Relive the Unbelievable F1 Duel Between Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen at Spa 2008

Published 01/08/2020, 8:43 AM EST


The 2008 Belgian Grand Prix was quite possibly going to go down as a classic, mostly because of the duel between Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen. Once the Finn was past his teammate, Felipe Massa, he set about hunting down Hamilton for the lead.

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He eventually took over at the front when the McLaren driver dropped the ball in the pouring rain and spun off. The only bright spark was that Hamilton lose just one place, as Massa was too far behind. For the next 15 laps, it was time to bust out the popcorn as Raikkonen and Hamilton swapped fastest laps several times as the gap between them shrunk.

Then, the difficulty was cranked up even higher, as rain began to fall and the two race leaders found themselves as the stars of an impromptu ballet performance. There were several spins from other drivers, which Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton had to dodge.

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Raikkonen then dropped it again at the exit of Blanchimont and found himself buried nose-deep into the barriers. With that, all dreams of a fourth consecutive win at Spa was washed away by the rain.

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By now it was raining heavily and, Hamilton and Massa  were forced to tiptoe around the track and avoid the fate that befell Raikkonen.

However, there was even more drama after the race as Massa was declared the winner after Hamilton was penalized. As it turned out, the stewards hauled him up for cutting a vital corner late in his thrilling, wet duel with defending world champion Kimi Raikkonen.

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Hamilton had a 14.4 second gap to Massa when he crossed the finish line in a dramatic race, however the British driver was hit with 25 seconds for his illegal manoeuvre.

According to the FIA, Hamilton “cut the chicane and gained an advantage” which quickly allowed him to take the lead from Raikkonen.

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Dhruv George

12001 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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