Shamik Das

Monday, November 03, 2008

Ham the man brings home the bacon

Hold up the front page: The hot sheets reflect the relief of a nation

LEWIS HAMILTON became the youngest-ever Formula One world champion last night in one of the most dramatic climaxes in sporting history.

The British driver overtook Toyota's Timo Glock on the final corner of the final lap to clinch fifth place and win the world championship by just one single point from Ferrari's Felipe Massa.

Hamilton shot past Glock after being passed by Toro Rosso's Sebastian Vettel with two laps to go as the German - on dry tyres - slowed down enough for Hamilton gun down the home straight and make history, the first black driver becoming the first black world champion.

"It's pretty impossible to put into words," said the 23-year-old from Hertfordshire. "It was one of the toughest races of my life - if not the toughest.

McPower: The McClaren Mercedes F1 car    Lew beauty: Hamilton holds the Union flag in celebration

"It's been such a long journey and I'm so speechless. After all the sacrifices we've made I am so thrilled to be able to do this for everyone.

"It was absolutely fantastic, an amazing achievement on one of the most troubled days. It was such a hard race and I'm ecstatic, very emotional, very thankful for my team and my family and everyone who has supported me.

"I have done enough and we made it. I can forget everything else. I need to rest because my heart is on edge. I want to shout out to all my supporters at home - I love them all."

The race had everything, passion, patriorism and purpose - everything the Stanford match lacked the previous evening; sport at its best, its unpredictable, unbelievable and unbeatable best.

ITV: Re-live Lewis's roller-coaster ride to the title
March 2007: Hamilton's dream debut


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