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2008 Brazilian Grand Prix

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The 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix (officially XXXVI Grande Prêmio do Brasil) was race number 18 of the 2008 Formula One Season. It took place at the Autodromo Carlos Pace on November 2 2008. The race was won by Ferrari driver Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso of Renault in second and Kimi Räikkönen for Ferrari in third.

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BackgroundEdit

Heading into the final race of the season, McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton was leading the Drivers' Championship with 94 points; Ferrari driver Felipe Massa was second on 87 points, seven points behind Hamilton. A maximum of ten points were available for the final race, which meant that Massa could still win the title if Hamilton finished in sixth place or lower. Otherwise, Hamilton would be Champion. In the event of a points tie, Massa would win the Championship on a count-back, having more wins. Behind Hamilton and Massa in the Drivers' Championship, Robert Kubica was third on 75 points in a BMW, and Massa's Ferrari team-mate Kimi Räikkönen was fourth on 69 points. In the Constructors' Championship, Ferrari were leading on 156 points and McLaren–Mercedes were second on 145 points, 11 points behind, with a maximum of 18 points available. If the two Ferraris finished in the top six, the team would secure the Constructors' Championship, even if the McLaren drivers were to finish as the top two. Prior to this race, Hamilton was criticised by many pundits for not keeping a cool head at the 2008 Japanese Grand Prix. The Times columnist Edward Gorman said that Hamilton should win the Championship, but:

Alternatively Hamilton may suffer another one of his rushes of blood to the head and do something utterly unnecessary at Interlagos, just as he did in Japan eight days ago and in Brazil last year, and throw it all away ... Suddenly defending even a seven-point lead sounds a tall order.

Former Formula One team owner Eddie Jordan created controversy when he said that "if Massa tries to take him out as he did in Japan in order to steal the title then Lewis has to be ready for it

The weekend marked David Coulthard's final race. Coulthard's Red Bull RB4 was decorated in the colours of "Wings for Life", a charity dedicated to raising awareness of spinal cord injuries. Coulthard said "I'm dedicating my last race to the vision of making paraplegia curable".

Entry listEdit

The full entry list for the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix is shown below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
1 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Italy Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F2008 Ferrari 056 B
2 Brazil Felipe Massa Italy Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F2008 Ferrari 056 B
3 Germany Nick Heidfeld Germany BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.08 BMW P86/8 B
4 Poland Robert Kubica Germany BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.08 BMW P86/8 B
5 Spain Fernando Alonso France ING Renault F1 Team Renault R28 Renault RS27 B
6 Brazil Nelson Piquet, Jr. France ING Renault F1 Team Renault R28 Renault RS27 B
7 Germany Nico Rosberg United Kingdom AT&T Williams Williams FW30 Toyota RVX-08 B
8 Japan Kazuki Nakajima United Kingdom AT&T Williams Williams FW30 Toyota RVX-08 B
9 United Kingdom David Coulthard Austria Red Bull Racing Red Bull RB4 Renault RS27 B
10 Australia Mark Webber Austria Red Bull Racing Red Bull RB4 Renault RS27 B
11 Italy Jarno Trulli Japan Panasonic Toyota Racing Toyota TF108 Toyota RVX-08 B
12 Germany Timo Glock Japan Panasonic Toyota Racing Toyota TF108 Toyota RVX-08 B
14 France Sébastien Bourdais Italy Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso STR3 Ferrari 056 B
15 Germany Sebastian Vettel Italy Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso STR3 Ferrari 056 B
16 United Kingdom Jenson Button Japan Honda Racing F1 Team Honda RA108 Honda RA808E B
17 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Japan Honda Racing F1 Team Honda RA108 Honda RA808E B
20 Germany Adrian Sutil India Force India F1 Team Force India VJM01 Ferrari 056 B
21 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella India Force India F1 Team Force India VJM01 Ferrari 056 B
22 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton United Kingdom Vodafone McLaren Mercedes McLaren MP4-23 Mercedes FO108V B
23 Finland Heikki Kovalainen United Kingdom Vodafone McLaren Mercedes McLaren MP4-23 Mercedes FO108V B

Practice and qualifyingEdit

Three practice sessions were held before the race; the first on Friday morning and the second on Friday afternoon. Both sessions lasted 90 minutes. The third session was held on Saturday morning and lasted an hour. Massa was quickest with a time of 1:12.305 in the first session, less than two-tenths of a second faster than Hamilton. Räikkönen was just off Hamilton's pace, followed by Kubica, Heikki Kovalainen, and Fernando Alonso. Webber was seventh, still within a second of Massa's time.[1] In the second practice session, Alonso was fastest with a time of 1:12.296, less than six-hundredths of a second quicker than second-placed Massa. Jarno Trulli took third place, ahead of Räikkönen, Webber and Sebastian Vettel. Hamilton only managed ninth place, locking his McLaren's wheels and struggling for grip. Alonso was again quickest, posting a time of 1:12.141, narrowly faster than both McLaren drivers. Massa, Vettel, and Nick Heidfeld rounded out the top six positions. Räikkönen only managed twelfth, failing to improve on his times set early in the session.

