Lewis Hamilton wins the 2008 F1 title and becomes youngest world champion

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Hamilton broke Alonso\'s record to become F1\'s youngest world champion
Hamilton broke Alonso's record to become F1's youngest world champion

Lewis Hamilton has won the 2008 F1 world championship after finishing fifth in the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Hamilton has become the youngest ever driver to win the F1 world championship. Aged 23 years and 301 days, he has beaten Fernando Alonso’s record of 24 years 59 days which was set in 2005.

Hamilton is the ninth different British driver to win the world championship and his is the 13th title win by a British driver:

Countries’ champions

1. Britain 13 (Mike Hawthorn, Graham Hill (2), Jim Clark (2), John Surtees, Jackie Stewart (3), James Hunt, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, Lewis Hamilton)
2. Brazil 8 (Emerson Fittipaldi (2), Nelson Piquet (3), Ayrton Senna (3))
3. Germany 7 (Michael Schumacher)
4. Argentina 5 (Juan Manuel Fangio)
=5. Australia 4 (Jack Brabham (3), Alan Jones)
=5. Austria 4 (Jochen Rindt, Niki Lauda (3))
=5. France 4 (Alain Prost)
=5. Finland 4 (Keke Rosberg, Mika Hakkinen (2), Kimi Raikkonen)
9. Italy 3 (Giuseppi Farina, Alberto Ascari (2))
=10. United States 2 (Phil Hill, Mario Andretti)
=10. Spain 2 (Fernando Alonso)
=12. New Zealand 1 (Denny Hulme)
=12. South Africa 1 (Jody Scheckter)
=12. Canada 1 (Jacques Villeneuve)

McLaren’s champions

Hamilton is the seventh different driver to win a world championship for McLaren, joining Emerson Fittipaldi, James Hunt, Niki Lauda, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna and Mika Hakkinen. The seven won 12 drivers’ titles in total for McLaren.

But Hamilton is only the second British driver to win a title for McLaren – the first being Hunt.

Lewis Hamilton biography

57 comments on “Lewis Hamilton wins the 2008 F1 title and becomes youngest world champion”

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  1. @Filipe
    Well very interesting observation, but at the same time, while the old points system was being used, the stewards were not influencing the results as they are now, so Hamilton would probably have kept the Spa win and finish 5 pts ahead.

    Congratulations to Mclaren, after all they’ve been through, I think they truly deserve this win.

    Kubica almost cost Mclaren the championship. He seemed to overtake Hamilton and pause momentarily.

    In all was a very wicked outcome, unfortunately we can’t have 2 winners.

    The tension was just so much, I’m just numb. We all had a feeling Lewis might win it, but we were still surprised that he did.

  2. I don’t think its nice to laugh at anyone. I had no relative on the track, well none that I know of, but I can imagine how overwhelming the prevailing circumstance must have been for the families at the circuit.

  3. michael counsell
    2nd November 2008, 22:25

    Great race. Mclaren and Hamilton were a bit too conservative but just about pulled it off. His Dad needs to give him a bit more space though…

    Massa drove a great race and was really dignified and appreciative. He did everything in his power but he knew all along that all he could do was win and he did, whiel Hmailton did all he needed too. You could not have scripted it.

  4. Congratulations to Hamilton.
    I am an spanish fan, huge Alonso fan, and after all the things that happened (or did not happen) between them, all the scandals with the spanish press, etc, well… well done Lewis.
    He won because he was the fastest in most cases, as simple as that.
    And thanks to all the guys and the weather for a rollercoaster race. Even my girlfriend enjoyed the race thanks to all the drama!
    I just read a lot of comments from Spain (ooops, it nearly makes me a bit ashamed of being spanish) with conspiracy theories about Timo Glock, it doesn’t sink easy that Hamilton… well… was very fast all year. Anybody who does not understand what happened to Timo Glock in the last lap makes it very clear how much they like and follow F1.
    Great race!
    Congrats Lewis!

  5. Oliver, I was not trying to diminish Hamilton’s win at all. It’s obviously be much different had we be under the old system (including he being much more agressive today). It’s just a fun stat and it had to happen someday.

