It all came down to the final turn on the final lap of the final race in what was a thrilling climax to a fantastic championship battle this year. There were no big mistakes from Lewis Hamilton as he took the chequered flag in fifth position to claim the Formula One World Championship.

Felipe Massa dominated the final race of the season from the pole position, but trailing Hamilton by seven points heading into the race, it was always going to be an uphill struggle for the Ferrari star. However, it could not have been a more dramatic finale...

"The most dramatic race of my whole life," said the 2008 championship winner. "It’s pretty much impossible to put this into words: I’m still speechless. It’s been such a long journey, but I’ve always had the support of my family, the team, our partners and the fans. We did a fantastic job throughout the whole year and, with all the sacrifices we made, I’m so thrilled to be able to win this for everyone."

"Sebastian got past me and I was told that I had to get back in front of him," Hamilton continued. "I couldn’t believe it. Then at the very last corner I managed to get past Timo - it was just amazing. This was one of the toughest races of my life, if not the toughest. I was shouting, ‘Do I have it? Do I have it?’ on the radio. It was only when I took the chequered flag and got to turn one that the team told me I was world champion. I was ecstatic.

Hamilton’s title success - in just his second season in the sport - breaks McLaren’s streak of championship frustration nine years after its last success with Mika Hakkinen. Ferrari meanwhile has secured the constructors’ championship from McLaren making it an astonishing seven championships from the last nine years.

It was a tense final race of the year as right up to the chequered flag on lap 71, it was not clear who would be crowned as champion. A rain shower ahead of the formation lap saw the start of the race delayed ten minutes and Massa promptly led away from pole position and was never seriously threatened for the race win. The rest was in the hands of Hamilton, McLaren and in the end, Toyota.

After the initial rain showers the circuit soon dried out but late in the race a second shower really threw the race for the title into confusion. With two laps to go, Hamilton ran wide and Sebastian Vettel slipped through into fifth position and at that point it was Massa who would be crowned champion. Massa took the chequered flag believing he had taken the ultimate prize, but behind the drama was still not over...

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Massa takes Interlagos, Hamilton takes the title!

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