Formula One: The Chequered Flag Roundtable (Round Three)

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Formula One: The Chequered Flag Roundtable (Round Three)

Welcome all to the third Formula One Roundtable discussion, a series of discussions which shall be known as "The Chequered Flag Roundtable."

We have compiled the views of some of our top writers for our third topic.

If in the future you wish to be considered for a seat at the roundtable, then please contact Michael Griffin and you shall be contacted in due course.

So, the third in a long line of topics in this groundbreaking series is:

“What was your most memorable moment of the 2008 Formula One Season?”

Answers

Jack McVicker – 2008 British Grand Prix

The Grand Prix’ have run, the drivers chased and performed, teams have bounded and moved in a carefully scripted ballet, wheels and fuel have been added, changed, and play their intricate part in the races throughout the season.

But, let’s consider the ideal scenario for the Oscar winning Grand prix, carefully scripted by Hollywood’s finest, the special effects teams to create the suspense, to add both the poignant and exhilarating moments. The list of champions, old and new taking part in a gladiatorial epic together with aspiring newcomers assembled for the task ahead.

Let’s set the scene, we have the cars and driver, the cast is set, the point’s table close and each of the top five drivers in contention, behind the scene politics can rest while the adversaries raise the game to new heights.

Climate, sunny, no...Let’s have a grim and grey day then allowing the cars to sparkle and glow within the austere surroundings, wet or dry...wet or dry. Wet and let's set the greatest challenge to all. 

Now, the story line, one single race to reflect the ultimate endeavours of all, the commitment, the higher physical levels, the mind set necessary to impel one to the ultimate goal, to win.

The grid, no, the favourite cannot be on pole, too cheesy and kitsch, he must be seen to overcome the elements and his challengers and rivals from a lower position.  Put newcomers on the front row, select from different ends of the world, say, Finland on pole, no, not the reigning World Champion, someone else, and...who has made second on the grid, an Australian, 

The contenders, the defending champion in third, the leading contender in fourth, scatter the other protagonists at various positions and the race is ready. 

We need the rain, torrents, bleak miserable, the most challenging of race conditions,  a soaking track with rivulets streaming across the circuits,  windswept with an almost diagonal downpour,  storm clouds of almost epic proportions marching across the sky complete with sufficient to drench the protagonists.

Let the race begin.

Cameras, lighting,...Shoot.

The cars begin hesitantly, greater care of throttle and steering, as they skate across the sodden track. The ear splitting harmonics of a multitude of exhaust notes adds the symphony to the stage and the battle against elements, man and machine has begun. 

It becomes noticeable that the leading aspirant nibble footed and quick silver fast in reaction is setting an unmatchable pace. First, he must overcome the three cars in front.  Position, speed and control become the essential ingredients to complete the task. The courage and confidence to reach and overtake the car in front, not once or twice but to overcome all three leading cars and take the ultimate position of first. 

Plumes of spray follow the leading car as it begins to settle, almost into a pre-ordained route, with metronomic precision around the twists and turns of the wet and windswept circuit. 

Others trying to follow, spin off, lose braking points and slid across the track, others spin, only to recover and continue against the elements. The array of cars takes on the grotesque snaking movement around the circuit, all following the speeding leader, untouchable in the most adverse of conditions. 

The distance between first and second reaches and passes acceptable levels, as you watch you expect a sun beam to pin point the leader to dramatically high light the difference between the talents of the racers.

The lap counter spins off the numbers, the efforts of the pit crews work with well practiced skills honed to almost perfection in the chase to return the cars to the rain sodden fray. The climatic sequence of the finishing laps adds to the concern and worries for the life of the racing car, the engine, gearbox, chassis and tyres all performing under extreme of mechanical stress, to the absolute limit to complete the arduous race.  

Others slow and resign themselves to the casting rolls; the star has performed above all expectations, the conditions, the elements and with a style and a panache almost forgotten by the regular race goers. 

