31-40: Italy 2008-Spain 2009
31-40: Fast facts
Wins 1 (China)
Poles 2 (Japan, China)
Fastest laps 1 (China)
Laps led 53
Brazilian Grand Prix (71 laps), Interlagos – November 2 2008
Lewis enters the season finale needing to finish a minimum of fifth, even if world championship rival Felipe Massa wins the race. That’s exactly what happens, but it doesn’t go exactly to plan: after two unprompted rainshowers, Lewis leaves it incredibly late to seal the title, passing Toyota’s Timo Glock for fifth place on the final corner of the final lap. Cue jubilation in the pitlane and messages of congratulations from the Queen and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. It’s an utterly epic result – and probably the most exciting title denouement in F1 history.
Lewis looks back
“This was such a crazy day. You cannot believe how much pressure I felt on my shoulders over that weekend – everyone wanted to make sure the race weekend was as normal as possible, but there was a heavy load on everyone, especially because the stakes were so high.
“The rain at the start just threw a massive curveball at our preparations – it sort of summed up the craziness of the whole weekend. In those final laps, I never gave up even though I knew it was an uphill struggle. Even now, though, it’s sort of remembered as a blur, those final laps all seem to merge into one and I just remember passing Timo in a blur, getting the car corrected out of the final corner and just nailing the throttle – partly out of fear and partly out of relief.
“When I crossed the line, that’s when my world went crazy. Just an unforgettable feeling.”
Career so far: wins 9; poles 13; fastest laps 3; laps led 615; points 216