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Old 10-30-2008, 07:23 PM
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2008 Formula One Brazilian Grand Prix

So, this is it. After a year dogged by the usual fair share of self-inflicted controversy in which occasionally some racing broke out, some of it sensationally good and some just plain sensational, it all boils down to this. Two men and two teams with the fate of the championships in their hands. 71 laps of Sao Paulo's Interlagos circuit to decide that fate.

Hamilton heads into the weekend with the title tantalisingly close to his grasp. Just as with last year's dramatic season finale, the task in front of him seems all too easy. But we all know what happened 12 months ago, and Hamilton will surely have those thoughts weighing heavily on his mind throughout the weekend. He only has to finish in 5th place and the title will be his regardless of other results, but anything can happen in motor racing, and this seemingly simplistic task could easily be taken out of his hands by something like a mechanical failure or puncture. Besides, we all know Hamilton is a fiercely competitive racer and not the sort to settle for 5th place, so there is always the potential for fireworks.

By contrast, Felipe Massa will be feeling comparatively little pressure. With the odds against him he knows that all he has to do is go out in front of his home fans and try to win the race. Nobody will criticise him if he fails to win the title, and if he DOES win the title the scenes of celebration will be unprecedented for the home town hero. He has nothing to lose, whereas Hamilton potentially has it all to lose.

Ferrari are comfortably ahead in the constructor's championship, and anything other than a complete disaster for Ferrari will see them claim their second WCC in a row. Realistically, McLaren will be pinning all their hopes of glory on Hamilton taking the WDC. But they will still be harbouring dreams of snatching both titles from under the noses of their arch rivals, and will be demanding a much improved showing from Heikki Kovalainen if they are to spring a surprise. Indeed, both Finnish drivers could end up being key players in both titles if team tactics come into play, although it is a role that neither will particularly relish after both having such a torrid season.

The weather has been a massive factor this season, with thrilling races at both Monaco and Silverstone and a dramatic qualifying session at Monza springing to mind. I don't think I can remember a season in which the weather has played a role so often, and the season's finale doesn't look like it's going to disappoint. Early weather predictions suggests that there will be rain at regular intervals throughout the weekend, adding further spice to the championship mix. When the rain has fallen it has been Hamilton who has been the standout driver of the field, although he and his team did make a mistake with tyre choices in the rain of Monza qualifying. Massa has struggled badly in the past with rain, particularly his humiliating experience at Silverstone this year.

You would think that on past history the rain would favour Hamilton, but all sort of strange things can happen in the wet. None more so than at Interlagos in 2003. That race was controversially started under safety car conditions such was the severity of the rain. Then an enormous crash caused by a then naive and reckless Fernando Alonso brought about a red flag. Everyone assumed Raikkonen had deservedly won the race, but that honour instead went on count back to Jordan's Giancarlo Fisichella because he was last to pit, despite the fact that his car was a flaming mess at the side of the road by the time the red flag came out! Goes to show that anything can happen when the heavens open...

There has been talk in the gutter press about the potential of Massa or Ferrari attempting to run Hamilton off the road or vice-versa, much of it bizarrely instigated by Eddie Jordan. However, both drivers have been quick to point out that although they will be racing as hard as ever, neither driver would want to be tarnished by using any kind of underhand tactics to win the title. And quite right too.

Regardless of which way the championship is concluded, there is sure to be an incredible story and incredible scenes at the chequered flag. Either we will have the most talked about and most hyped man in motor sport becoming the youngest F1 champion in history, or we will have the underdog from Brazil winning the title on his home circuit, sparking off incredible scenes from the passionate Brazilian fans. Either way, it could be epic...
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Old 10-30-2008, 07:55 PM
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DC will be running a special Wings For Life livery to help raise money for charity

DC to run charity livery at finale - F1 | ITV Sport
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Old 10-30-2008, 08:46 PM
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:21 PM
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I hope Massa could just win the race at least if he could not win the championship...

At least he could do something to please his home crowd...
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Old 10-31-2008, 12:08 AM
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Yeah, itd be nice if Hamilton blows his motor as well, then James Allen might slit his wrists or somethen.
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Old 10-31-2008, 07:53 AM
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The two title protagonists both kicked off their weekends with impressive showings in Friday's first practice sessions. The closing minutes of the session saw Massa pip Hamilton to first place in a relatively quiet session that had been dominated by Hamilton up until that point.

The session began with ominous looking grey clouds around the Sao Paulo circuit, and a third of the way through the session rain did begin to fall. However, the rain wasn't more than a light shower and although it made conditions slippery (Raikkonen was the first man to spin this weekend) the conditions weren't too bad. All drivers though seemed somewhat cautious for much of the session, with very limited running for the first half an hour or so. Indeed, Kimi Raikkonen sat in the pits for over an hour before coming out to set a time. It didn't hold him back too much though, as he ended up setting third fastest time just a fraction slower than Hamilton.