This was the script writer’s dream, the best of battle, not only against fellow drivers, competing teams, but in the worst possible conditions.  The winner, displaying a control and mastery of the conditions that beat and subdued the competition takes the podium to the cheers of the watching crowd.

A dream? No...

The British Grand Prix, Silverstone 2008

Mark Andrew—2008 British Grand Prix

There have been many memories for me from the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship season, Sebastian Vettel's great performance in Italy, Lewis Hamilton's win at the rain soaked Monaco, Heikki Kovalainen's win at Hungary, so it wasn’t an easy choice really to pick my favourite moment of the season. 

The moment that has to stand out for me as a Brit is the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, where McLaren Mercedes dominated from start to finish, Heikki Kovalainen was half a second faster than anyone else in Q1, Q2, and Q3 to claim a very deserved pole position, it was also nice to see Mark Webber claim p2 ahead of Ferrari’s, a McLaren and the BMW's. 

Race day was even better as Lewis Hamilton jumped from p4 to p2 by turn 1 and had a nice little battle with his teammate; Mark Webber spun on the hangar straight in appalling weather conditions and must have feared for his safety as his car sat facing 19 other cars doing 160 mph+ in the opposite direction. 

David Coulthard's last ever home GP was to see him crash out on the first lap after a collision with Sebastian Vettel's Toro Rosso, Kubica and Sutil also had spectacular spins that landed them in the gravel traps and out of the race. 

Meanwhile Hamilton was dominating in the wet to show once again he is the man in the rain, the Ferrari's were hugely disappointing as Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa spun at least three times each, maybe more, every time the onboard went to the Iceman or Massa they were spinning which made the win for Britain even sweeter. 

Nick Heidfeld and Rubens Barrichello both went onto the extreme wets at the precise moment and were running second and third, albeit over a minute behind leader Lewis, but still a fabulous performance from BMW and more impressive by Honda, we started to see some of Ross Brawn's tactical genius come in play once more, although Jenson was very disappointing. 

To see Rubens in the press conference and claim he is still hungry to race in F1 at his age and with the relatively unsuccessful career behind him was great, it’s what racing is all about, to see someone that dedicated, maybe it was just emotion talking but I think Rubens is more sincere than that. 

Lewis eventually won the race to deafening cheers from the home crowd, what a proud moment for me and many other Brits, I had a tear of pride in my eye as he stepped out of the McLaren and done his customary celebration, this was much more special than any other win I've seen Lewis take, and that is why it is my most memorable moment of 2008, shame Heikki couldn’t finish p2 for a perfect weekend. 

Ryan Wood—2008 British Grand Prix

My most memorable moment of the 2008 Formula One season...

Where do I start? The 2008 season has been fantastic, long gone are the days of Michael Schumacher winning every race. Then it was Fernando Alonso’s turn. In 2007 we had a similar situation, but with four drivers winning everything. We had the "Spy-Gate"; we had the racing, what could possibly top 2007?

The answer? 2008. So many memorable moments have happened, not only moments but milestones in Formula One careers. I had a debate with myself to decide which moment warranted ‘most memorable moment of the 2008 Formula One season’. 

With Sebastian Vettel winning his first race at a rain soaked Monza, he kept his head level as the top drivers faltered behind him. Then we had the "Spa-Gate." Memorable, yes, but I’d rather not write about something which I personally feel almost damaged the sport beyond repair. So what remains? Well, a hell of a lot. 

Hamilton’s bomber runs in the closing stages of the German GP in Hockenheim, or how about the first night race in Formula One, so much has happened this year.

So what am I going to choose as my ‘most memorable moment’?

It has to be, my first attendance at a grand prix, and the results could not have been better. To see Lewis Hamilton trounce the field by over a minute, and lap every car up to 3rd was astonishing. I feel a few other R/T writers will have earmarked this, their most memorable moment of 2008, if so; they have good taste in memorable moments.