  6. I am just so glad the Massa didn’t win with a margin that could have been accounted for by the Bourdais/Fuji penalty. I didn’t agree with the Spa penalty but have accepted it as a marginal call and moved on. The Bourdais incident is a completely different matter though. It was a terrible penalty and I would have been disgusted if those points alone allowed Massa to take the title.

  7. Chris Johnson
    3rd November 2008, 1:37

    In spite of the FIA, officialdom, and his own team’s tactical blunders, he pulled it off. I enjoyed this more than any championship since Piquet won in ’83. This is why I stick with the sport, even after all of the crap of the last couple of years. I still think the FIA is biased, and the people running the sport just don’t get it, but it’s races like this one that make it all worthwhile.

    Congrats to Lewis, Felipe and even Ron!

  8. Lustigson – I’m still pro-medals :-)

    Ade –

    Kudos though, to Felipe Massa for being such a gracious and dignified loser in the press conference.

    Hear, hear.

    Throttle – Where was the luck then?

    Gaz – Glad you’ve enjoyed it. I’m not shutting up shop for the winter though, we’ve an intriguing off-season ahead…

    DMW –

    The footnote to this race, if we need any further proof, is that Sebastian Vettel is for real.

    Good point. And, Alonso will surely be in a Renault next year, and could well be facing down his arch-rival who now has the number one on his car…

  9. Hip Hip Hooray!!!! The best man has won!!! Now I have to go and nurse myself back to health after a near heart attack. Phew! That was close. Well done Lewis, you so deserve the little bit of luck you received today and well done to Massa for being so gracious in defeat as everyone has mentioned. What a thrilling end to a tense season.

  10. schumi the greatest
    3rd November 2008, 9:02

    unbelievable, it was as though it was scripted. after over 1500 laps of racing it came down to the final corner to decide the championship.

    when vettel went past my heart was pounding so fast i thought it was going to break through my chest lol il never forget brundle’s words: “is that glock oing slowly…it is..thats glock”

    the most intense end to any sporting event ever…well done to hamilton the guy is pure class…and its good to see that even when he becomes a world champion he didnt forget his family and team.

    massa has gone up in my estimations this year, he is a top line driver but hes also a dignified loser, the pictures of him crying after show just how much he wanted it. im sure hel get another chance.

    also…even alonso crongratulated hamilton in an interview with itv

  11. Wow what a finish to the championship. I was a bag of nerves throughout the race. Then when Vettel passed Hamilton I was cursing the FIA because it looked like the Spa and Fuji penalties would decide the championship. But then the complete turn around in emotions in the last few corners when Hamilton passed Glock is what sport is all about.

  12. MASSA IS A SPORTING LOSER MY ASS! He was implying all week before the race how he would be a worthy champion – that this title was clean if he had clinched it.

    Wat the hell is he thinking? Did he forget how his points tally got a few automatic top-ups from FIA and Mosley thru zero efforts of his own? Crying at the end of the race was his acknowledgment that even with FIA’s help, he couldnt win the title.

    That said, i hope the stewards get their retribution for being corrupt Ferrari boot-lickers. And Mosley for his well, Hitler impersonations on tape.

  13. Thank goodness justice has been served…

  14. Congratulations to Hamilton for a great season. Comisserations to Massa who would also have been deserving also.

    Ecstatic that Ferrari won the WCC though, I have to say

  15. Filipe, point taken as to Vettel. Even McLaren fans must recognize that Dennis would not really favor a driver who is not his protege.

    But Ron must realize that he lost the WCC this year because driver #2 disappeared one too many times. Personally I think Ron should put Trulli or Heidfeld in that car: someone who is quick, consistent, mature, but without an unreasonable sense of championship destiny. You know, Barichello is looking for a job.

  16. DMW, when it started to look that Kovalainen problems were more than lack of luck, I did start to tell friends that if Dennis was smart he would let Heidfeld fullfill his fate and finally got a McLaren seat. So I’d agree that someone like him would be perfect (I’d say Webber would be my #2 choice). Trulli at McLaren is a funny idea, at least we would finally know how real the Trulli train is. Imagine the possibilities: get both McLarens light and let Lewis disappear in front while Trulli does what he does best and Kimi, Massa and Alonso all ends stuck behind him for half the race.

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