The qualifying session on Saturday afternoon was split into three parts. The first part ran for 20 minutes and eliminated the cars from qualifying that finished the session 16th or lower. The second part of qualifying lasted 15 minutes and eliminated cars that finished in positions 11 to 15. The final part of qualifying determined the positions from first to tenth, and decided pole position. Cars which competed in the final session of qualifying were not allowed to refuel before the race, and as such carried more fuel than in the previous sessions.[2]

Massa clinched his sixth Pole Position for the season, and his third consecutive pole at Interlagos, with a time of 1:12.368. He was joined on the front row of the grid by Trulli, in his best qualifying performance of the season. Räikkönen qualified third, though he was happy with beginning the race on the racing line behind his team-mate. Hamilton qualified fourth, half a second behind Massa, having battled both Ferrari drivers for time during the first two qualifying sessions. Hamilton's slow pace in the final qualifying session compared to the first two suggested he was carrying more fuel than his title challengers. Coulthard, in his final Formula One race, qualified 14th; Rubens Barrichello, in 15th, was quicker than Honda team-mate Jenson Button in 17th. The Williams and Force India drivers qualified at the back of the grid, covering positions 16 to 20 with Button.

RaceEdit

Felipe Massa 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix

Felipe Massa won the Grand Prix, but failed to win the Championship.

The conditions on the grid were damp before the race, the air temperature at 28ºC. The race was due to begin at 15:00, but was delayed by ten minutes when heavy rain hit the track at 14:56.[3] Every team but one changed the tyres on both their cars from dry-weather tyres to intermediate tyres. Kubica's car was the exception, remaining on the dry set-up. This meant the Polish driver would start the race from the pit-lane.

Massa retained his pole position lead into the first corner, followed by Trulli, Räikkönen, Hamilton and Kovalainen. Coulthard was hit from behind by Nico Rosberg into turn two, spinning him around. The Red Bull car then collided with Rosberg's Williams team-mate Kazuki Nakajima. This damaged the suspension and forced Coulthard to retire in his final race. Piquet spun off at the next corner, his car hitting the barriers. Kovalainen was passed by Alonso and Vettel mid-lap, dropping him to seventh. The accidents of Coulthard and Piquet prompted the deployment of the safety car at the end of the first lap. The track conditions began to dry early on; Force India's Giancarlo Fisichella was the first driver to stop for dry-weather tyres, pitting at the end of lap two. He remained in 18th position. Racing resumed on lap five when the safety car pulled into the pit-lane. Rosberg and Button both pitted on lap seven, each changing to dry-weather tyres. Bourdais, Glock, Adrian Sutil and Nakajima followed a lap later. By lap 11, the rest of the field had changed to dry-weather tyres. Fisichella benefited from pitting the earliest for dry tyres, moving up the order to a high of fifth position.

Nakajima spun on lap 13, losing five seconds on the lap. On lap 15, Massa set a new fastest lap of 1:16.888, and extended his lead over Vettel. Hamilton remained behind Fisichella, and though his McLaren car appeared quicker, he was unable to pass the Force India driver until lap 18. Glock passed Fisichella two laps later. Trulli and Bourdais collided on lap 20 into turn one, sending the Toro Rosso driver across the grass. Bourdais lost six places and rejoined in 13th place.

ReferencesEdit

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V T E 2008 Formula One Season
Teams Ferrari • BMW Sauber • Renault • Williams • Red Bull • Toyota • Toro Rosso • Honda • Super Aguri • Force India • McLaren
Engines BMW • Ferrari • Honda • Mercedes • Renault • Toyota
Drivers Räikkönen • 2 Massa • 3 Heidfeld • 4 Kubica • 5 Alonso • 6 Piquet • 7 Rosberg • 8 Nakajima • 9 Coulthard • 10 Webber • 11 Trulli • 12 Glock • 14 Bourdais • 15 Vettel • 16 Button • 17 Barrichello • 18 Sato • 19 Davidson • 20 Sutil • 21 Fisichella • 22 Hamilton • 23 Kovalainen
Other Drivers Badoer • Buemi • Clos • Gené • Grosjean • Hartley • Hülkenberg • Klien • Kobayashi • Liuzzi • Loeb • Paffett • Rossi • Rossiter • M. Schumacher • R. Schumacher • Senna • Van der Garde • Wurz • Yamamoto
Cars Ferrari F2008 • McLaren MP4-23 • BMW Sauber F1.08 • Renault R28 • Toyota TF108 • Toro Rosso STR2B • Toro Rosso STR3 • Red Bull RB4 • Williams FW30 • Honda RA108 • Force India VJM01 • Super Aguri SA08
Tyres Bridgestone
Races Australia • Malaysia • Bahrain • Spain • Turkey • Monaco • Canada • France • Britain • Germany • Hungary • Europe • Belgium • Italy • Singapore • Japan • China • Brazil
See also 2007 Formula One Season • 2009 Formula One Season • Category
Brazil Brazilian Grand Prix
Circuits Interlagos (1973 - 1977, 1979 - 1980, 1990 - Present), Jacarepaguá (1978, 1981 - 1989)
Interlagos1990
Races 1973 • 1974 • 1975 • 1976 • 1977 • 1978 • 1979 • 1980 • 1981 • 1982 • 1983 • 1984 • 1985 • 1986 • 1987 • 1988 • 1989 • 1990 • 1991 • 1992 • 1993 • 1994 • 1995 • 1996 • 1997 • 1998 • 1999 • 2000 • 2001 • 2002 • 2003 • 2004 • 2005 • 2006 • 2007 • 2008 • 2009 • 2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016


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