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Hamilton Massa showdown anniversary: Cause revealed behind dramatic finale
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Hamilton Massa showdown anniversary: Cause revealed behind dramatic finale

Hamilton Massa showdown anniversary: Cause revealed behind dramatic finale

Hamilton Massa showdown anniversary: Cause revealed behind dramatic finale

Hamilton Massa showdown anniversary: Cause revealed behind dramatic finale

Former F1 driver Timo Glock has revealed the dramatic final lap overtake from Lewis Hamilton at the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix was caused by an F1-FIA procedural issue.

The German enjoyed a successful stint with Toyota in the late 2000s but is widely remembered by Martin Brundle's now-immortal commentary line "Is that Glock?" after Hamilton made the move to snatch the title away from home hero Felipe Massa on the final lap of the last race of that season on November 2.

Addressing the dramatic end, Glock told the 'Beyond the Grid' podcast: "This cloud came over the track and I said three laps towards the end, 'Guys, I think it is going to end up in a disaster because this cloud will arrive two or one lap towards the end and if it is raining, it is going to be chaotic'.

"They said we were going to take the risk and stay out. We have nothing to lose.

"Second to last lap, it starts raining in the last corner and I said 'Guys, I need to come in' because you could see the rain and how much it was, literally 200m away, moving very quickly to the track.

"I said 'It is impossible, I am not going to survive that last lap. It is impossible."

But on how F1 and the FIA's haste in preparing parc fermé for the end of the race led to the dramatic outcome, Glock added: "The tyres were cooling out, the grooved tyres.

"They said 'You cannot come in. It is impossible' because the gates were already built up for the podium ceremony and people were already freaking out because Massa was [going to be] world champion, so they said I had to stay out.

"Come to the first corner, already wet and being nowhere, just trying to survive, P4 at that point, I never had the scenario of what situation I was in. I just tried to survive.

"Then a bunch of cars overtook me, [Robert] Kubica was a lap down, [Sebastian] Vettel overtakes me, Hamilton overtakes me, and I finish P6."

Glock on being mobbed

Glock faced hatred and ridicule in the immediate aftermath given the emotions of Massa's support at the circuit, despite being unaware of what had actually taken place.

"Funnily enough, my engineer told me Lewis was world champion, but he wouldn't tell me that I decided the championship," added the DTM driver.

"So I came back to the pits, we stopped before the uphill section and funnily enough, Lewis stops in front of me.

"So what do I do? I go there, give him a handshake and say 'Well done man! Congratulations for your world championship' in front of I don't know how many thousand Brazilian spectators.

"Then I walk up to the gates and a whole bunch of journalists and photographers run down.

"So I got to the side because, of course, they want to go to Lewis Hamilton, world champion. But they all come to me and ask me these questions like 'Was this on purpose? Did you help Lewis? You decided the championship'.

"I was like 'What the hell is going on here?' The physiotherapist comes to me and takes me, runs up to the scales with me, runs back with me to hospitality, locks me in the room and tells me what happened.

"Then I understood what was going on."

It was not just Glock under fire, however, as the whole Toyota team took flak.

"I still remember my mechanics, from the paddock people were throwing stuff down to everyone that had a Toyota shirt on," recalled Glock.

"I got a police escort from the track to the hotel, from the hotel the next morning to the airport and into the plane, they walked with me into the plane."

Glock didn't speak to Massa for 10 years

Massa and Glock would not speak to each other for a decade but made amends in a Sky TV interview at Interlagos last season, giving their perspectives on a dramatic day.

Asked why he had not spoken to the former Ferrari driver for 10 years, Glock replied: "I thought if I talk to him, he will kill me.

"Last year, in Mexico, I was on the Skypad doing an onboard lap and Felipe waves to me. I look at him and, turning around, as if 'Does he mean me?'

"So I waved back. My cameraman said 'You should ask him for an interview' and I say 'For sure not'.

"Then I walk back and he [the camerman] said 'Next week is the Brazilian GP. Why should we not do an interview, it is Felipe, in Brazil, about that championship-deciding moment.

"So I sent Rubens Barrichello a message, 'Do you think you could give me Felipe's phone number? Do you think he would talk to me?' He said 'Of course. Why not?'

"So I sent him a text, Felipe replies super-friendly 'Hey mate, no problem! Of course we can do an interview. Let's talk about that'.

"I walk into the TV compound, Martin Brundle comes up and I think he is the right guy to do the interview, the famous words 'Is that Glock?'.

"So he interviewed us in Brazil, which was super emotional from both sides, and Felipe had never seen this onboard camera from me in that last lap.

"Then he really understood what position I was in and from then on, it is just a really cool relationship."

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