The race day started with a quick walk around the "inadequate" (as Bernie calls them) Silverstone facilities and the various team promotional tents scattered around the perimeter of the circuit. It was a wet day, I had my Vodafone McLaren Mercedes cap, and my waterproof jacket, yet I was still cold.

I darted toward the McLaren stand and bought a blanket to keep me warm, I was disappointed to find Alonso emblazoned across it, even though he had left the team in 2007.

I took my seat and made myself comfortable, whilst the rain pounded down. With qualifying producing Heikki with his first career pole and Lewis back in fourth, behind Webber and Raikkonen, the scene was set for some first corner action.

As the lights extinguished I wasn’t disappointed. Lewis quickly passed Raikkonen and then dispatched Webber before siding with Heikki, but settled for second after Heikki managed to control his shaky McLaren on the wet track.

Lewis took the lead in the early stages of the race; this would become his podium position as he obliterated the field. The two Ferrari cars had no answer, with Massa and Raikkonen spinning on numerous occasions, it became comical; "Horses on Ice" springs to mind. 

So, as the race continued, Hamilton kept pulling away and the 80,000 or so McLaren/Lewis fans applauded him as he passed the pits on each and every lap. The atmosphere was of jubilation and pure enjoyment, watching your driver truly dominate is something I will never forget, I felt a part of something great. This is why the Silverstone Grand Prix is my most memorable moment of the 2008 season.

However, the season isn’t over. Something truly spectacular could happen in Brazil. It could either be the first WDC for Massa after 7 seasons in F1, or it could be Hamilton who claims his first WDC after just two seasons in F1, and could become the youngest winner ever?

Billy Sexton—2008 British Grand Prix

My favourite moment of the 2008 Formula One season (so far) is Lewis Hamilton winning the British Grand Prix in the pouring rain.

 

The British Grand Prix was to decide the fate of the season, it was make or break; it was D-day for Lewis Hamilton. Confidence was at an all time low after a disastrous Canadian and French Grand Prix with small consolation of being top at the Silverstone test a week earlier. Pressure was mounting on Hamilton and we all wondered how he would respond, as the ITV1 advert said “It has never been a better time for a British winner at Silverstone.”

 

I got in from school on the 4th of July and immediately turned on the computer to check out the practice results and highlights.  My man, Hamilton, had finished third in first practice and third in the second session, the worrying thing though is that he was convincingly beaten by his team mate, Kovalainen was over half a second quicker on a flying lap.

 

My hopes for qualifying were pole position of course, but realistically I knew pole was a long way off. I began to check out the odds for Hamilton to win on William Hill, as I expected, Kovalainen and Massa were favourites. Optimism couldn’t overthrow the pessimistic side of me.

 

I can’t really recall Saturday before qualifying started. Looking back it all seems a bit of a blur. I can’t even remember any of the pre-qualifying build up on ITV. In the first session, Kovalainen was convincingly quicker again, Hamilton was second. It was good for McLaren Mercedes and a little confidence booster for Hamilton. 

 

The second saw Lewis Hamilton on top, this led us fans to believe that he had a chance at pole, my heart began to beat.

 

Session three came, McLaren looked to lock out the front row but would Hamilton repeat his 2007 success and be on pole at Silverstone?

 

No. Kovalainen stormed to pole, over half a second quicker than Mark Webber who surprisingly put his Red Bull on pole. Championship rival Raikkonen beat Hamilton and put him down in fourth, on the dirty side of the grid.

 

Any confidence, hope and joy from Q2 had just been taken away. Sure, it wasn’t too bad, the two previous race winners, Massa and Kubica, were down in ninth and 10th, so I was hoping for a podium for Lewis to boost him up the championship a little to close the gap on Kubica and Massa who was 10 points ahead.

 

Race day came. It was raining at Silverstone, pouring it down. It was raining in Monaco and Hamilton won there, could he do the same in Northampton. The formation lap had ended. The camera cut to Lewis Hamilton on board and then cut again to show the whole gird. The lights lit up. 1-2-3-4-5. Boom.

