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Top ten F1 drivers: Second place.

After asking you to vote for your leading drivers from the 2008 Formula 1 World Championship season, the time has come to start the countdown to the driver you voted the top star of 2008.

Over the next ten weekdays, we will be revealing the top ten in reverse order, with the winner being revealed on Friday, 28 November.

More than 45,000 votes were cast in the F1 poll, with each driver's average score out of ten then being calculated to decide the winner.

F1 Driver of the Year – Second place:

Name: Felipe Massa
Team: Ferrari
Car: Ferrari F2008
Wins: 6
Podiums: 10
Pole positions: 6
Fastest laps: 3
Championship points: 97
Championship position: 2nd

Felipe Massa both won and lost the 2008 Formula 1 World Drivers' Championship on the final lap of the final race of the season in front of his adoring home fans in Brazil – but despite the crushing disappointment that ultimately befell him, he will arguably emerge an even stronger driver still because of it in 2009.

The Brazilian entered the campaign in most observers' eyes as the number two at Ferrari to reigning world champion team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, the Finn having largely had the measure of the sister scarlet pilot for the majority of 2007. Though Raikkonen again began the year looking the quicker out of the blocks of the pair, whilst his challenge soon ran out of steam, Massa rapidly proved that he was in it for the long run – and developed into the title contender few had genuinely thought he was capable of being.

A collision with the Red Bull Racing of David Coulthard in the curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne followed by a spin whilst endeavouring to keep pace with Raikkonen a week later in Malaysia left Massa with nul points on the board, however, and just two races into the campaign an ignominious start had again brought the critics out in their droves.

Then, however, came Bahrain – where the São Paulista was the defending winner, and where he impressively overcame his jittery opening to the season to once again stamp his authority on proceedings with a flawless victory to get his challenge off the mark. There followed a trio of further rostrum finishes – including a third successive triumph in the Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul, a race that Massa has all-but made his own since 2006 – and all of a sudden the man who only a matter of weeks earlier had been written off altogether was back in the fight with a vengeance.

Ironically, it was Raikkonen's bad luck in having to surrender first place to his team-mate in the French Grand Prix mid-season with a loose exhaust that seemed to be the catalyst to ignite Massa's own push for glory, and propelled the 27-year-old into the lead of the drivers' standings. From that point onwards, the Finn would not triumph again. The Brazilian did so three times.

Over the second half of the campaign, Massa became embroiled in a fraught scrap with McLaren-Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton for the drivers' crown, the pair of them more often than not the class of the field and increasingly turning the title chase into a two-horse affair. Both men endured the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune on more than one occasion, and both at some point or other became drawn into the media frenzy that closely tracked their battle.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari F2008 Wins, Brazilian F1 Grand Prix, Interlagos, 30th October 2008-2nd, November, 2008
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French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard
Lando Norris, McLaren Autosport BRDC Awards [Credit: Martyn Pass PR]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
27.11.2016 - Race, Celebration, 2nd place Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid and Champion 2016 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner

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Shrieker - Unregistered

November 27, 2008 12:33 PM

No he means "the" Hamilton in Monza (despite qualifying very low), in Monaco (despite clipping the barriers and busting a tyre early on), in Silverstone. Never ever seen any kind of spectecular drives like these from Massa.He can go really fast when he's at the front, but tbh that's what he only does.Hamilton sure did make silly mistakes this year.But so did Massa.

smon - Unregistered

November 27, 2008 11:59 AM

Firstly,all F1 drivers are the best in the world. When Massa is in the lead,yes he drives like a champion,but if something goes wrong or he qualifies 6th or 7th i havent seen that killer instinct to put pedal to the metal to charge through the field like Alonso or Hamilton.For example,the night race where the pit stop went wrong ,after that he drove like a muppet and caused an accident(was it Sutil?,i forget) and remember the first races of the season where he wasnt very good.Lets not forget,he had the best car and a few points given to him and he still couldnt win the WC.He was gracious in defeat though.



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