It happened today – 7 September

On 7th September 2008, Felipe Massa won the Belgian Grand Prix. It was a win that came with a delayed celebration, because actually first past the chequered flag was Lewis Hamilton, who was later penalised for having cut the last chicane on the track, while duelling with the other Ferrari driver, Kimi Raikkonen. In fact, it was the Finn who dominated the race up until the final three laps, when the rain returned to have its say. The leading three decided to stay out on dry tyres, but as the track surface got progressively more slippery and cold, Hamilton in the McLaren was flying. The Englishman managed to catch Kimi, after which the two of them went at it hammer and tongs for almost an entire lap. It only ended when the Ferrari driver lost control of his F2008 and ended up in the barriers. Felipe tackled the final kilometres in very circumspect fashion, managing to get to the finish unscathed, while Heidfeld was closing on him fast, having switched to rain tyres on the penultimate lap, as the rain had increased in intensity.

It took more than an hour after the finish for the final decision to be delivered, which handed Felipe the most surprising win of his career. “I’ve often said that the races are never over until the official results sheet is published and today, that proved to be the truth,” commented Domenicali with a smile, as he left Spa.