The place are they now? The F1 2008 grid for Lewis Hamilton’s dramatic first title : PlanetF1

Determined with a ultimate lap, ultimate nook overtake and contested by a few of the sport’s best names, the F1 2008 season was unforgettable. However the place are the 22 drivers now? 

Scene of “is that Glock?” and the Renault ‘Crashgate’ scandal, Lewis Hamilton celebrated the primary of his seven Championships in equally dramatic circumstances to his trendy rival Max Verstappen – albeit with out the amplification of at this time’s social media consideration.

Factors had been awarded to the highest eight in these days, again when Ferrari and McLaren had been the paddock’s heavyweight garages. Singapore turned F1’s first night time race and fifth road observe, with that 12 months’s European Grand Prix held in Valencia.

As Hamilton eyes an eighth championship in 2023, let’s look again on the grid filled with icons and cult heroes he beat in 2008 and what they’ve been as much as since.

Lewis Hamilton

“Is that Glock? Is that Glock going slowly?” Martin Brundle shouted by way of our tv screens as Hamilton moved into fifth place on the ultimate nook of the F1 2008 season in Brazil, sealing the 4 factors required to make historical past.

The Hertfordshire-born star turned F1’s first black World Champion inside two years of his debut, profitable 5 of the 18 rounds that 12 months in a fierce battle with Felipe Massa.

Hamilton’s world-beating expertise was apparent however no person might have predicted he’d later match Michael Schumacher for titles and construct a convincing case that he the game’s best ever driver.

The Briton stayed at McLaren for 4 extra seasons with out with the ability to break Sebastian Vettel’s dominance, earlier than Ross Brawn satisfied him to make a shock switch to the rising Mercedes staff. Quick-forward a decade and the veteran seven-time champion stays on the German staff, gearing up for a title tilt in 2023.

Felipe Massa

Whereas Hamilton celebrated, it was heartbreak within the Ferrari storage and Felipe Massa’s cockpit. He had glory snatched from him on the ultimate lap, even after storming to a house victory on the Brazilian Grand Prix.

One of many iconic photos from that November day was Massa’s podium celebration: striding to the platform edge with tears in his eyes, beating his chest and pointing to the gang. His dignity in defeat has not been forgotten in Components 1.

Massa got here inside one level of the championship however by no means bought shut once more. In 2009, he was struck on the helmet by a unfastened suspension spring whereas driving 200mph throughout qualifying for the Hungarian GP, knocking him unconscious and shunting him into the boundaries with an already-fractured cranium.

Extremely, Massa recovered in time for the 2010 season however would by no means win one other Grand Prix, as Ferrari’s tempo declined and the Brazilian was largely second fiddle to Fernando Alonso, earlier than he moved to Williams in 2014.

Since retiring from F1 in 2017 he has raced in Components E and continues to compete on the age of 41 in Brazilian Inventory Vehicles. He was appointed chairman of the FIA’s Drivers’ Fee by president Mohammed Ben Sulayem final 12 months.

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Kimi Raikkonen

One in every of F1’s hottest figures (albeit begrudgingly), Kimi Raikkonen got here into the 2008 season as defending champion however didn’t have the tempo to match Ferrari team-mate Massa.

Two victories and 7 extra podiums ensured the Scuderia scooped the Constructors’ title, however it will be Raikkonen’s penultimate 12 months earlier than happening hiatus to dabble in rallying and NASCAR. His second F1 stint yielded three extra victories earlier than lastly retiring for good in 2021.

The 43-year-old Finn has returned to NASCAR since with the Trackhouse Racing Group and steered away from F1 to spend time along with his household.

Robert Kubica

Poland’s first Components 1 driver earned his solely win in 2008, triumphing on the Canadian Grand Prix for BMW Sauber and placing himself into the Drivers’ Championship lead after Hamilton and Raikkonen collided within the pits.

It was a breakout season for the younger Polish driver, with six additional podiums and fourth within the end-of-season standings foreshadowing an thrilling profession forward.

He earned a transfer to Renault in 2010 however a life-threatening rally crash the next 12 months noticed his potential go tragically unfulfilled. Extremely, he returned to motorsport and finally F1, driving for Williams in 2019 and scoring a single level – beating rookie team-mate George Russell.

Kubica’s final F1 outings had been in 2021, stepping in to exchange a Covid-hit Raikkonen at Alfa Romeo, a staff he has since served as their reserve driver. In 2023, the Pole is contemplating a transfer to Hypercar racing.

Fernando Alonso

Double Components 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso returned to Renault for the 2008 season, having clashed with rookie team-mate Lewis Hamilton throughout a one-year stint at McLaren the earlier 12 months.

The French staff had been off the tempo of Alonso’s former staff and Ferrari however the Spaniard scooped wins in Japan and Singapore, the latter in scandalous circumstances. Nelson Piquet Jr was ordered by the staff to crash on goal, bringing out a Security Automobile on the excellent second to present Alonso the lead as rivals dipped into the pit lane.

The scandal rocked F1, leading to Renault being handed a suspended disqualification from the game and staff principal Flavio Briatore being banned.

