…Massa. What a wonderful win from the Brazilian at his home Grand Pr…wait. No, Hamilton. Let’s calculate quickly in our minds (ten for Massa, four for Hamilton: 87 plus 10…94 plus 4). “Oh my God,” I remember telling myself as I stood with my hands in the air and my mouth wide open.
Massa was the 2008 F1 World Champion for exactly 38.9 seconds until Hamilton only barely made it past Timo Glock in the pouring rain.
Those scenes flash before me as we approach this years Brazilian Grand Prix. The rain – the havoc – the Toyota on dry tires – Massa’s smiles – Massa’s tears – the jumping Pussycat Doll – the swarm of photographers around Hamilton as he climbed out of his McLaren – the heart to heart talk that Hamilton and Dad had in the privacy of a paddock room – Massa’s podium fist for his fans.
With four days until we revisit Brazil, I wonder if the level of excitement can be matched this year.
Button (85 points), Barrichello (71), and Vettel (69) are the likely candidates for the 2009 World Championship.
If Vettel wins (10) in Brazil (which is highly likely due to his current form), Button can become champion by placing fifth (4), which are the exact same positions Massa and Hamilton were in when the 2008 Champion was crowned. If Vettel wins again and Button retires both drivers will be tied at 89 points come the end of Abu Dhabi – but Button will have had more wins to his name.
Barrichello would need to perform similarly: winning (10) in Brazil would put him at 81 points. Button would need a podium position of 3rd (6) or higher to secure his title before Abu Dhabi.
We have witnessed the events of the year first hand, with Button’s string of victories. We have seen what Barrichello can do when hungry enough and we definitely remember how flawlessly Vettel roars around when he’s spot on.
As a story, it would have to be Button who would really make one of the greatest F1 stories to date. Him and his team. Same goes for Barrichello – the oldest man on the grid with sixteen years of experience under his belt. If anyone deserves the title, he does.
But, and there is a but, there is something charismatic about Vettel. First off, he’s one of the youngest drivers on the grid and nobody will forget his win in a Toro Rosso last year in Monza. He’s not cocky, he’s not over confident, and most importantly, he reminds us all of Michael Schumacher.
My money is on zee Ge’man.