When GRR learned of the 2015 Festival of Speed theme Flat-Out and Fearless: Racing on the Edge, we decided to do this little post every Friday to celebrate. The idea was to share with you a clip each week that summed up the FoS theme and we sincerely didn’t expect it to be as popular as it has.
But all good things must indeed come to an end and today will be the last clip celebrating this year’s theme. But fear ye not because as of January we’re going to shift the focus to next year’s theme of ‘Full Throttle – The Endless Pursuit of Power‘. Just you wait…
By now you will have figured out which clip we’ve decided to end on. Of course there were many candidates, but the final few laps of the last race of the 2008 Formula One season where Lewis Hamilton bagged his first World Championship got the vote. It’s been a while since we’ve watched this footage and reviewing it brought back all the rabid fever of that damp and overcast day at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace, previously known of course as Interlagos.
To put you in the frame (on the off-chance you’ve forgotten), Hamilton went into the weekend with a seven point lead over Ferrari‘s Felipe Massa. So with 10 points being available for the win, if Massa could win what was his home Grand Prix with Hamilton finishing sixth or lower the title would be his. The odds then were with Hamilton. However, he’d been on the receiving end of much criticism after the Japanese Grand Prix at Fuji where his temperament had come into question with seemingly the world’s motoring press coming down heavily on the Stevenage man.
Andrew Stevenson said of Hamilton’s effort at Fuji: ‘Hamilton is still in a strong position but the Englishman will have to cut out the mistakes that have characterised his season if he is not to lose the championship for the second year in a row.’ While the Times’ Edward Gorman opined ‘Alternatively Hamilton may suffer another one of his rushes of blood to the head and do something utterly unnecessary at Interlagos, just as he did in Japan eight days ago and in Brazil last year, and throw it all away … Suddenly defending even a seven-point lead sounds a tall order.’
So the pressure was well-and-truly on in Brazil. Massa drove brilliantly in qualifying and bagged pole position ahead of Jarno Trulli, Kimi Raikkonen and then our Lewis. Seemingly then a driver of Hamilton’s ability was in a strong position. However, things didn’t work out that way and Lewis came within half a mile of losing out on the big prize.
As has been our style with the Flat-Out and Fearless videos, we’ll stop short of spilling all the beans in order to not spoil your reliving of all the excitement, but you have to feel desperately sorry for Felipe Massa and what he must have experienced having crossed the line in first position.
Other relevant points from the Grand Prix in danger of being overlooked in light of the Driver’s Championship dramas were that this was David Coulthard‘s last ever F1 race, Robert Kubica lost third place in the championship when it would have been easier to secure it, and the following year’s champion, Jenson Button, brought his Honda home in an anonymous 13th place.
Here’s hoping that Lewis can make it to FoS in 2016 and bring that wonderful Driver’s Championship Trophy with him!