'It was one of the toughest races of my life'

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The Independent Online

Anthony Hamilton was lost for words after son Lewis claimed the Formula One World Championship at the end of the Brazilian Grand Prix. The Briton was sixth just seconds from the end of the race but edged into fifth ahead of Timo Glock to claim the title by one point from Brazil's Felipe Massa at Interlagos.

Hamilton becomes the youngest world champion and his father said: "I can't say [what I'm feeling]. I can't find any words – it's absolutely great."

With many of the Interlagos crowd booing the result, he added: "That's a shame the crowd is doing this – they should be fair sportspeople. Oh well – on to the next one." The 23-year-old himself was similarly speechless, saying: "Amazing, I can't get my breath back. It's impossible to put into words. It's been such a long journey with loads of support from back home.

"I was struggling to keep ahead of Vettel and then he overtook me but on the last turn I managed to get past Glock and it was incredible. It was one of the toughest races of my life. As I crossed the line I was thinking do I have it? Do I have it? It's a dream to repay the faith of McLaren."

A naturally disappointed and emotional Massa said: "We've had ups and downs and we've paid for that. Sometimes you have a perfect year with a reliable car, and then sometimes you have these ups and downs, and that has been our championship. Everybody has worked hard, with heart, and they've done a great job.

"But we have to congratulate Lewis. He did a great championship, he scored more points than us, and he is a great champion. But I'm proud and I'm leaving the track with my head held high, although with mixed emotions. I'm proud about the team.

"We won the race and we have to be proud of that, but missing out by one point – that's racing. We need to be proud of our race and our championship. You learn how to win and to lose. It's one more day of my life, and I will learn a lot from it, but right now I am very emotional."

Interlagos Details and championship standings

* Race

1 F Massa (Br) Ferrari 1hr 34min 11.235sec

2 F Alonso (Sp) Renault 1:34:24.533

3 K Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:34:27.470

4 S Vettel (Ger) Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:34:49.246

5 L Hamilton (GB) McLaren-Mercesdes 1:34:50.135

6 T Glock (Ger) Toyota 1:34:55.535

7 H Kovalainen (Fin) McLaren-Mercedes 1:35:06.235

8 J Trulli (It) Toyota 1:35:19.635

9 M Webber (Aus) RedBull-Renault 1:35:30.835; 10 N Heidfeld (Ger) BMW-Sauber +1 lap; 11 R Kubica (Pol) BMW-Sauber +1 lap; 12 N Rosberg (Ger) Williams-Toyota +1 lap; 13 J Button (GB) Honda +1 lap; 14 S Bourdais (Fr) Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1 lap; 15 R Barrichello (Br) Honda +1 lap; 16 A Sutil (Ger) Force India-Ferrari +2 laps; 17 K Nakajima (Japan) Williams-Toyota +2 laps; 18 G Fisichella (It) Force India-Ferrari +2 laps.

Not classified: 19 N Piquet Jnr (Br) Renault 0 laps completed; 20 D Coulthard (GB) RedBull-Renault 0.

*Drivers' standings

1 Hamilton 98pts (champion); 2 Massa 97; 3 Raikkonen 75; 4 Kubica 75; 5 Alonso 61; 6 Heidfeld 60; 7 Kovalainen 53; 8 Vettel 35; 9 Trulli 31; 10 Glock 25; 11 Webber 21; 12 Piquet 19; 13 Rosberg 17; 14 Barrichello 11; 15 Nakajima 9; 16 Coulthard 8; 17 Bourdais 4; 18 Button 3.

*Contructors' standings

1 Ferrari 172pts (winners); 2 McLaren 151; 3 BMW Sauber 135; 4 Renault 80; 5 Toyota 56; 6 Scuderia Toro Rosso 39; 7 RedBull 29; 8 Williams 26; 9 Honda 14.