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As it happened: Showdown at Interlagos
By Geoff Creighton and Emlyn Hughes
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
13:00 Hello and welcome to Live for showdown at Interlagos, as we approach the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Today we will be bringing you updates and news from the circuit in the build-up to the title decider, a look back at the qualifying hour, analysis of the key players in today's event, along with live text commentary of the race itself.

We will be keeping a close eye on the weather today, as rain is threatening to fall this afternoon to add yet another element to the pressure cooker of the title decider.

13:05 The talk all week has centred on the championship battle between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa, but also on the forecast of rain for the race.

Mainly cloudy conditions with some sunny spells greeted the teams and drivers arriving at the Interlagos circuit early this morning, but to the south and west, the large swathes of cloud cover and rain are slowly moving towards the circuit.

The latest satellite sequence provided by INMET of Brazil (click 'Animacao' to animate) shows two large areas of cloud bringing the rain. The first area to the south of Sao Paulo is extremely slow moving, but is gradually working its way northward - towards Interlagos. To the north west, another area of cloud, also bringing rain, is moving in an easterly direction, again towards the circuit.

This regional radar image vividly demonstrates the rain moving in the direction of Sao Paulo.

The weather is closing in, and during the last hour the cloud cover has become more overcast. Currently the air temperatures is 21 degrees Celsius with the track warming up to 23 degrees and climbing. There is a stiff breeze blowing, which will cause the drivers problems this afternoon, and also bring that rain closer and closer to the circuit.

13:10 You can join in the fun in a live debate with other forum members as the action unfolds.

The burning question of the day is very straightforward. Will Lewis Hamilton become the 2008 FIA Formula One world champion, or will Felipe Massa take the crown on home soil?

Click the SHOW LIVE FORUM link in the red bar at the bottom of your browser window if you'd like to add your views on the race.

13:20 Support race action has already been entertaining the crowd at Interlagos.

The Formula BMW Americas championship closed the day yesterday with their first race of the weekend and the final round of the championship has been held this morning.

American Alexander Rossi has dominated the points battle and the 17-year-old from Nevada City once again impressed in front of the Formula One teams.

The Trofeo Maserati has also been on the bill and their race is currently wrapping up on track.

Fernando Alonso, fastest on Saturday morning13:35 Saturday produced two very interesting periods of practice and qualifying, with the battle between Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa shifting up a gear in front of a large partisan crowd.

We went into final practice with Hamilton seemingly on the back foot, struggling after problems in Friday's sessions, while Massa had a Ferrari F2008 that was on song. No one was quite sure how this was going to pan out, which of course was half the fun.

The third and final practice session took place under dry and partly cloudy skies and, once the regular installation laps were completed - race weekend engines and gearboxes by now in the cars - it was the Force India duo who got the ball rolling, putting some times on the board. The rest soon followed, and once the early runs were completed, Hamilton was marginally ahead of Massa.

The soft tyre runs at the end of the session resembled a mini qualifying session. Sebastian Vettel jumped up the order, and the championship-battling duo also improved - Hamilton again shading Massa, this time by one tenth of a second. But, far down the timing monitor, Fernando Alonso in 17th was turning the screen purple, as he stormed round the 2.677 mile Interlagos circuit on his soft tyre run. The double world champion topped everyone with a lap of 1:12.141, demoting Hamilton to second, with Heikki Kovalainen in third and Massa fourth.

Alonso tops final practice in Brazil

From practice - and with the weather and track conditions improving all the time - we moved into a tense and exciting qualifying session, with an hour of drama to decide the grid order for this afternoon's showdown.

Jenson Button stopped on trackThe first 20-minute period of qualification saw, predictably, the two Force Indias fail to make the cut, however, a slight surprise was in store as both Williams were also eliminated with poor showings. Jenson Button completed the elimination list in Q1, finishing 17th. On his lap back to the pits, his Honda stopped on the run up the hill at Subida dos Boxes, towards the pit entry.

Rubens Barrichello impressively made it through to the second phase of qualifying, but both he and compatriot Nelson Piquet were eliminated, with the only major surprise in the middle period being Robert Kubica. The Pole was unable to improve on his final run and wound up 13th. David Coulthard - participating in his final Grand Prix this weekend - was 14th. He was joined on the sidelines by his Red Bull teammate, Mark Webber.

