Most Formula 1 fans of a certain age know where they were when Lewis Hamilton beat Felipe Massa to the 2008 Formula 1 World Championship, the infamous “That's Glock!” line from James Allen has gone down in history.
Clément Novalak is one of those drivers, with the MP Motorsport racer selecting the 2008 title decider as one of two that stick in his memory. We spoke to the Frenchman to get his take on them.
Novalak began: “The first one is the 2008 season finale between (Felipe) Massa and (Lewis) Hamilton, the second is the 2016 race where (Max) Verstappen had a pretty insane drive in the wet. Funnily enough, they are both wet races, and both at Interlagos.
“Starting with 2008: everybody remembers the exact same thing, Ferrari winning for however many laps and then Hamilton winning it on the main straight on the last corner. That was probably the most suspenseful race that I have watched, until Abu Dhabi in 2021, anyway. It was one of those seasons that you couldn't write. It was like a Hollywood movie.
“It was a case of never giving up. Lewis had lost it. He was one point behind until the last corner of the race. Never give up, push right until the last moment, because you never know what is going to happen. Circumstances can always change and you have got to be there to take your opportunities.
“The 2016 race from Max (Verstappen) was just pure insanity. I have watched his onboard for the last 10 laps of the race and when you watch it from a driver's point of view, it is crazy.
“As a driver, you want to think that you are the best because you need maximum confidence. But there are times when you look at something, like what Verstappen did in 2016, and you can't help but think 'wow, I wish I could do that.’ That was one of those moments when you are pretty much just in awe of what they did. The bravery that the guy has.
“During the first part of the race, he aquaplanes and nearly hits the wall on the main straight. Very often as a driver, when you make a mistake, or you have an off or you're close to hitting the wall, it takes a bit of time to build your confidence back up to that level, but he was straight back on it.
“For the last 10 laps, there wasn't a single mistake, it was a constant pace. He was so confident everywhere. It was just a pure wet masterclass, that was more inspirational than anything that taught me a lessons.”