Congratulations once again to Lewis Hamilton, the 2008 FIA Formula One World Champion.
In Britain an audience of 8.75 million watched this race (average taken over the 3 hours of coverage), that’s 41.3% of the total viewing audience during that period. It reached a peak of 13.05 million (50.9%) although the article doesn’t state when this was (I think we can guess!).
These percentage figures are absolutely brilliant! Brazil always gets good figures due to it being one of only a few prime time races and it being the season closer – yet this is unheard of. It usually gets 6 mil and the afternoon European races get 3.5m. This race recorded the highest figures of ITV’s entire 12-year tenure as broadcaster of F1 in this country.
A few other notables, and this is where I go unashamedly patriotic since we don’t often get the chance in sport.. Hamilton is:
- the youngest ever F1 champion at 23 years, 9 months and 26 days. This beats the record set in 2005 by Fernando Alonso at 24 years, 2 months and 17 days, I seem to recall Alonso beat Emerson Fittipaldi’s long-standing record which had held firm for thirty years or so.
- I believe he is the first black champion of any major motorsport series globally.
- the 30th F1 champion.
- the 9th British champion, and this is the 13th championship won by a British driver.
- the 7th English champion, the 8th won by an Englishman (okay so he’s only half-English).
(for completeness the other 5 titles were won by Stewart and Clark, both Scotsmen)
- the 6th champion to win it in a McLaren (others: Hunt, Lauda, Prost (x3), Senna (x3), Hakkinen (x2)).
- the 8th champion to win it by a single point (others: Hawthorn 1958, P.Hill 1961, Surtees 1964, Hunt 1976, Piquet (Sr) 1981, M.Schumacher 1994, Raikkonen 2007). The 1984 title was decided by 0.5 points which is the smallest margin in F1 history, it came about after a race was aborted and half the available points were awarded.
- the 2nd driver to win the title in only his 2nd season, the other was Jacques Villeneuve.
- this was the lowest winning total since 2003, which was the last time it was won with less than 100 points.
This was Ferrari’s 16th Constructors title, their 8th in the last decade! That’s how dominant they were with Schumacher. Note that this title has ‘only’ been awarded since 1958, eight years after the Drivers title.
With thanks to Michele Merlino’s stats review at Autosport.com. Check it out, although you may need a subscription, I’m not sure as I get the full website free as a subscriber to the print mag.
Make sure you vote tomorrow! Stand in line all day if you have to. I’ve heard forecasts of a 90% turnout in some places which is just crazy. They are worried about getting everyone done before closing time so don’t leave it late unless you have to. Take it from someone who’s just had Tony Blair’s replacement foisted upon him with no election – VOTE! I might have voted for Brown if I’d had the chance, I’d just like the chance. Our system sucks sometimes.
I’m not going to tell you which way to vote, or which way I would vote if were American. I’d love to but can’t and won’t.
Good Luck. I’m convinced this is closer than the media is making out – anything can happen.
EDIT – yay :-)