Jehan Daruvala has recently been testing for McLaren, so it's interesting to see that the PREMA Racing driver has picked out a race in which a McLaren driver claimed victory in an unforgettable season finale as one that stands out to him the most.
As far as Championship deciders go, there are very few moments that can live up to the drama that unfolded during the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix as the title was decided at the last race, on the last lap of the season and the last corner on the circuit. Daruvala recalls his memories of Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa’s fight for the ’08 crown and watching the race as a kid with his family.
“I remember it was Hamilton's second year in F1 fighting for the World Championship. I remember the whole race pretty much in my mind when Massa was leading throughout, Lewis fighting back after his problems and then obviously him feeling like he's not going to win. Then, ‘Is that Glock?!’ - the famous line on the last lap, I remember that pretty fondly. It was even before I started racing. That’s probably the race I remember the most and I will probably never forget.
“I was actually in my bedroom at home watching it because of the time difference to Brazil. It was quite late in the night and I was watching my father.
“I was following the whole season. I started following Formula 1 in 2005. I was thinking Lewis was going to win, just because of the way he missed out in 2007. I was a (Kimi) Räikkönen fan in 2007, so I was happy that he won that year, but in ’08 I was rooting for Lewis.
“I think for Massa, it was a pretty straightforward race. Get off the line, try to win and he couldn't control the outcome of the of the World Championship whereas for Hamilton, it was all under his control. But then he had issues and had to fight through the field, but he held his nerve, and he was there at the end. It was a good race.
“Actually I remember thinking I wouldn't want to be Massa, believing for so long and you never know what can happen when it starts raining. For Hamilton, it's more like ‘yeah, this is my chance.’ If there's anything that could happen it's gonna happen now, and it did. Timo (Glock) obviously couldn’t get to the end on his tyres and Hamilton got by and won the World Championship.
“I was still young, so it was a bit confused. I knew what happened and I was confused when I saw Ferrari celebrating. Then then when they stopped, I was like, that kind of makes sense, that he did overtake Glock, there was just confusion whether he was on the lead lap and stuff like that. But it was all clear at the end. It’s definitely the most memorable moment for me in F1 I would say.
“I did feel bad for Massa. But I was also remember I was really really tired, so I was waiting for the podium to end, see the whole thing so I could get to bed. It was probably like past midnight, something like that. So it wasn't crazy late, but when you're young, it's late.
“I just remember my dad being a big Hamilton fan, so he was happy. The year before, I was a (Fernando) Alonso and Kimi fan and he was a Hamilton fan.”