Bafflingly, the circumstances under which Lewis Hamilton won his first world championship in 2008 remains a point of dispute for some.
Hamilton clinched the title in a dramatic climax to the final race of the year when he passed Timo Glock on the final lap of the Brazilian Grand Prix that year. Some continue to allege Glock intentionally helped Hamilton, despite there being a clear reason why he was overtaken and the absence of any obvious motive for why he should assist his rival in his fight with Felipe Massa.
With social media abuzz over the recent Moto GP championship decider in which some accused Marc Marquez of trying to help Jorge Lorenzo beat Valentino Rossi, Glock became drawn into a discussion over whether he did the same for Hamilton in 2008.
“If your [sic] Timo Glock you must really hate when the Brazilian Grand Prix comes around where people remind him of the 2008 race,” suggested one Tweeter. “Not at all,” Glock replied, “because I didn’t do anything wrong I drove my race and scored points for my team with different strategy.”
Rain fell in the latter stages of the race, causing most drivers to switch from dry-weather tyres to intermediates. They included Massa – who was leading – and Hamilton. The Toyota drivers did not, moving Glock up the order, and though he lost two positions on the final lap he still finished higher than he had been running before the rain.
Asked if he would have approached the race differently given the outcome, Glock said he would not have made the change to intermediate tyres, “because we gained two positions with that strategy call”.
Glock pointed out he was unaware of the championship situation on the final lap and even if he had been it “would have made no difference because I couldn’t do anything!”
“[Hamilton] would have overtaken me no matter if I knew or not.”
Writing about the incident recently on his blog, former Ferrari press officer Luca Colajanni admitted the team was initially suspicious about Glock’s driving immediately after the race.
“In 2008 at Interlagos, immediately after the end of the race many of us in the Ferrari garage had more than a suspect when Glock had let pass by Hamilton a few hundred meters from the finish, thus denying a world title to Felipe who deserved it, because that year he was undoubtedly the best driver.”
However they soon realised Glock had been powerless to keep his position. “Then, in cold blood, it was clear that the Toyota driver could not do anything because he was on slick tires on a track more and more wet.”
Glock left F1 at the end of 2012 after being dropped by Marussia in order to bring in a driver with financial backing. He now races for BMW in the DTM. “I am very happy where I am now,” he said on Twitter when asked if he wanted to return to F1. “Great to work for a brand like BMW Motorsport. Don’t want to go back.”
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