10 months, 900 laps, over 6000 miles, and the Formula One world championship went down to the last ¼ of a mile. Ten years after signing for McLaren, Lewis Hamilton re-paid Ron Dennis for his faith in him with the youngest world champion in history, which eluded him 12 months ago. A rain interrupted dramatic final Brazilian Grand Prix was won by Felipe Massa in front of his home crowd, but it was the drama going on behind him which had everyone’s focus back home. Hamilton, who had to finish fifth at worst to win the championship, was trailing Vettel in sixth with just half a lap to go after running wide on the fourth corner of the last lap. However, Timo Glock on slick tires in the Toyota, was forced to crawl round the final lap thanks to a sudden rain shower, and was spectacularly overtaken by battling Hamilton and Vettel, 30 seconds after Massa had crossed the line thinking he had just become the champion.

Both garages were jumping up and down in celebration thinking they had won. The television cameras didn’t know who was the world champion, the racers certainly didn’t, as I stared into the screen open-mouthed tantalisingly close to finding the result. Sympathy had to go to Massa who would have been a deserved champion, but Lewis has clearly been the driver to beat, the youngster who has conquered all in the most hazardous conditions and at the trickiest of circuits. Yes Massa won more races, but Hamilton was consistent and has captured the imagination of racing enthusiasts around the world and followed in the footsteps of Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill.

A fantastic race for the neutral, capped off with the most impeccable timing of a rain storm, drama and confusion making the championship going down right to the wire instead of the flawless monotony of Shanghai which many predicted might happen at Interlagos. Fortunately my nerves have four months to recover before Adelaide in March, but I think we will be in for a very exciting season ahead with so much to compete with after this year.

 

Down to the last 400 metres