Fri 31 Oct 2008
I feel I should be writing about the upcoming final GP of the season in Brazil, but I’m not sure what there is left to say to be honest.
Looking at the bare facts, Lewis Hamilton is in the same position as last year with a 7 point lead heading into this final race but in actual fact it’s all different.
Firstly, last year he had had a much larger lead in previous races which had dwindled away due to huge mistakes on the part of Hamilton and his team whereas this year he has actually increased his lead on the way to this race. That must put him in a much better place mentally.
Secondly, decisions outwith his control seem to be conspiring in his favour - tyre-suppliers Bridgestone have brought tyres which should suit his car better than Felipe Massa’s Ferrari, and it also looks like it will be wet at some point this weekend which again should help Hamilton and McLaren more than Massa and Ferrari.
To me, this all points to Hamilton doing more than enough to win his first championship. Massa always drives well at his home track so it may be that he manages to pull off the win, but I can’t see Hamilton finishing lower than fifth - if he finishes at all!
A lot has been made of who is under the most pressure. There is bound to be some pressure on Hamilton as he is in the lead and everyone’s talking about how he managed to lose from this position last year, but there’s noone who wouldn’t rather be in his position than Massa’s surely?
Being in Brazil with so many eyes on him, there is an argument that Massa is actually the one with the most pressure on his shoulders but I’m not sure I agree with that. It depends on the attitude of those supporters of course, but I don’t think many really expect him to do it - they may want and hope he does it, but as long as they are realistic then I don’t see that being at home will increase the pressure on Massa.
In a funny way, I think that had he been just a couple of points behind then that pressure would have been greater as the expectations would have been higher.
No matter who wins the championship this weekend I just hope we get a good race, and a result that takes it down to the wire. Massa to crash out at the first corner would really make this a bit of a damp squib! It is also important that we know the true winner by the end of the race, so hopefully everyone will behave to ensure the stewards have a quiet afternoon.
As I’ve said before, I think both drivers and their teams have made far too many silly errors this year for either to be a really great champion - had Alonso been in a more competitive car for the whole season then he would have wiped the floor with both of them in my view. Therefore, I’m not really too fussed who wins - if it’s Hamilton though, then I won’t be reading a newspaper for a good few years as the hype-machine will milk it for all it’s worth!