 23 year old, that if he makes it a hat-trick of titles, the McLaren driver is destined to get his hands on one of only five McLaren F1 LM supercars that is currently on display at the team’s HQ in Woking. Now if that is not an incentive to defend his title, then what is?

Not to mention the possibility of Hamilton becoming the UK’s highest paid sportstar in years to come, being tipped to be paid more than David Beckham.

It has to be said it was sad to see the many Massa fans boo the champion, in a fashion that showed little sportsmanship, that even Massa himself did not possess at the end of a competitive season. What is even sadder is the amount of racist abuse the young driver has endured this season even after the title had been decided. Yet, he doesn’t let it faze him.

Right now Lewis is at an all-time high, he is champion, and he has set some records. He is the youngest ever Formula One Champion, beating his 2007 team mate Fernando Alonso by four months. He is also the sport’s first black champion.

But who is he really? He is Lewis Hamilton from Stevenage, and whether he goes on to win more championships, or maybe even smash Schumi’s record of seven titles, the world will always know, he is destined to be a sporting legend that only dreams are made of.

So what’s next for Britain’s new hero? Next season of course, when he’ll be back in the driver’s seat to defend his title against the Felipe’s and Kimi Raikkonen’s and even the Vettel’s of the grid.

Lewis Hamilton, Formula One World Champion 2008- has a nice ring to it don’t you think!?