As the season finale of this yearís championship draws to a close, the two rivals for the World Driverís Title are dealing with the pressure in very different ways.
Felipe Massa says he isnít feeling any, and that he believes all the pressure is on Hamilton. Massaís only task for the upcoming weekend is to win the race in Brazil. He doesnít need to worry about anything else, thatís his only job. In fact, thatís all he can do, really, because he goes into the weekend seven points behind. If Hamilton finished out of the points, Massa would need to be first or second to take the title. Therefore, itís a big ask to win the championship for the Ferrari driver, and if he wins the race, then the rest is out of his hands.
It will depend on Hamilton making a mistake or suffering some kind of incident. He needs only to finish sixth or higher and the championship is his regardless. For his part, Hamilton says his approach hasnít changed going into this final race, and he will treat it as any other. We have already seen that he can be content with picking up the points and not challenging for the win, but weíve also seen that he can be determined not to lose places, and fight for the win even when he doesnít need to. For his championship chances, he will be hoping that this race will not be an echo of Brazil last year, where he suffered a gearbox problem that put him out of the title hunt.
CEO of McLaren, Martin Whitmarsh, is confident going into the weekend, but says the only thing they need to worry about is reliability. We recently saw Heikki Kovalainen suffer an engine failure, something that McLaren havenít had to worry about for a long time. The team are apparently turning up at Interlagos with new aero parts, which seems to be an unnecessary development, unless they found something specifically wrong on the old one.
The only fly in the ointment for both drivers is the long range forecast for Brazil has showers and storms throughout the weekend. Whenever you add rain into the mix, it causes chaos and may see some unexpected results. Whatever happens, Iím just hoping for a good race to finish off what has been an action-packed and ultimately fabulous season.