This left the Toro Rossos, the Toyotas, Nick Heidfeld, Fernando Alonso and of course the two Ferraris and McLarens to battle it out for the pole in a frenetic ten-minute shootout.

Felipe Massa was peerless, quicker on both the first and second runs on soft tyres. Lewis Hamilton struggled on his first run following a mistake, and fared little better on his second attempt. The Briton was well short of Massa's pace. Kimi Raikkonen slotted into second, and for a brief moment it looked for all the world like we would have a Ferrari lockout on the front row. However, no one foresaw the emerging Jarno Trulli in his Toyota. The Italian fired in an amazing 1:12.737 to snatch a front row spot alongside Massa.

So it is Massa who starts today's race from pole position, with Trulli second, Raikkonen third and championship leader Lewis Hamilton fourth.

Massa grabs Brazil pole, Hamilton fourth

13:44 Weather Update: The weather is continuing to turn above the circuit. The sky is becoming more and more overcast with rain not far away to the south west, and continuing to move towards Interlagos. There is now a shower almost reaching the circuit, as shown on the local rain radar.

The air and track temperatures have rocketed in the last two hours with the sunny spells that were around earlier this morning. The air temperature, measured on the timing system, has risen to 28 degrees Celsius with the track temperature now a very healthy 34 degrees.

13:50 The final support race of the day is an encounter for the GT3 Cup Challenge Brazil 2008.

Constantino de Oliveira Junior won the race on Saturday afternoon, closing the gap to championship leader Miguel Paludo.

After supporting Formula One this weekend, the series goes on to a final pair of races at Jacarepagua in December.

13:57 Drops of moisture are now falling around Interlagos. It is very similar to Friday's rain at the moment, extremely light and not enough to wet the circuit at this stage, but the weather is continuing to turn for the worse.

14:12 A very light shower of drizzle continues to move over the circuit. The track surface is now just slightly damp, with the track condition now similar to what we saw during the light rain on Friday - i.e only barely damp.

We should stress at this stage that this is a passing shower, and behind this the weather looks a bit brighter for the next hour or so.

Fernando Alonso in the S do Senna14:18 There are several drivers at the front of the grid this afternoon who could play a role in the destination of the world championship.

Fernando Alonso starts the Brazilian Grand Prix from sixth place today, directly behind Lewis Hamilton (fourth), and many have pondered the incentive for the Spaniard to send a move up the inside of a McLaren, or two, on the downhill run towards the Senna S, immediately after the lights go out.

Speaking to the media in the paddock after qualifying, the Renault driver doubts that he can live with the pace of the leading cars during the race.

"To be honest, it is difficult with the Ferraris and the McLarens to get the podium," said Alonso. "Also Toyota seems to be quite in a good shape here, so it's more difficult but nothing is impossible and the race here, anything can happen. Also we saw problems for all of us with the soft tyre so tomorrow the race is long and you need to be there.

"I think they are a little bit too quick to be in the middle of them. I think only Toyota maybe is at the level to be fighting with Ferrari and McLaren. We are struggling a little bit. In Q2 I was P9, so just for one position I make (it), and in Q3 I think six is our maximum but will be difficult to have something more than that."

Alonso and Hamilton will both be starting from the dirty side of the track when the five lights go out. Although the perception is that the dirty side won't provide the ultimate grip off the line, the left hand side does put you on a good line for the inside of turn one.

Asked if he can overtake the McLarens at the start, Alonso said: "Not many chance, I think, we've been a little be worse than the McLaren (on starts). In China, I start fourth, Heikki fifth, and he overtook me at the start so we always have a little bit problems there, so I expect tomorrow to have more a defending position to Vettel to an attacking because it will be difficult to start as good as them (McLaren).

"We all try to drive our race, its logical, but for them (title contenders) it is difficult because they need to take care a little bit more. I was in that position in 2006, I only arrive here needing one point, and you take care a little bit more because it is no time to risk. But for the others, it's not a big problem."

The race today is scheduled for 71 laps but the opening lap - like last year's title decider here - could be the one that everyone is discussing at the end of today.