 

Kovalainen did well to block Webber who did well to move over and block Raikkonen. Meanwhile a new rain master was born. Hamilton found a way through the Ferrari and Red Bull and almost took the lead on the first corner. It was a McLaren one two in the pouring with taps and nudges flying everywhere. A reminder of Fuji 2007 anyone?

 

Hamilton and Kovalainen slowly pulled away and Lap Four brought about the second biggest cheer Silverstone would hear all weekend. Lewis took the lead at Stowe corner and wouldn’t relinquish it for the rest of the grand prix.

 

Hamilton came under pressure from Raikkonen, the Iceman performing well and closing the gap to 0.4 seconds before both entered the pits together and we all know what happened last time they did that.

 

Hamilton emerged from the pits in front and that was the beginning of the end for the rest of the field.  Lewis pulled out a 68 second lead and crossed the finish line as the happiest man on the planet, a British driver in a British car winning at Silverstone, nothing better.

 

This was just such a happy weekend for me. As Hamilton crossed the line I don’t think I’ve ever cheered so loud. It was looking like a processional race on Saturday evening but the rain arrived and thrashed down over Northamptonshire. Hamilton emerged victorious and put the championship in a three way tie. We were halfway through the season and what a second half we were in for.

 

Finally, the reply to the critics and media was awesome.

Interviewer: “So you’re back then Lewis?”

Lewis Hamilton: “Back? I wasn’t aware we had been away.”

 

Mike Wilkins—Fernando Alonso’s victory at Fuji 2008

 

After a long and somewhat tumultuous 2007 season, we all settled down into a new season with some new faces in new cars, some old faces in old cars and some old faces in new cars.

 

To me and many other observers the most interesting pairing was the one that had seemingly ended in acrimony just a season ago, but now the happy union was back together. Fernando Alonso was back in a Renault. It seemed so natural, like the moon and the stars, Fernando and the Regie! Oh how they rejoiced in France! The King was back.

 

Now, I'm not going to go into the McLaren/Alonso/Hamilton debacle. I have my views on this and shall be keeping them to myself, as I have promised on this very Forum to not engage in Hamilton discussion of any sort, and I shall stick by that.

 

However, many of the seasoned F1 watchers predicted that the Renault was not going to be a McLaren or a Ferrari, boy how right they were! Time and time again throughout the season the R28 was a recalcitrant little beast and even getting it into Q3 was like winning the championship. If Fernando did manage to haul it up the grid, then more often than not the poor thing expired with the effort.

 

Gradually however things began to change. From somewhere the car got faster. It seemed as if someone had sprinkle some pixie dust over the car. Fernando got through to Q3 regularly, onto the front two rows and even Piquet got into Q3...sometimes.

 

Then came Singapore, the ultimate team tactics with Nelson smacking the wall to bring out the Safety Car. Hey presto! It was lucky, very lucky but a win anyway. How we all smiled, good old Fernando, deserving a fluky win after his efforts throughout the season. It wouldn't happen again.

 

Fuji, fourth on the grid, that first corner, clever man Fernando, avoided the almost inevitable, finding his way through the melee into second, just behind Kubica. First stint just 1.5 seconds behind, watching, keeping pace, pit stop. Aggressive strategy, light fuel load, comes out in the lead.

 

“Push like hell” we hear from Alan Premaine. This is it, the defining moment of the race and my 2008 moment, eight laps in that stint, qualifying pace, and nine laps. All of them within a tenth of each other, race over.

 

Fernando Alonso, a true World Champion, metronomic pace, devastating to the opposition, truly head and shoulders above the rest.

 

Fuji 2008. A shining light, a reminder to the rest, the best driver in F1, period.

 

Saraswathi Sirigina—Best: Piquet in Germany; Worst: Sutil in Monaco

 

Memories are sometimes good and bad, since the question relates to just memories, guess we can get out both the good ones and the bad ones.

