Destiny awaits: Hamilton vs Massa
This weekend at the Chinese Grand Prix, destiny will possibly serve the penultimate race of the 2008 formula 1 championship. Either McLaren’s Hamilton and Ferrari’s Massa could possibly win the championship depending on how the race pans out. Its been a roller coaster season no doubt! Crashes, dodgy driving, and questionable penalties by race stewards have all made for quite a cocktail. Its been just as exciting as last year’s season when Hamilton practically threw away a guaranteed championship as a rookie.
This year, Massa has demonstrated the speed of a future Formula 1 champion and has made the current champion team mate Kimi Raikonnen look somewhat pedestrian. Such is the game that is Formula 1 – one day here, gone the next, and don’t we love that! We have seen the myriad champions made and the painful losses where we ask ourselves what could have been. I started supporting Lewis Hamilton from the day he first drove in Formula 1 at the season opening Austrailian Grand Prix – and what I drive he gave! Showing us the promise and the possibility. Thereafter, he was almost always on podium in every race throughout the season. This year, once again, Hamilton has not disappoint! He is once again on the cusp of glory and as I write with bated breath, he could actually win this weekend, having already notched the best times in the first two practice sessions. However, at times, I have lost faith and even this past weekend at the Japanese Grand Prix he almost knocked himself out of the race at the start by driving in an uneccesarily rough manner!
At the same time, I have lots of respect for Felipe Massa, who has grown by leaps and bounds this season and by all means is equally deserving of the Formula 1 championship crown – non withstanding the fact I have NEVER supported Ferrari but do also respect them immensely for their super performances. I guess you could say that Ferrari in their own way “own” the heart and soul of Formula 1 as the most archetype racing team – pure pedigree that lives to race, and win.
Massa has shown a maturity on the track this season and barring several incidents where he was let down by his team, especially the pit stop incidents involving the Ferrari “traffic light” system. In principal, Massa could even have wrapped up the championship by now. For sure, whatever the outcome of this season, Ferrari will need to spend sometime on the drawing board to figure out what mistakes they made and how they can improve on them next year, as well as subsequent seasons. This will be especially important since it could already have cost them the 2008 championship even as they consistently had the fastest cars in every race.
In the final analysis, the game is on and destiny awaits both Hamilton and Massa. I’m routing for Hamilton but a part of me will be quietly happy if Massa wins too. Depending on the outcome of this weekend, the championship, which Hamilton leads by 5 points at this juncture, could either be won or it will go to the wire at Interlagos in Brazil. Either way, I am riveted and enjoying this Formula 1 season at the edge of my seat!