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Brazilian Grand Prix
Interlagos, Brazil, 2 November 2008



Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the Formula One world title

Britain's Lewis Hamilton has become the youngest world champion in Formula One history.

Ferrari driver Felipe Massa won the season's final race in Brazil, but fifth for the 23-year-old was enough to send his McLaren team and watching family delirious.

BBC Sport gathers the reaction to his phenomenal achievement.

DAMON HILL, BRITISH 1996 WORLD CHAMPION

"That was the most exciting Formula One race I have ever seen in my life and it was for the world title. We are going to put on the biggest party for him at the British Grand Prix next year.

Hamilton triumph great for Britain - Hill

"You have to feel a little for Felipe Massa. He did everything asked of him in front of his home crowd but it was not to be. I feel sorry for him but it has been such a great day. Lewis has pulled it off and I think he will go on to win many more world championships.

"It will be very interesting to see the effect. Lewis is a new character in F1 and he's going to carry the sport into new areas.

"There will be a lot of kids out there who will now just want to be Lewis Hamilton."

ANTHONY HAMILTON, LEWIS'S FATHER

"This is the culmination of 16 years of hard work. Hopefully this will be an inspiration for other families and kids. When we started we had nothing, no money.

"But after a lot of hard work we are top of the world. It shows it can be done. Hard work, dedication, respect to your family, respect to all people, fantastic.

"To be honest, I thought it was over. I thought it was gone. When he did cross the line I didn't know he had won it. I had to go by what everyone else was doing.

606: DEBATE
FOUR1NINE

"They were jumping up and down, and so I assumed we must have got something.

"But they were absolutely the worst few minutes of my life. For a number of laps I turned away. I couldn't watch.

"But I believed in God. I believed that right would come through - now, where's Timo [Glock, who Hamilton passed at the last corner to secure the fifth place he needed to win the title]? I want to give him a kiss."

GORDON BROWN, PRIME MINISTER

"I, like so many, want to congratulate him on becoming world champion. I think the whole country is thrilled by his exceptional talent.

"The whole of Britain is now congratulating him, and is proud of the inspirational achievement of Lewis and the McLaren team. "

DAVID CAMERON, CONSERVATIVE LEADER

"Congratulations to Lewis Hamilton who has made everyone in Britain so very proud.

"One of the most dramatic races in Formula One history ended with the right man winning the world championship.

"Lewis is not just the youngest ever winner of the championship he is now officially a British sporting legend and a role model for what you can achieve if you follow your dream."

SIR JACKIE STEWART, THREE-TIMES WORLD CHAMPION

"Lewis will be a worthy British world champion. He's had a fantastic season. There's no reason why he can't win more. He's with probably the best racing team in the world.

"He's a very lucky boy to be there so early in his career with the team's support, skill, resources and technology behind him. He's a man with exceptional talent and raw skill."

JOHN WATSON, 1982 F1 CHAMPIONSHIP THIRD-PLACE

"I have never seen a finish like that in any Grand Prix. The Ferrari team were already celebrating victory. Talk about drama.

"Please, Lewis Hamilton, if you are going to win another championship, make it easier for us! Lewis is remarkable.

"To achieve what he has at that age. He does not just drive the car - he wrings its neck, and that is what a racing driver is supposed to do.

"We have now got a real role model and he will also be a worthy world champion."

SIR STIRLING MOSS, FOUR-TIME F1 RUNNER-UP

"It was absolutely staggering. I thought the whole race was terrific and I think the right man won, Massa deserved it, and Lewis won the world title in a tremendous finish.

"He's a racer. When you watch the way he drives, it's exciting because he gets on with it.

"He's tremendous on braking and he conserves his car, he's good in the wet, good in the dry - he's a remarkably good driver."

RON DENNIS, McLAREN TEAM BOSS

"He is very special. He has not just won a world championship, he is the youngest ever world champion and he has done it so well. Every statistic over the last two years, he has beaten.

"He has still finished this season with more points than any other driver over the last two years. So he deserved to win the world championship."

DAVID COULTHARD, RED BULL & EX-MCLAREN DRIVER

"I think I played a part. He was the young guy for many years at McLaren when I was racing there - the young apprentice if you like - and he's gone on to achieve what I never managed to achieve.

"I'm not jealous of success - I admire it, because I know how difficult it is. Unquestionably he deserves this championship."

JOHNNY HERBERT, FORMER F1 DRIVER

"It's good to see people looking up to a British driver for a change and wanting to do exactly what he's doing.

"I think we have a very good driver in this country for a change that is a long way ahead of everybody else at this moment in time."

MARK HUGHES, HAMILTON'S BIOGRAPHER

"He knows exactly how good he is and any world class racing driver needs that.

"He's very grounded, very close to his family - they're very much a part of his world.

"He enjoys the life of a being a succesful star, but he's a kid from a Stevenage council estate and so it's impressive for him. I don't think there is any danger of that impacting on his performances."

POP STAR NICOLE SCHERZINGER, HAMILTON'S GIRLFRIEND

"He is a fantastic driver. Where does the winning mentality come from? Only God knows that because he gave him the gifts, but besides that he is a real hard worker.

"But it was so tough late on. I almost did collapse in the garage. I couldn't calm down, nor could Nicholas [Hamilton's brother]. We just both kept screaming at each other. I can only thank God for that moment when Lewis crossed the line as champion."

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see also
Feeling the tension at Interlagos
03 Nov 08 |  Formula One
Last-gasp Hamilton takes F1 crown
02 Nov 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton's rise to the top
18 Jun 07 |  Motorsport
Rollercoaster race to the F1 crown
02 Nov 08 |  Motorsport
Reaction to Hamilton's F1 title
02 Nov 08 |  Formula One
Ecstatic Hamilton revels in glory
02 Nov 08 |  Formula One
Brazilian Grand Prix photos
02 Nov 08 |  Formula One
Coulthard says farewell to F1
02 Nov 08 |  Formula One
As it happened: Brazilian Grand Prix
02 Nov 08 |  Formula One


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