Thought of one of many best drivers of his era, Alonso retired in 2018 solely to make a comeback in 2021, having gained back-to-back 24 Hours of Le Mans crowns and the 2018-19 World Endurance Championship with Toyota. This 12 months, he’ll race for Aston Martin on the age of 41.

Nick Heidfeld

The 2008 season was Heidfeld’s most interesting in Components 1, stepping onto the rostrum 3 times for BMW Sauber and backing up a formidable 2007.

The German driver holds the undesirable file of incomes essentially the most most podiums (13) of any driver who by no means gained a Grand Prix. He left Components 1 in 2011 and has since competed in Components E and endurance racing.

In 2022 Heidfeld entered the world of Rallycross and can achieve this once more in 2023.

Heikki Kovalainen

Kovalainen inherited Fernando Alonso’s McLaren seat after a stable rookie season within the midfield with Renault. He was victorious on the 2008 Hungarian Grand Prix, his solely F1 victory, however by no means troubled team-mate Hamilton and left the staff in 2010.

Three extra seasons languishing on the again with Lotus (later Caterham), Kovalainen misplaced his seat and pursued different avenues in motorsport.

The Finn’s newest transfer has been entering into World Rally Championship, which he’s contesting in 2023.

Sebastian Vettel

Stepping right into a full-time race seat, this fresh-faced younger German couldn’t but know what glories awaited him. Particularly after the begin to his Toro Rosso profession.

4 retirements from 4 races had been a worrying signal for Sebastian Vettel however the 21-year-old discovered quick. A well-known victory within the rain at Monza, turning into the youngest ever Components 1 race winner – till Max Verstappen’s arrival – foreshadowed his future greatness.

After dominating the game with 4 consecutive World Championships between 2010 and 2013, earlier than an in the end disappointing finish to his profession at Ferrari and Aston Martin, Vettel retired after the 2022 season.

The German icon plans to spend well-earned time stress-free along with his household after a lifetime on the wheel, and has but to announce any racing plans – besides the 2023 Race of Champions.

Jarno Trulli

At the moment there are DRS trains however again when Jarno Trulli was on the grid, there have been ‘Trulli trains”.

The previous Monaco Grand Prix winner was famend for setting blistering qualifying laps in struggling midfield machines on Saturdays, earlier than holding up quicker automobiles behind with defensive drives. He used these ways to nice impact once more in 2008, securing a podium on the French Grand Prix and a number of top-fives for Toyota.

Lately, the Italian is within the wine enterprise and helps his son Enzo’s up-and-coming racing profession.

Timo Glock

Because the Toyota driver slipped and slid in the direction of the ultimate nook on the Brazilian Grand Prix, he might by no means have recognized that his identify would henceforth be related to one in every of F1’s most dramatic climaxes.

Glock overtook Lewis Hamilton to place the McLaren driver’s championship in jeopardy after staying on dry tyres when the climate modified – however the gamble backfired because the observe bought wetter. His tempo slowed dramatically, Hamilton appeared in his mirrors… and the remaining is historical past.

The German driver was accused of permitting Hamilton to cross on goal and acquired threats for years after. Lately Glock, 40, is a mainstay on the DTM scene having moved throughout when his F1 profession led to 2013, in addition to a Components 1 pundit in Germany.

Mark Webber

But to grasp their future as Components 1 heavyweights, Pink Bull delivered a automobile that might solely present its sponsor with an nameless season in 2008.

The midfield was a well-known spot for Mark Webber, who at 32 years previous was an skilled driver. That will all change from the next season, when Webber turned a race winner and championship contender in Pink Bull’s more and more dominant machine.

The Aussie retired in 2013 and is now overseeing the profession of McLaren’s rookie star Oscar Piastri as a co-founder of JAM Sports activities Administration. Webber additionally usually seems as a tv pundit on British station, Channel 4.

Nelson Piquet Jr

Piquet Jr’s rookie season definitely wasn’t the Components 1 expertise he anticipated, having grown up listening to about his father’s three World Championships.

Eight retirements from 18 races was a depressing return, leaving him languishing far behind Renault team-mate Fernando Alonso. That’s with out mentioning his half within the surprising ‘Crashgate’ scandal at Singapore.

Piquet Jr remained in F1 for 2009 however failed to attain a single level within the first 10 races, and was dropped in favour of Romain Grosjean mid-season.

He has since gained the Components E Championship and competed in NASCAR. He raced alongside Felipe Massa in Inventory Automobile Brazil final 12 months, and has signed up for the 2023 European Le Mans Collection.

Nico Rosberg

A 23-year-old Rosberg was nonetheless making his regular rise in the direction of the sharp finish of Components 1 when his fierce rival and former good friend Lewis Hamilton gained his first World Championship.

Driving for Williams, Rosberg earned his first podium with a formidable drive on the season-opening Australian Grand Prix however wouldn’t replicate the feat all season. He did upstage team-mate Kazuki Nakajima within the standings, although.

Rosberg retired with the Components 1 title in 2016 after years of fierce battles in opposition to Hamilton, stepping away aged simply 31. Now he’s a model ambassador and is usually seen giving frank insights on Sky Sports activities’ TV protection of the game.