At the top of the heap in the good memories lane is the Vettel win, followed by the return to form of Fernando. But these are things that a lot of people will come up with. For me the best memory from the 2008 season was the unruly Nelson Piquet Jr. coming in at P2 in the German GP aided by the safety car and one pit stop strategy.

 

Given up for good and warned by Renault to do well or be out, the boy drove a sedate race to p2. Not that it is a great race, and not that he is an exemplary driver, but he did not make any errors and that is what made me remember it. Did anyone say, boring, yeah, so!

Worst memory, what could be worse than the drive of your life in a bad car being ruined by a number one driver not braking in time. I am speaking of Adrian Sutil in Monaco. Nothing could be worse than that, or how about the ruined pit stop in Montreal where Kimi was shunted out
of a win.

No one told us that life is good!

 

Anthony Acosta

 

My favourite moment in the 2008 Formula one season has yet to materialize. Have there been any good moments? That is a subjective question because it hinges on what is good and what is bad. Bad to me is something that takes away from the sport and good is something that adds value to it.

 

We have had plenty of situations that have been bad if you subscribe to my definition of "good moments" penalties that take away victory, mistakes that take away points and penalties that take away points; all bad moments that have done nothing for the sport.

 

We have seen dominating drives by Felipe and we have seen dominating drives by Lewis. Neither is something I would classify as my "favourite" moment in the season. Sometimes a crash is to some people, an exciting moment but not to me because I really respect what these drivers do for us. How one can find a crash exciting, to me, is just ignorance personified.

 

Danger is inherent in F1 and the refuelling for some reason this year has created some dangerous situations this year; many more than in years past and for no one particular reason.

 

I am assuming we can chalk it up to human error. I cannot say watching such a dangerous situation suddenly happen could be classified on anyone's favourite moment. You could argue it has been one of the larger spectacles of the sport this year but I would prefer to see spectacular driving on the track.

 

Perhaps my perception on what has been good for the sport this year would have to hinge on the fact that we never know on Friday how Sunday is going to be. That X factor keeps us tuned in. But typically the X factor has involved something that, in my opinion, has always taken away from the sport this season.

 

So I will say my favourite moment this year has been that I am still waiting for a moment to be my favourite moment of the season. Hopefully it will be something that we all can definitively say; "yeah, that was the moment of the 2008 season" Something we can tell our youngest child; "you know in 2008 there was a moment in that season that I wish you could have seen."

 

There is one race left for that moment.

 

Daniel Chalmers—Silverstone/Monza 2008

 

There have been a lot of memorable moments in the 2008 F1 season so it’s very hard to choose the one to mention in this article.

 

For me there have been two moments, which have really stood out in my mind. These were Lewis Hamilton’s win at Silverstone and Sebastien Vettel’s maiden victory for Toro Rosso at Monza.

 

Hamilton’s victory in Silverstone was one of the best drives I have seen in my time as a Formula One fan. This wet weather performance was up there with Senna’s drive at Donington in 93, Michael Schumacher’s drive at Barcelona in '96 and Jackie Stewart winning by four minutes at the old Nurburgring.

 

On a day where nearly everyone was losing their head (title rivals Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen span eight times between them), Hamilton didn’t put a single foot wrong, apart from one small trip across the grass.

 

When he stayed on intermediates during that heavy shower it looked a very silly move. However the pace he showed despite being on the wrong tyres was absolutely stunning. Even Honda’s Ross Brawn was in awe of Hamilton’s driving in the most treacherous part of the race. This was whilst everyone else struggled to stay on the grey stuff.

 

Vettel’s win in Monza was the ultimate feel-good F1 race. His performance all weekend was absolutely flawless. There was no single error to speak of. He was simply the fastest guy out there throughout the weekend. He took pole position on merit, and in the race he drove away from drivers who had faster cars than him.

 

To pull away so fast from a McLaren was simply phenomenal. The greatest aspect was seeing how much it meant to all the Toro Rosso mechanics. These guys have all been there during the Minardi days, when they were struggling to simply survive on the gird. To them this day was probably as good as winning five championships all at once.

