So - no Formula One love on the SDMB?

Anyone else follow Formula 1?

The final race was today and to say the results were dramatic would be a gross understatement.

The Driver’s Championship came down to the final race (as it did last year) with Lewis Hamilton leading Felipe Massa by 7 points. If Hamilton finishes 5th or better he wins the overall championship, even if Massa wins the race. Massa must finish 1st or 2nd and hope for a poor finish from Hamilton in order to clinch.

The race is in Sao Paulo in front of Massa’s home crowd (he was born less than 100 yards from the circuit).

Massa takes the pole, Hamilton starts in 4th and the race is on. Everything is going fairly normally until about 5 laps from the finish when rain starts moving in. For those who don’t normally follow F1, they continue to race in the rain (unless it’s a complete washout).

The shenanigans begin, with everyone pitting to change to wet-weather tires except for the two Toyotas. After the frenzy Massa still has the lead but Hamilton has fallen to 5th because Timo Glock in a Toyota is still out on dry tires and is sitting in 4th spot. Hamilton has Sebastian Vettel behind him and Vettel is fast and pushing.

Here are the final three laps.

Simply unreal!

Hamilton gets overtaken by Vettel with 2 laps to go which puts him in 6th - and in position to lose the Driver’s Championship to Massa. He tries to overtake Vettel but cannot. On the last turn of the last lap Timo Glock on the dry-weather tires goes wide and slow and both Vettel and Hamilton pass him, putting Hamilton into 5th and taking the championship. An 18-race season spread out over 8 months gets decided in the last 5 seconds on the last turn of the last lap of the last race.

So, did anyone else see this?

Who were you rooting for?

At least the stewards didn’t change the race outcome after the end of the race like they did in Belgium!

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to watch it, but I was updating the Beeb’s live coverage every thirty seconds for the last twenty minutes or so (and now I’m watching it on YouTube, of course.) Ridiculous finish, it must be said. I’m happy to see Hamilton win, but what a crazy way to take the championship.

Yeah, I was happy to see Hamilton win, but I think I lost about 6 months of my life while watching that race.

This year has been full of crazy stuff - the race at Spa being the most obvious.

To be honest, finishes like this can only be good for F1. If the stewards can keep their mitts off of already-finished races and we can have a real shootout for the Driver’s and Constructor’s championships then more people will be willing to watch races.

It’s not a question of no love, because I’d venture to say that most of us find the drivers to be very talented and the technology fascinating. I’d say that it’s because most of us find an hour’s worth of parade laps with the same 2-4 drivers exceedingly boring, and that’s mostly due to the talent of the drivers and the technology.

This race was the exception rather than the rule. Rain changes everything. That’s when you see who the best driver is instead of the best car on the best team.

It’s not that there’s no love of Formula One. We have nothing against Formula One, it’s that there’s no love for racing at all.

For the most part, I agree. But this year has seen so many things happen that the “formation parade” almost didn’t apply.

In Canada Hamilton smashes into Raikkonen at the end of the pit lane, taking them both out.

I forget the race that Massa was leading and blew his engine with 3 laps to go.

In Singapore under the lights Massa again leading but the Ferrari light system screws up and he takes off with the fuel hose still attached.

Silverstone, (rain) with Massa spinning 5 times.

Spa of course, with the most dramatic finish ever (subsequently ruined by the stewards applying a penalty to Hamilton after the race was over).

And now the final race, with all of its drama.

Yes there are boring races, and that idiot Bernie Ecclestone seems to want more of them. But the teams and the drivers have this desire to win which causes crazy things to happen.

I’m an American and a huge F1 fan, but the criticism of F1 seems very similar to the criticism of soccer: nothing ever happens! I’m not a soccer fan, but I find the comparisons interesting. It might explain why NASCAR is so big in the US (lots of stuff happening) but I find it boring. If I had to make a comparison I’d say that F1 is the soccer of the motorsport world, and NASCAR is the NBA.

As for me, I’ll take my NFL and F1 overlap and love it. After the Super Bowl it’s only 7 weeks or so until the start of the 2009 F1 season!

Lots of stuff happening in NASCAR? Really? I guess it’s been a couple years since I’ve watched it, but still…

Plus, a 71-lap race is really short and sweet. And they turn in both directions, which I think of as a bonus.

Incidentally, it’s way too late to edit, but that second line was intended to be sarcastic. And yes, I know there are NASCAR tracks that aren’t ovals – there could stand to be more, though.

I didn’t watch today’s race because I’m pissed at Bernie and Max now that they’ve dropped Montreal from the schedule leaving us with no North American races anymore. But I have been blown away by Hamilton and could not be more thrilled by his championship. Maybe I’ll watch the rerun. Maybe I’ll put his photo up next to my Jimmy Clark photo in my garage.

Yeah, I saw it. It was fantastic! I checked the Game Room specifically to see if there was a thread about it.

Hamilton, but I wouldn’t have been disappointed even if Massa had won the championship. I’m just happy the race was so exciting.

There’s still hope. The Canadian Grand Prix was supposed to be cancelled a few years ago and it was saved back then. Apparently it can still be saved this time, but the governments will have to inject money, and I’m not sure I want them to do this unless the economic windfall is sufficient.

