Sao Paulo: Lewis Hamilton can still recall with clarity the day he ‘lost’ and won his only Formula One world title.
It was six years ago Hamilton was crowned world champion in Brazil, but only after one of the most dramatic endings in the history of the sport. With title rival Felipe Massa in his Ferrari crossing the line nearly 40 seconds up the road, many people in the Ferrari garage and across the grandstands at Interlagos began celebrating the success of one of their own.
At that stage, Hamilton was running in sixth position, but required fifth or better to snatch the title away from Massa.
In mixed conditions, and with Toyota’s Timo Glock on old dry tyres, Hamilton in a McLaren on the right rubber caught the German at the final corner on the last lap to claim victory. “Brazil is a very, very special place for me,” said Hamilton. “I honestly thought I’d lost it until quite a while after the flag, when the team came over the radio to tell me I'd won the world championship. That was an incredible emotional rollercoaster and a moment that will stay with me for my entire life.”
Hamilton heads into Sunday’s race with a second title in his sights after a run of five successive victories that have propelled him into a 24-point lead.