 

Also in Vettel I saw a new star being born, and as he has such a charming personality I was genuinely very happy for him. A lot of fans may be tired of his constant comparisons with fellow German Michael Schumacher. However this performance was very like a typical Schumacher win.

 

These two races from Hamilton and Vettel are both performances fans will talk about for a very long time to come. Both could act as defining races in their career. Hopefully I will be able to talk to my grandchildren about both these classic races.

 

2008 may not have been perfect, with so many controversial penalties dominating fans thoughts, but these two races are what F1 racing is all about. Days like that are what make being an F1 fan so special.

 

Sheiban Shakeri—The Competition of 2008

 

My most memorable moment of 2008 has to be the fact that the entire season wasn't a McLaren/Ferrari duel.

 

The fact that five teams won: McLaren, Ferrari, BMW Sauber, Toro Rosso, and Renault; and seven different drivers stood on the top step of the podium: Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa, Robert Kubica, Heikki Kovalainen, Sebastien Vettel, and Fernando Alonso; was by far very memorable.

 

Seeing different drivers, different teams and hearing different anthems was a new experience and brought back memories of older seasons when it wouldn't be strictly two teams fighting for the championship.

 

Here's hoping that we get more of the same because unlike last year where you'd have a one in four chance of guessing the right driver to win, this was very different and it has made the sport more entertaining to watch.

 

Michael Griffin—Roundtable Creator: Kubica/Vettel Maiden Victories

 

My personal favourite moment of the season had to be watching my favourite driver, Robert Kubica, take his maiden win this season at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix. Yes, he had a lot of luck on his way to winning the race, namely Lewis Hamilton mounting Kimi Raikkonen (that sounds wrong in so many ways).

 

But, Kubica had to put in a spirited drive to hold off Fernando Alonso shortly after the safety car period whilst they caught Nick Heidfeld in the sister BMW Sauber, but he managed to do so and calmly passed Heidfeld into turn one.

 

Once he had done that, there was no stopping him and Mr. Consistent took his very first win, and secured an historic one-two victory for the Swiss/German outfit.

 

After this race, Kubica even held the lead in the drivers’ world championship, the very first Polish person to do so. A great day, but that was equalled by the rise of a happy-go-lucky little German.

 

Sebastien Vettel had been on the pace almost all season long when the circus arrived in Monza for the Italian Grand Prix; he would have been on pole in Valencia had the kerbs been built properly, which on such a terrible circuit would have meant a victory.

 

In Spa he and his teammate Sebastien Bourdais were constantly among the fastest cars of the weekend, and if a small error by both had not occurred in quail, they could have occupied the second row of the grid.

 

The expectations were growing as they went to Monza, and they immediately went to the top of the times sheets in practice for the fourth race in a row. Some whispered the chances of a victory, and then it p*ss*d down.

 

The Toro Rosso was phenomenally fast in the rain, with Vettel qualifying on pole and Bourdais starting in fourth. The betting shops were receiving a flurry of bets for a Toro Rosso one-two finish, and it was possible until the clutch and anti-stall system on Bourdais’ car failed at the start of the race.

 

Bourdais would eventually be a whole lap down, his best chances gone down the drain; all eyes were now on Vettel.

 

At the start o the race, Vettel quickly established a big lead over Heikki Kovalainen in the McLaren, and was leading by over 14 seconds at one point. He was comfortably consistent all race long, and although he was not setting fastest laps, he was keeping the car out of trouble and his lead grew bigger all the time.

 

His only real threat to victory was a charging Lewis Hamilton, but more tyre problems extinguished that threat and Vettel crossed the line to take a sensational victory. Some now said that he was the next Michael Schumacher, and that he could keep up with the bi boys no matter where they were.

 

They were right; Vettel consistently challenging for top places in every race that followed, and now with his impending move to Red Bull, more victories could be possible next season.

