Guest Author - Christine Blachford
In only his second year of Formula 1, Lewis Hamilton has become the youngest champion ever, beating Alonso’s former record by 122 days. He came so close to winning last year, that the Briton was even more determined to make it work for himself and for the team. Hamilton has been a part of McLaren since he was young, and the team have been very focused on helping him succeed. It’s not been an easy season for them, having battled with Ferrari throughout, and suffered at the wrath of some much stricter stewards than we have seen before. For the second season in a row, the title came down to the very last race, and Hamilton must have had the 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix in the back of his mind. A gearbox failure knocked him out of contention last year, and this year he only managed to qualify fifth. The weather wasn’t his friend but he managed to clinch the title at the very last moment.
It’s a superb way to win, and Hamilton must have been very relieved to know that he had done it at the second time of asking.
Although Massa won the race, and Raikkonen came third, no one on the podium could celebrate winning the championship. Ferrari managed to secure the Constructor’s title with such a strong finish, but at the time, the mood was tuned for Massa’s disappointment at his home race in Brazil. However, now that there has been time for the dust to settle somewhat, Ferrari are very thankful for what they have achieved. The team have won 8 out of the last 10 constructors championships, with only Renault being able to beat them. That is a very impressive record, and both Massa and Raikkonen thank the hard work of new team principal Stefano Domenicali, as they know this season has been tough. The team lost a lot of key personnel, as both Schumacher and Ross Brawn moved on, and now it seems like they’re just getting it back together again.
There have been a lot of mistakes this season, especially in the pit lane, but the team will know this cost them the drivers title, and will no doubt work even harder for 2009.