Such an amazing race. Mrs Baci and I recorded it as it started at 3.00AM our time. Luckily, we’re on holidays today so we got up at our normal working day time, fixed the toasted bacon and avocado sandwiches, and watched it all the way through. God, what a finish.

So many individual acts of (sporting) courage out there, and possibly the trickiest combination of weather and circumstance I’ve seen in a long time. I’m glad for Lewis. I like him, and he’s clearly incredibly talented. But I hope next year belongs to Massa. Or maybe Alonso! In a Ferarri? perhaps?

Now I go into withdrawal until late March 09. What a great way to see out the championship.


One of the best things (regardless of who you were rooting for) was how Massa handled it.

I wanted Hamilton to win and have been cheering him on all season. But Massa has done some amazing driving, and did everything perfectly on Sunday.

If you’ve seen the race (or the replay) you’ll see that Ferrari initially thought that Massa had the championship. His family was cheering in the pits until someone told them about Glock getting passed.

Apparently Massa did most of his victory lap thinking he had won not only the race but the driver’s championship as well, only to be told that Hamilton had finished in 5th and he had lost the title.

As he pulled into the paddock you could see he was distraught. He could barely hold himself together on the podium - imagine having something like that in your hands and then taken away.

In the post-race interview he was emotional, but a true sportsman. He congratulated Hamilton, said that’s what racing is all about, he would learn something from it, etc. Such a classy guy. I’m glad Hamilton won because I think he could have won last year without Alonso screwing with him, but he absolutely is his own worst enemy.

Massa, however, is amazingly fast and just went up a few notches in my book with his true sportsman response to coming SOOOO close to the driver’s championship.

Congrats to everyone involved - for anyone paying attention, THIS is what F1 and sportsmanship is about. What a great finish.

I watched it live and it was gripping.
(I didn’t post because I’m not a racing fan - for example I don’t like a driver waving through another from the same manufacturer)

What were Glock’s last couple of lap times?
I believe the commentary suggested he lost 18 seconds on the last lap. :confused:

He did indeed – in fact, he lost most of that time in the last half lap. Prior to that, he had been keeping up just fine (he actually gained a couple seconds in the lap before.) The BBC chat room was getting pretty intense about it – and the commentators in-race were taken entirely by surprise. Glock was on dry tires in the wet, so I gather that kind of extreme and sudden degradation in performance was to be expected.

BTW, I’ll second the commendations of Massa’s behavior. That had to be just heartbreaking for him.

Yep, I have to attribute the Glock “collapse” to the degradation of the dry tires in the wet.

Toyota was betting on the rain holding off. In their position, with nothing on the line, why not? Go for it!

The problem was - the rain showed up and everyone else switched to Inters. After 3 laps to go they were stuck - call in Glock for a tire change and ensure an out of the points finish, or see if he could hang on?

Glock hung on until the last corner and to be honest I think they made the right decision. We are talking about a 10-sec weather change affecting the end of the season. Glock did as well as he could with the dry tires on a track going increasingly wet. Good for him.

The only driver I have any problem with this race is Kubica. I am a big fan of his and would like to see him win the Championship but I cannot understand what he was doing on the last couple of laps. Unlap himself - fine, but you screw up Hamilton and these are the last few laps of the Championship! WTF are you doing mucking about?


Two things killed my love of F1 - Senna’s death (he was my hero as a kid), and the dirty, dirty way Schumacher won his first championship (by deliberately taking Damon Hill out of the final race to ensure he wouldn’t score any points).

After all the racist crap he’s had to endure, I am very happy for Lewis Hamilton. I’m not sure if that Toyota driver finally hit some wet patches while driving on his grooved slicks, or just gave way for whatever reason, or what, but that was pretty intense.

Something not mentioned much, it was brought up during Wind Tunnel on Speed last night. F1 rules require the driver to place the steering wheel back on the steering shaft before exiting the car. Hamilton was having a problem getting his back on so he exited the car with the steering wheel in his hands. An official reminded him to replace the wheel and after a bit of a struggle, Hamilton got the wheel back on. If he had failed to do so, he could have been penalized 2 points. He won the championship by 1 point.

I used to follow F1, but haven’t for a few years. I don’t get a TV channel that covers it, for one thing. That last straw was probably the race (and I use the term loosely) in Indianapolis a few years ago. And after that fiasco, the F1 bosses acting like Indy should kowtow to them to stay on the calendar.

I read an article on F1 technology that was jaw-dropping, and that was several years ago. How high do the engines rev now? Have they managed to get the coolant to flow entirely from convection yet? But on some level it has gotten so esoteric and specialized that I can’t really appreciate it. It’s not just that so many races turned into parades; but the skill to drive those cars is so knife-edge precise that there doesn’t seem to be any margin for improvisation or error.

If there was a new spec, based on the cars of the mid-60s (no wings, no sidepods, tires about 8" wide), I sometimes wonder what the manufacturers would come up with.

I have the F1 love. This was a fantastic season with a fantastic finale. 2007 and 2008 were both great seasons. I’m looking forward to a continuation of the Ferrari/McLaren rivalry in 2009, and I’m hoping to see BMW Sauber continue to be competitive. I’m also excited to see where Vettel will end up, and I think he’s shown that he can be a contender as well.