So first blood went to Massa then, though I suspect Hamilton will be more than happy to follow Massa home as closely as that all weekend long. Both drivers look strong, and certainly Hamilton still looks odds on favourite to take the title on this form...

First Practice Times

01 F. Massa Ferrari 1:12.305 24 laps
02 L. Hamilton McLaren 1:12.495 23 laps
03 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:12.507 18 laps
04 R. Kubica BMW 1:12.874 24 laps
05 H. Kovalainen McLaren 1:12.925 20 laps
06 F. Alonso Renault 1:13.061 25 laps
07 M. Webber Red Bull 1:13.298 24 laps
08 N. Piquet jr. Renault 1:13.378 39 laps
09 N. Heidfeld BMW 1:13.426 28 laps
10 T. Glock Toyota 1:13.466 33 laps
11 J. Trulli Toyota 1:13.600 24 laps
12 N. Rosberg Williams 1:13.621 23 laps
13 S. Bourdais Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:13.649 30 laps
14 R. Barrichello Honda 1:13.676 28 laps
15 J. Button Honda 1:13.766 13 laps
16 K. Nakajima Williams 1:13.806 24 laps
17 S. Vettel Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:13.836 30 laps
18 D. Coulthard Red Bull 1:13.861 19 laps
19 A. Sutil Force India F1 1:14.704 21 laps
20 G. Fisichella Force India F1 1:14.821 21 laps
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Old 10-31-2008, 07:59 AM
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Looks like a very strong chance of rain for Sunday. This could get interesting..
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Old 10-31-2008, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockefella View Post
Looks like a very strong chance of rain for Sunday. This could get interesting..
Yeah another opportunity to see the best drivers in the world make an absolute ass of themselves.
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Old 10-31-2008, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wouter Melissen View Post
Yeah another opportunity to see the best drivers in the world make an absolute ass of themselves.
Currently the only sure way of getting any on-track entertainment out of Formula 1.
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Old 10-31-2008, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wouter Melissen View Post
Yeah another opportunity to see the best drivers in the world make an absolute ass of themselves.
Maybe then they aren't the best.
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Old 10-31-2008, 04:16 PM
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Practice 2

Practice 2
1. Fernando Alonso Renault 1:12.296
2. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:12.353
3. Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:12.435
4. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:12.600
5. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:12.650
6. Sebastian Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:12.687
7. Nelson Piquet Renault 1:12.703
8. Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:12.761
9. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:12.827
10. Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:12.886
11. David Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 1:12.896
12. Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:12.971
13. Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:13.038
14. Timo Glock Germany 1:13.041
15. Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:13.213
16. Rubens Barrichello Honda 1:13.221
17. Sebastien Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:13.273
18. Jenson Button Honda 1:13.341
19. Adrian Sutil Force India-Ferrari 1:13.428
20. Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Ferrari 1:13.691
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Old 11-01-2008, 02:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teatako View Post
Currently the only sure way of getting any on-track entertainment out of Formula 1.
I, personally, had much on-track entertainment from last two years in dry races.
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Old 11-01-2008, 04:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Rockefella View Post
Looks like a very strong chance of rain for Sunday. This could get interesting..
i hope so, atleast for the sake of entertainment. I pretty sure Massa will be praying for it to be dry. He will be lucky to make it to the chequered flag if it rains, and yet he is a championship contender. definatley not the best drivers in the world
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Old 11-01-2008, 08:00 AM
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Saturday free practice:

1. Fernando Alonso Spain Renault-Renault 01:12.141
2. Lewis Hamilton Britain McLaren-Mercedes 01:12.212
3. Heikki Kovalainen Finland McLaren-Mercedes 01:12.225
4. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari 01:12.312
5. Sebastian Vettel Germany Toro Rosso-Ferrari 01:12.389
6. Nick Heidfeld Germany BMW Sauber 01:12.402
7. Sebastien Bourdais France Toro Rosso-Ferrari 01:12.426
8. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 01:12.453
9. Nelson Piquet Jr Brazil Renault-Renault 01:12.457
10. Jarno Trulli Italy Toyota-Toyota 01:12.457
11. Nico Rosberg Germany Williams-Toyota 01:12.625
12. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Ferrari-Ferrari 01:12.698
13. Timo Glock Germany Toyota-Toyota 01:12.712
14. Robert Kubica Poland BMW Sauber 01:12.971
15. Kazuki Nakajima Japan Williams-Toyota 01:13.054
16. David Coulthard Britain Red Bull-Renault 01:13.058
17. Rubens Barrichello Brazil Honda-Honda 01:13.135
18. Jenson Button Britain Honda-Honda 01:13.278
19. Giancarlo Fisichella Italy Force India-Ferrari 01:13.460
20. Adrian Sutil Germany Force India-Ferrari 01:13.680
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Old 11-01-2008, 09:24 AM
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Sutil, Fisichella, Nakajima, Button and Rosberg all drop out after Q1.

Quite surprising how poor Williams were. No problems for any of the main players, everyone through comfortably.
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