The 2008 F1 Title Fight – Hamilton vs Massa – The Math – Who needs what to win

Hamilton vs Massa - Who will laugh after Brazil ?

Hamilton vs Massa - Who will laugh after Brazil ?

The 2008 Formula 1 championship fight is going down the wire. Same as last year Lewis Hamilton goes into the final race with 7 points lead. The difference is that this year he has only one rival left and he does not need to fight with his team mate. I would say that on paper this makes Hamilton’s job much easier than in 2007. However we have seen this season on several occasions how unpredictable Formula 1 can be and that anything can happen. So let’s have a look what Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa need to do to stand a chance to win the title and what they should not do to help each other.


Lewis Hamilton

- If Hamilton finishes 5th or better the title is his no matter what Massa does.
- If Hamilton finishes 6th he needs Massa to finish 2nd or worse
- If Hamilton finishes 7th he needs Massa to finish 2nd or worse
- If Hamilton finishes 8th or worse he needs Massa to finish 3rd or worse

Felipe Massa

- If Massa wins he needs Hamilton to finish 6th or worse
- If Massa finishes 2nd he needs Hamilton to finish 8th or worse

What happens if there is a tie ?

If Massa and Hamilton finish the season with same points (Massa wins, Hamilton 6th or Massa 2nd, Hamilton 8th) the title would go to Massa as he would have either more wins or more 2nd places to his name (currrently they are tied – see table below).

2008 Formula 1 - Felipe Massa vs Lewis Hamilton

  AU MA BA SP TU MO CA FR GB GE HU EU BE IT SI JP CN BR
FM DNF DNF 1 2 1 3 5 1 13 3 DNF 1 1 6 13 7 2 ?
LH 1 5 13 3 2 1 DNF 10 1 1 5 2 3 7 3 12 1 ?

What are the odds Massa can pull it off ?

For me as long as there is a chance, the odds are always 50:50 – he either can or can’t do it. But let’s see what the 2008 results say:

- Massa won and Hamilton finished 6th or worse – happened twice – in Bahrain and France

- Massa finished 2nd and Hamilton finished 8th or worse – hasn’t happened yet this year

- Massa won – happened 5 times – Bahrain, Turkey, France, Europe, Belgium
- Hamilton 6th or worse – happened 5 times – Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Japan

- Massa 2nd – happened twice – Spain and China
- Hamilton 8th or worse – happened 4 times – Bahrain, Canada, France, Japan

So, the “perfect result” that Massa would need in Brazil only occured twice this season but Massa has won 29.5 % of 2008 F1 races so far and Hamilton finished 29.5% of 2008 F1 races 6th or worse :-) .

n

{democracy:36}


Photo: Daimler Media

One Comments Post a Comment
  1. KotenokNo Gravatar says:

    Well, following your 2008 statistics, the only one who seems to ride with fresh gearbox is Kimi. He has nothing to lose, but he can’t repeat the surprising title victory from last year :-P Heikki will use is for second time, and both Felipe and Lewis for the 3rd time. If the gearboxes fail this time, it should be on McLaren’s cars, they had serious problems with the gearboxes the past years and historically they used to fail in the hottest moments.

    About the motors my view is different. Both Ferraris will ride new motors, and I believe this last weeks everything has been checked more than ever HEHE. Both McLarens will ride second cycle motors, which doesn’t look that bad if to count that Lewis just needs to be 5th or some carom that happens by pure chance to Massa. If the motors fail this time, it should be on Ferrari’s cars. Even if their motors are extremely powerful and developing the best top speeds, the new V8 motor designs seemed to be not that long-lasting as before and the mistake of mounting parts with production issues could repeat if already happened several times this season.

    Anyway, the whole season seemed that the great difference between both team’s forces was that gadget used on the McLarens for limit top revs while the gear shifting pads where pressed (pretty clever). And the design of aerodynamics has been already spotted as the biggest mistake of the 2009 season car, the underbody and plank have been suggested to have design errors.

    The forces are mainly still very equal between both teams. Let’s see how the drivers manage with the pressure then :-)

    Kotenoks last blog post..ex-race-marshal

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