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2008 Japanese Grand Prix

Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix

Sunday, October 12, 2008
Cool, dry and cloudy
Fastest Lap:
Massa, 1m18.426
2008 season:

Neither Lewis Hamilton nor Felipe Massa has won a Formula One World Championship, and on Sunday they made that abundantly clear. Both drivers have a very strong chance of clinching the title, but at the Japanese Grand Prix they made mistakes that a) shouldn’t be made at this stage of the season and b) shouldn’t be made by drivers good enough to win the world championship. You only need to look at Alonso’s race to see what is fitting behaviour for a two-time World Champion. Hamilton had taken perhaps the most important pole of the season on Saturday and even more importantly, Massa had only qualified fifth. Even though he had a seemingly on form Räikkönen beside him on the front row, all Lewis had to do was to get round the first corner. If the ‘flying’ Finn got in front, so be it. It would matter very little to the result of the World Championship. When the red lights went out though, they were replaced by the ‘red mist’ in the Briton’s helmet. Hamilton out-braked himself after getting a poor start and ended up pushing Räikkönen off the track. Now in seventh place and behind Massa, he tried to overtake his Championship rival going into the chicane at the end of the second lap. This resulted in the Brazilian out-braking himself and then clipping Hamilton, spinning him 180-degrees. He had to consequently wait until the entire field had passed before rejoining the race and then had to pit for tyres as he had so badly flat spotted all four on his first corner antics. As if this wasn’t enough, both drivers were given drive through penalties for their overtaking manoeuvres.