Hamilton survives F1 carnage to stand victorious !!
Amidst the on track chaos, in
one of the most eventful F1 races in the world history of the event,
McLaren driver, #22, Lewis Hamilton from Great Britain stands like a
gladiator at the top position of the podium, after taking out the title in
40 degree heat and disintegrating cars all around him !
Reveling in the joy of the victory, he still looked oblivious to the drama that was the 2008 Formula 1™ ING Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, Australia.
With a record number of drivers withdrawing from the event, only seven remained to cross the finish line of the 58 lap race.
Hamilton had defeated his closest opponents, BMW's Nick Heidfeld and Williams' Nico Rosberg by 5.4 and 8.1 seconds respectively.
Heidfeld in second place and Rosberg in third also drove a well disciplined race that saw them dodging the battle behind them by Renault's Fernando Alonso and Hamilton's McLaren team mate Heikki Kovalainen.
Honda's Rubens Barrichello battled the chaos of a day to finish in sixth place. Taking a heavy penalty for allegedly leaving the pit lane under red light, and running over one of his crew in the process, the Italian was able to remain focused enough to be amongst the seven to complete the race.
Rosberg's team mate, Kazuki Nakajima was the last of the seven cars to finish the race, and was awarded three points for doing so.
In a freak and still controversial event though, Nakajima collided with BMW's second driver, Robert Kubica whilst the safety car was still on track and the field in recovery of a previous spill. Although Nakajima was obviously able to recover and continue, Poland's Kubica was not so lucky and was very disappointed to have to withdraw so late in the race and with an impressive run.
Toro Rosso's Sebastien Bourdais was awarded two points for his eighth place but he too fell victim to the carnage of the day when his engine blew towards the final laps of the race robbing the impressive rookie of what may have very likely been a fourth place.
Probably the greatest disappointment of all, certainly for the outspoken Lauda who did not hold back criticism, was Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen who appeared more novice than world class driver. Perhaps the heat, the removal of traction control and the pressure from the Italian camp, were too much for the veteran who spent more time on the astro turf than on the bitumen! When team mate Fillipe Massa retired at lap 30, Ferrari for the first time had no entry in the race to head towards the finish line.
In conflicting reports, Ferrari picked up either 1 point or none by the race end.
Toyota's Timo Glock saw most of Lap 45 when he launched his car into the air at the exit of a corner and crashed into the grass! With car disintegrating, the young German walked away with nothing more than a bruised ego and spanking from his team manager!
Drivers, David Coulthard, Takuma Sato, Nelson Piquet, Jarno Trulli and Adrian Sutil, followed Mark Webber, Jenson Button, Anthony Davidson, Sebastien Vettel and Giancarlo Fisichella, in withdrawal after being ivolved in incidents which began from the very first lap!
KISS ROCKS THE '08 F1GP
Meeting their fans expectations, the veteran and legendary rock band KISS gave the stuff of champions in a show that rocked the 2008 Formula 1™ ING Australian Grand Prix!
The 100,000 strong crowd cheered and sang along to every line of the classics that made KISS one of the world's premium rock bands through the 70's and 80's !
With pyrotechnics and explosions that rivaled the heat on the track and the disintegration of the cars, KISS laid down a rocking set of their greatest hits!
Flamboyant Bass guitarist, Gene Simmons lived well up to his reputation by climbing up high on the rig to spit blood and perform bass solo's, whilst Paul Stanley and Ace Frehely bounced guitar licks back and forth in stereo sequenced to further explosions!
Whether or not this is the last F1GP at Melbourne's Albert Park, remains to be confirmed ... Whether or not the event moves to Sydney in '10 also is an unknown ... but one thing is for sure; as the crowd in excess of 100,000 would testify, and the drivers themselves would acknowledge, this was the most memorable Grand Prix in the history of the event!
Formula 1 Results