Lewis Hamilton vs Felipe Massa: 2008 F1 Championship Stats compared

F1 Grand Prix of Brazil - Previews
Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP and Felipe Massa of Brazil and Williams smile in the Drivers Press Conference during previews for the Formula One Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa were involved in one of the most iconic title battles in F1 history that was decided on the last lap of the 2008 season.

Heading into the 2008 season, the McLaren driver had impressed everyone in his debut season, finishing runner-up to Kimi Raikkonen while Massa finished fourth in the championship. In 2008, the Brazilian showcased some of his best performances and pushed the Briton to the limit.

Heading into the season finale in Sao Paulo, Massa started from pole position and could win his maiden title if Lewis Hamilton finished below fifth. In a topsy-turvy race that included late rain, the Ferrari driver could not prevent Hamilton from clinching his first title after he made a move on Timo Glock in the final corner to finish P5.

Let's compare their stats throughout the 2008 season:

Hamilton - Massa

98 points - 97 points

5 wins- 6 wins

1 pole- 1 pole

1 fastest lap- 3 fastest lap

1 DNF - 2 DNF

Nelson Piquet Jr. reveals he did not want to hinder Felipe Massa in his fight against Lewis Hamilton in 2008

Former Renault driver Nelson Piquet Jr. mentioned that he did not want to affect Massa's title bid against Lewis Hamilton.

Speaking on the Pelas Pistas podcast, he said:

"Obviously, I wanted it to be different, it is logical that I did not do it to affect one person directly. It was a team order to help someone in our team, it wasn't to hinder Felipe, it wasn't like that. We didn't know what was going to happen and Felipe could very well have won that race if the [bad] pitstop didn't happen."

The Brazilian, who was involved in the infamous 'Crashgate' controversy in Singapore in 2008, explained:

"Flavio Briatore began to put a lot of pressure on me until it came to that weekend [in Singapore] and, long story short, they put me psychologically against the wall and I had no way out."
"You see your dream, which you spent your whole life [aiming for] going wrong, and [suddenly] I was the teammate who wasn't as strong as [Fernando] Alonso, after [Heikki] Kovalainen."

He added:

"I stayed [for 2009], and then they broke my contract and said: [Romain] Grosjean will take your place. I said, 'You can't do that' but they didn't care and treated me like a dog.

It would be interesting to see if the Singapore GP had played out normally would that have helped Felipe Massa defeat Lewis Hamilton in the title battle.

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Edited by Yash Singh
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