Rubens Barrichello

Within the sensible profession of Ruben Barrichello, the 2008 season won’t be one he holds very expensive. Racing for the floundering Honda staff that might stop F1 on the finish of the season, the Brazilian’s spotlight was a podium at his beloved Silverstone in moist circumstances.

Barrichello did develop into essentially the most skilled F1 driver in historical past that season, although. He would finish his profession with 322 begins, which has since been surpassed by Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.

The 50-year-old remains to be profitable races to today, taking residence the title in Inventory Automobile Brazil final 12 months.

Kazuki Nakajima

Having impressed on his Williams debut on the ultimate spherical of the 2007 season, Nakajima earned a full-time seat the next 12 months and completed sixth on the opener in Australia.

The Japanese driver would by no means higher that end result, delivering two largely nameless seasons in F1 earlier than dropping away from motorsport’s prime desk.

Nakajima discovered much more success on the endurance racing scene, profitable the World Endurance Championship and three 24 Hours of Le Mans titles – assisted by none aside from Fernando Alonso for 2 of them. He retired in 2021 and have become vice chairman of his former staff, Toyota Gazoo Racing Europe.

David Coulthard

British legend David Coulthard’s storied F1 profession got here to a detailed in 2008, sadly limping into retirement with solely two factors finishes on the wheel of a slow-moving Pink Bull.

Coulthard did handle one final podium look on the Canadian Grand Prix, however completed his final race within the gravel after colliding with Nico Rosberg.

The Scottish driver is a fixture on Channel 4’s TV protection and sometimes will get behind the wheel of Pink Bull automobiles at exhibition occasions. He has additionally gained the Race of Champions on two events.

Sebastien Bourdais

Regardless of a protracted and assorted motorsport profession, Sebastien Bourdais lasted only a season and a half in Components 1 at Toro Rosso.

The Frenchman’s efforts in 2008 solely yielded 4 factors, far behind team-mate Sebastian Vettel who achieved eighth within the Drivers’ standings.

Bourdais turned to endurance racing after Toro Rosso dropping him mid-season in 2009, showing in Components E, IndyCar and at Le Mans. He’s at present making ready for an additional marketing campaign in the US.

Jenson Button

World Champion only a 12 months later, Jenson Button’s 2008 couldn’t have been extra completely different. Out-scored by team-mate Rubens Barrichello having earned simply three top-10s, his ultimate season with Honda was a slog.

Nonetheless, the staff turned Brawn GP the next season and produced the long-lasting BGP 001. Successful six of the primary seven races gave Button the buffer he wanted in 2009, securing a well-known World Championship.

Button’s 17-year F1 profession led to 2017 however he stays a part of the paddock furnishings, with common appearances on Sky Sports activities F1. He has been a senior advisor on the struggling Williams staff since 2019.

Giancarlo Fisichella

Racing for the newly-formed Power India staff within the ultimate knockings of his F1 profession, Fisichella was an skilled hand hoping to assist Vijay Mallya’s new staff ease into the game.

It was a steep studying curve for the staff, and three-time Grand Prix winner Fisichella couldn’t rating some extent all season.

The Italian would retire only a 12 months later however into his fiftieth 12 months, Fisichella nonetheless has the racing itch. He combines endurance occasions along with his music profession, having been employed as a DJ at Components 1 occasions.

Adrian Sutil

Fisichella’s team-mate Adrian Sutil didn’t fare any higher, ending the season with 11 retirements and 0 factors.

Sutil remained in Components 1 till 2014, rising up the order with Power India to seal his greatest Drivers’ Championship place of ninth in 2011.

After failing to safe an F1 seat, Sutil walked away from racing however reappeared on the 2022 Ferrari Problem Europe, inserting fifth. Sutil additionally reportedly boasts a mind-boggling supercar assortment based mostly in Monaco, together with a number of Bugatti Veyrons, a Ferrari Enzo and a Koenigsegg Regera.

Takuma Sato

Japanese driver Takuma Sato’s F1 profession got here to an abrupt finish on the 2008 Spanish Grand Prix when his Honda-powered Tremendous Aguri succumbed to the identical monetary catastrophe affecting their A-team after simply 4 Championship rounds.

Sato’s six-year F1 profession peaked with a podium on the 2004 United States GP and it was in America that he discovered success post-F1.

The 2-time Indy 500 winner has signed for Chip Ganassi Racing forward of the 2023 season to proceed to race on ovals in IndyCar, chasing extra glory at 45 years previous. 

Anthony Davidson

Now a well-known voice on Sky Sports activities when David Croft cuts to “Sky Race Management”, Anthony Davidson’s F1 profession additionally got here to a grinding halt in 2008, like Sato’s.

Davidson was presupposed to be racing solely his second full season after a troublesome rookie 12 months on the backmarking Tremendous Aguri staff. He completed simply two of the opening 4 races in 2008 earlier than the staff imploded.

The British driver moved into endurance racing post-F1, with podiums on the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 2014 World Endurance Championship title – combining racing along with his TV work and a simulator position at Mercedes till 2021.

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