 

I am going to take a leaf out of the book of Saraswathi and name my worst moment of the season, and it has to be the “spa-gate” saga that dogged the Belgian Grand Prix.

 

Controversy ensued after Lewis Hamilton somehow controlled his car in treacherous conditions, celebrated his deserved win on the podium, sprayed the champagne and even did the press conference; the FIA announced that they had stripped Hamilton of the win.

They decided to give him a 25 second penalty for "gaining an unfair advantage" when passing Kimi Raikkonen is the closing stages of the race.

For those of you who were somehow not watching, this is how things went down.

Blanchimont—Hamilton begins to close on Raikkonen, who was clearly feeling the effects of the light shower earlier than Hamilton.

Bus Stop Chicane—Hamilton passes on the outside, but Kimi won't have any of it and forces Lewis wide and to cut the corner. If he did not, both would have retired from the race in one big heap of carbon fibre, good decision from Hamilton.

Start/Finish Straight—Hamilton yields the position back to Kimi, obviously learning his lesson from Magny Cours. After Kimi re-takes first place, Lewis launches a brave move up the inside.

La Source—Hamilton takes Kimi into turn one, Kimi tries to cut back across and hits Hamilton, almost breaking the front wing of the Ferrari and shredding the rear tyre of the McLaren.

Eau Rouge—Kimi has a look at Lewis but decides not to, good decision. At this point, radio communications take place between McLaren and Charlie Whiting, who accepts that Hamilton yielded the position back fairly.

Pouhoun—Both Hamilton and Raikkonen barely make it round the corner and struggle for grip, Kimi is clearly the quicker of the two.

Fagnees—Nico Rosberg aquaplanes off the road and rejoins, but in doing so distracts Hamilton and the young Brit takes avoiding action and run wide, barely keeping it out of the wall. Raikkonen re-takes the lead, only to spin immediately and rejoin in second yet again.

Blanchimont (Again)—Hamilton goes as slow as humanly possible, whereas Kimi believes he can push a bit harder, but then drops it and flies into the wall. Hamilton inherits the lead yet again, but now has to contend with a charging Felipe Massa.

Final Lap—Hamilton and Massa both remain on dry tyres and nurse the car around the circuit on the final lap, at this point the Ferrari and McLaren mechanics are waiting nervously as Nick Heidfeld and Fernando Alonso take on intermediates, and are lapping 45 seconds faster.

Finish—Hamilton and Massa survive with Hamilton taking the win, Massa second and Heidfeld third. Staticians showed that if the race was just 15 seconds longer, Heidfeld would have won the race. THAT is how slow Massa and Lewis had to go.

Celebrations begin, but the FIA immediately announce that they will investigate the happenings between Raikkonen and Hamilton, something which confused even Ferrari and they say after the race that Kimi regained the lead twice, perhaps three times after that.

Then, after the fans had left and the celebrations were over the FIA announce that they had stripped Hamilton of his victory. The decision was not popular, even with Ferrari fans who were quoted by one TV station as saying "it does not matter; it did not affect the result. It's a silly decision."

Awful decision, but we should be used to it by now, and by far the darkest moment of this season. It even beats Sutil been taken out by Raikkonen and no punishment been handed down.

Okay, there we have it, all entries are now in, and the results are as follows:

2008 British Grand Prix: Five Votes

2008 Italian Grand Prix: Two Votes

2008 Japanese Grand Prix: One Vote

Nelson Piquet Getting Second in Germany: One Vote

The Competitiveness of the 2008 Formula One Season: One Vote

After counting the votes, I am pleased to announce that the winner is the 2008 British Grand Prix!

Congratulations to you Silverstone, how does it feel to win such an award?

“...................................................................”

My God, such an emotional speech there, it would bring a tear from a man peeling an onion.

That concludes this edition of the Chequered Flag Roundtable, and you know the drill, for maximum exposure for the F1 Community, Five stars and Pick of the Day please.

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