Sunday, October 21, 2007

Photo Finish

Wow! What a race. What a race! It was beautiful. It was brilliant. And it nearly killed me.

I don't think I've held my breath for an hour and a half since I saw a horror movie as a child. But this season-ending-deciding Formula 1 race at Brazil changed all that. It was scripted like a well-scripted high octane movie thriller.

I'm sure all of you out there must know the position at the start of the race. Hamilton leads the championship with 107 points, aiming to become the first rookie, black and youngest champion. Alonso is second with 103 points, aiming to win successive titles with different teams for the first time in 5 decades since Juan Manuel Fangio. Kimi is third with 100 points, aiming to win his first world championship ever. History favoured Alonso.

Hamilton makes a slow start and then a driver error on the first lap. Alonso plays Brutus, while Massa and Kimi go hand in glove. Kimi 2, Alonso 3, Hamilton 8. The difference in advantages lessen. Ferrari have a tactical advantage.

Hamilton's inexperience leads to over-strenuous driving leads to car revolting. He drops 11 places to 18 before the car decides to give him another chance. Now, he's driving with his back to the wall and everything to gain, after having lost everything he had to lose.

Kubica goes past a slowing Alonso. Suddenly, Kimi is galvanised into action.

A spate of second pit-stops puts Alonso back into third, but Kimi has smelt blood. He puts in some absolutely astonishing laps between Massa's and his second pit-stops. Result: He comes out 0.7 seconds ahead of Massa in the race lead.

Now Alonso has to get past Massa to win the title. Hamilton is flying at the back of the order, but he needs to get all the way upto 6 to win the title. Advantage Kimi.

Kubica and Rosberg in 4 and 5 come achingly close to taking each other out as they battle for position. If that had happened, Hamilton would have gotten the trophy on a platter.

In the past, something has always gone wrong for Kimi. He's always been so near, yet so far. Today was a day of accidents. Whether it was the pit-crew behaving like bowling pins or cars getting up close and personal with other cars and the walls. But thankfully, everything fell in place for Kimi today. 1 point separated the top 3 drivers. Phew! Now that is close.

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