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"Lewis Hamilton was still fighting" - Felipe Massa opens up about heartbreaking 2008 F1 title showdown

Anirudh
Canadian F1 Grand Prix - Previews
Lewis Hamilton beat Felipe Massa to win his maiden F1 title in 2008

Lewis Hamilton won his maiden Formula 1 title in 2008 in dramatic fashion, claiming fifth position in the last corner of the last race in Brazil to leapfrog home favorite Filipe Massa by a solitary point.

With defending champion Kimi Raikkonen having failed to match the standards he had set in the previous campaign, his Ferrari teammate Massa and McLaren’s Hamilton had emerged as the clear frontrunners for the title.

Heading to Interlagos for the final Grand Prix of the year, Massa was on fire in front of the home fans and looked likely to clinch the title, despite the Briton being seven points ahead before the race.

The Brazilian took pole position that weekend, with Hamilton managing only fourth. Massa did a great job of mastering the wet-to-dry conditions, while the Brit was locked in a battle with Raikkonen, Fernando Alonso and a young Sebastian Vettel.

In the closing stages of the race, with the rain returning in force, Massa took the checkered flag as Hamilton was in sixth β€” a result that would guarantee the Brazilian the world title in front of his home fans.

However, 40 seconds later, Hamilton got past Timo Glock β€” who opted against taking the intermediate tires β€” in the final corner and claimed the points he needed to win his maiden championship.

On this day in 2008, Lewis Hamilton won his first F1 World Championship on the last corner of the last lap in Brazil πŸ†πŸ‡§πŸ‡·Beating Felipe Massa by just 1 point. Ferrari couldn't believe it 😀 https://t.co/7Ya3oJfePo

Speaking to Polish media house Swiat Wyscigow about the race and the lost title, Massa said that it was "not difficult" to process the result as he "couldn't do anything" to change the outcome.

"It's not difficult to be honest," Massa said. "With everything going on at the track… It was raining towards the end of the race. I thought that anything could be possible - and I understood it."

He added:

"Lewis Hamilton was still fighting so it could be good, it could be bad. And then when I got the news I was disappointed but I won the race. It wasn't up to me; depended on the position behind me. I could not do anything. I did my job in the perfect way I could."

"I'm sorry I wasn't able to support you" - Lewis Hamilton had apologized to Timo Glock for fallout of 2008 F1 title fight

Reliving the final race of the 2008 F1 season last year, Timo Glock told Lewis Hamilton he had to be escorted to the airport by police after his role in the outcome of the title.

Thanks to Glock, Massa's 2008 championship was stolen by Hamilton.I havent heard this anytime!Yes im still a buthurt Tifosi! #ForzaFerrari #essereFerrari #Massa #F1 #RetroF1 https://t.co/PA7O3Ah1nE

The revelation shocked Hamilton, who promptly apologized for making his life difficult. He also said that he didn't understand Glock's situation as he was "very young" at the time.

"I'm sorry that I wasn't able to help at the time," Lewis Hamilton said. "I didn't understand what was going on for you, in your world. I was very young, so I'm sorry I wasn't able to support you in that time. If that was today, I know I could be there and support you."

The 2012 Brazilian GP was the final F1 race of Glock's career, with the German switching to the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters in 2013.

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Edited by Shubham Banerjee
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