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Page last updated at 09:51 GMT, Monday, 3 November 2008

Glock helpless on Hamilton pass

Timo Glock
German Glock finished 10th in the 2008 drivers' championship

Timo Glock insists he did not hand the Formula One world title to Lewis Hamilton after the Briton dramatically overtook him on the last lap in Brazil.

That pass was critical, giving Hamilton the fifth-placed finish he needed to become the youngest ever world champion in the final race of the season.

But the German told BBC Radio 5 Live his decision not to change tyres as the rain began to fall ultimately cost him.

"It was a hard race," he said. "I tried my best to get some points for Toyota."

Ferrari's Felipe Massa thought he had won the world title as he crossed the line in front of his home Brazilian fans at Sunday's Grand Prix with Hamilton in sixth.

But, in a dramatic finale mere seconds later, Hamilton overtook Glock's Toyota - slowing because he was still on dry tyres despite the falling rain in the closing laps - to clinch the fifth place he needed, and with it the driver's championship by just one point.

"Six laps from the end I asked about the tyre situation and about the weather conditions, and I said every time 'I'll stay out, one more lap, one more lap' and at the end I stayed out for the whole race," explained Glock.

As we went through that last lap, we could see Glock falling back and the predictions were we would catch him but, until we did, we were nervous to say the least

Martin Whitmarsh
McLaren chief operating officer
"That last lap just cost us the chance to be in the top five, and in the end (decided) the world championship.

"I think at the end I didn't give the title to Lewis - I think they worked for that the whole year, and Felipe as well.

"They both did a really great job all year and in the end it was a dramatic finale.

"I think it's exactly what the fans want to see - maybe the Brazilian fans are not on my side any more but I tried my best and drove my race, and in the end I can't change it."

F1 tyres have an optimum operating temperature, and when they drop below that they rapidly lose grip, which dramatically slows lap times.

The teams have GPS maps showing them the exact location of all the cars at all times and Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren's chief operating officer, said the team's computer data was telling them Hamilton would catch Glock on the final lap.

"At the end, we could see the rain coming, the pressure was building, we know how slippery and difficult it is in those conditions and we made, I think, all the right calls," he said.

"But we had to believe in ourselves that we had made the right calls, that we shouldn't have taken big risks defending against a charging Vettel, who had none of the pressure Lewis had.

"It was super-disciplined to believe that, in not out-and-out fighting and potentially losing it with Vettel, in the course of that final lap we would catch Glock."

He added: "But it's one thing having that belief and that view. Once you get into that last lap you start to wonder if you've got it right.

"We were obviously telling Lewis throughout that what was happening so he knew he had to keep it together, not panic, not do anything dangerous with Vettel and just to do his job to catch Glock and win the world championship.

"As we went through that last lap, we could see Glock falling back and the predictions were we would catch him, but until we did, we were nervous to say the least."

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see also
Last-gasp Hamilton takes F1 crown
02 Nov 08 |  Formula One
Ecstatic Hamilton revels in glory
02 Nov 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton destined for greatness
02 Nov 08 |  Formula One
How will Hamilton's life change?
03 Nov 08 |  Formula One
Feeling the tension at Interlagos
03 Nov 08 |  Formula One
Rollercoaster race to the F1 crown
02 Nov 08 |  Motorsport
As it happened: Brazilian Grand Prix
02 Nov 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton's rise to the top
18 Jun 07 |  Motorsport

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