Hamilton’s title: press reaction

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Here’s what the British newspapers had to say about Lewis Hamilton’s world championship victory:

For all the detractors, no one can say Lewis Hamilton doesn?t deserve to be champion – “Hamilton has been a polarising figure in all sorts of ways since he arrived in Formula One, but none of his detractors can dispute his right to be champion.

“It is not just that he has finished on top of the standings this year ? he has proved the most consistent driver over his first two seasons in the sport. He has a points haul of 207, which puts him 16 ahead of Massa, 22 in front of Kimi Raikkonen and 37 of Fernando Alonso. Those who question his calibre should chew on that.” (Matt Dickinson, The Times)

This is first of many says Hamilton as he becomes youngest champion – “Perhaps there was no greater tribute than the one paid by Alonso, who arrived in the McLaren garage to congratulate the man who had just taken his title as the youngest champion in formula one history. The two have been viewed as bitter enemies since they clashed while both were in the McLaren team last season. ‘Well done,’ the holder of the 2005 and 2006 titles said, putting his arm around the shoulders of the newly crowned champion.” (Richard Williams, The Guardian)

In the lap of the gods as last-gasp Lewis snatches title in nail-biting finale – “‘They were absolutely the worst few minutes of my life. Where’s Timo? I want to give him a kiss.’ Hamilton Snr hugged his son.” (Jonathan McEvoy, Daily Mail)

With this layer of authority he can now become a great – “Now he has won his first title, and there is no reason why he cannot add several more to join the great figures of the sport’s post-war history. It is certainly not beyond the bounds of possibility that he will overtake Sir Jackie Stewart to become the first of Britain’s nine world champions to take the title more than three times. By winning it 12 months after virtually throwing it away in a display of callowness, he will have added a layer of authority to his already remarkable confidence.” (Richard Williams, The Guardian)

Seconds to spare as Hamilton snatches glory – “This one still had a sting in the tail. The skies grew darker from the 60th lap and it began to rain again. The stage was set for the most dramatic of finales.” (David Tremayne, The Independent)

Ferrari mistakenly believed Massa beat Hamilton to title – “Their faces suddenly dropped, confusion replacing elation, and when the news was passed on to Massa in his car, the Brazilian began to cry, knowing how close he had come.” (Giles Mole, Daily Telegraph)

Final lap drama sees Hamilton snatch world title – “The crown changed hands so quickly between the Englishman and his title rival Felipe Massa that the Brazilian, his family and the huge crowd were celebrating his championship when Hamilton seized it back 20 seconds from the finish line.

“Cheers turned to tears in an instant as they realised that Hamilton, at 23 years and 301 days old, had managed to take fifth place and had won the title with 98 points to Massa?s 97.” (Bob McKenzie, Daily Express)

From last-lap Lew-ser to hero – “They call Sao Paulo ‘a city like no other’. The city where Hamilton?s great hero Ayrton Senna lies in eternal rest in a quiet cemetery high above downtown Morumbi. And the city where now Hamilton, youngest champion at 23 years and 301 days, has been confirmed as his mortal heir.” (Steven Howard, The Sun)

I DIDN’T KNOW I’D WON IT – “Super-Brit Lewis Hamilton survived the toughest race of his life to be crowned the youngest-ever world champion last night.” (James Murray, Daily Star)

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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8 comments on “Hamilton’s title: press reaction”

  1. He didn’t win it , in fact as was predicted by many , he (and probably McLaren more to blame for being too conservative) lost it when Vettell passed him on the final lap. But of course Glock stuck his car in reverse gear or something similar , to lose 18 seconds , and that allowed Lewis past. That said , I still congratulate Lewis , him ending up 7 points ahead by the penultimate race after a year with ups and downs for both contenders , tells the story better than the end result itself.

  2. What a race, and many true comments from the press, indeed. Heck, there was even a 5 minute report on Dutch Radio 1!

    However, I’m inclined to say that Massa would have been no less a deserving champion than Hamilton is, and yesterday’s race proves it.

  3. Mussolini's pet cat
    3rd November 2008, 10:46

    Jean, this is hilarious. Lewis get’s lambasted for showing his impetuousness at certain races (Japan), then criticized for driving too conservitively at Brazil! You just can’t win can you… Hold on, he did!!! WOOO HOOOOOOO. May this be the first of many championships…

  4. The most undeserving champion in the history of F1. Forget winning many championship, he can not even remain competitive if Mclaren loses it’s pace even slightly. He is not at all a great driver, at best he can be compared to Jaques Villeneuve. Lewis is the example of being in right place at right time.

  5. David Watkins
    3rd November 2008, 11:51


    He’s 23 years old. You talk about him as if he’s a veteran and cannot possibly improve.

  6. It will be interesting to know what the Brazilian and the Spanish press made of Hamilton winning the championship ;)

  7. schumi the greatest
    3rd November 2008, 22:17

    already the british press are asking if he can beat shcumachers records…give the guy a break.

    and the times are asking if britain will ever love hamilton the way hill & mansell were….hill was a gentleman…mansell was arrogant just like hamilton….but hamilton will be more successful.

    just 24 hours after the best moment in young lewis hamiltons life already the british press are preparing his downfall…and what for?? all because hes now a multi-millionaire with a pop star girlfriend. good luck to him he deserves all the success he gets for all them weekends he spent with his dad karting while his peers found girls and booze.

    to all the hamilton haters prepare for the global domination if hamilton as the worlds largest brands use him for advertising. hah

    3rd November 2008, 22:31

    hamilton is the luckiest driver he should give Timo Glock a call for giving him the championship.

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