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By Karl Williams


Sunday, November 2, 2008.


The races for the Formula One Drivers and Constructors Crowns have been tough and at times bitter over the past eight months. Today, we have the last race of the season and the air is filled with the usual high tension and great anticipation as we hold our breaths for history to be made again at Interlagos in São Paulo, Brazil.


As local boy Felipe Massa takes his third successive Brazilian pole position, he could also become the first Brazilian since the legendary Ayrton de Silva Senna to be crowned Formula One champion if his nemesis Lewis Hamilton doesn’t finish in the top six.


From the performance during the first and second qualifying sessions over the weekend, the quickest cars were the McLaren’s and it was thought that this would be the day that Heikki Kovalainen who was stunningly quick, might claim pole position, acting as rear gunner to Lewis and mixing it with Kimi and Massa.


Alas, the Ferrari team came good when it really mattered to take the top spots, although a lighter fuel load in the red cars may be a thorny issue with the first schedule pit stops.


As weather forecast suggests a 60% chance of rain in São Paulo today, we might have that cocktail of a dry and wet race just to add a little spice to the atmosphere. If it does rain, we can expect lots of action on this very bumpy and technical track, which is hard work even on a dry day, as was the case a few years ago when Massa spectacularly crashed his Benetton.


To claim the championship, Massa has to win today and even if he does, Lewis only has to come fifth to become the youngest Champion ever to be crowned. Judging by his form and having lead for all but two races in the points throughout the year, and with such consistency it would be an uncharacteristic formality if Lewis didn't win the championship today.


And if Lewis does win, he can be pleased to have done so in the home of his idol - the greatly-admired Ayrton Senna.

Karl Williams is a London-based freelance journalist and motoring correspondent for The New Black Magazine.

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