14:23 Weather Update: The light drizzle has eased off at the circuit in recent minutes, leaving things overcast.

All eyes are now on a far more substantial area of rainfall, shown here on a regional weather radar, as it moves very slowly in the direction of the circuit.

Jarno Trulli starts from second place on the grid.14:40 The wild card in the opening stages of today's Brazilian Grand Prix is none other than Italian driver Jarno Trulli, who grabbed a sensational front-row starting spot in Saturday's qualifying session.

The Italian arrived in Brazil earlier this week suffering from 'flu, but over the last 48 hours has recovered from the worst of his illness. After the conclusion of qualifying, he spoke at length about his condition in the build-up to the race

"As you know, I don't give up," said Trulli. "I'm well prepared physically and unfortunately on Thursday I was feeling really, really bad. So I have to thank the doctor and the whole team because they look after me, they gave me some time to recover. At one stage, on Thursday, for the first time in my life, I thought I couldn't make it for Friday but instead I was able to jump in the car and then the rest was easy because the car was handling pretty well from the beginning. We adjust the set-up, so with little details the car looked competitive straight away."

Starting from the left hand side of the grid, the Italian will have a clear track directly in front of him, with Felipe Massa slightly in front to the right (on pole), therefore the Toyota driver has a golden shot at the inside line into the first complex of corners after the start.

"I'm here to fight, so the first corner will be as normal," he said. "Of course I won't take any risk, there is 71 laps to do and the final result is the most important, not the first corner. I want to get out of the first corner, I want to make a good start, if possible score big points. You never know that a win can come here.

"Pole position is where you are ahead of everybody else. There is still a little bit to do, but today just shows the progress that Toyota has made through this period so I'm really happy for everybody, I'm happy for myself. I keep believing in this project and keep fighting."

Asked if he has his car prepared for a wet race, based on relatively slow speed trap figures and hence high downforce levels, Trulli said: "We will see, I can not comment on that."

The comment was interesting, and with rain expected for the race, he could indeed have taken a risk on a wet set-up. Time will tell, of course, whether his qualifying performance is set-up or fuel load induced, or simply a stunning performance from a qualifying specialist, but it certainly throws yet another variable into the mix - a variable that the championship contenders could do without.

15:07 Weather Update: The weather situation continues to develop to the west of Sao Paulo, while at the circuit the overcast skies remain, with no rain falling currently.

Looking ahead to the next few hours, the satellite image from Brazil's National Institute of Meteorology (INMET) shows the problem that the teams are facing as we look towards the race (click Animacao to animate).

To the west of Sao Paulo, a stream of cloud and rain is on the move. The line of cloud is very slowly sliding in a north west direction, towards the state of Sao Paulo.

One of the outlying showers from this band of rain has already crossed the circuit, and as the band inches its way towards Sao Paulo, more of these showers are likely between now and the end of the race.

15:13 The Renault team have been out en masse in the pitlane for an end of year photo.

Fernando Alonso, Nelson Piquet and third driver Lucas di Grassi sat on the wheels of the R28, with the rest of the race team standing behind the car.

15:22 The next event on the track is the traditional drivers' parade, with Felipe Massa set to get a rapturous welcome from the crowd.

15:31 The drivers' parade is now underway, with the expected cheers for Felipe Massa from the fervent Brazilian crowd.

15:37 The parade of drivers continues with the open top truck rounding the 2.677 mile Interlagos circuit to huge cheers.

Just before the parade, traditional end of term drivers' photograph took place on the start-finish line, with the large enthusiastic crowd in the grandstand cheering their heroes.

The most noise is of course reserved for local boy Felipe Massa. It is a fervent atmosphere down on the grid and if the two championship protagonists were not nervous before, they will be now as the start time gets closer.

Following the photo with all the drivers together, Massa and Hamilton were pictured together smiling ahead of their battle this afternoon.

15:43 The drivers parade has concluded, and the crowd - already whipped up into a frenzy by the appearrance of the drivers - went wild as Jarno Trulli and Felipe Massa waved to them with Brazilian flags.

Felipe Massa15:50 Felipe Massa blazed a trail to clinch pole position by a healthy margin in qualifying at Interlagos on Saturday.

The Brazilian has one objective today in the biggest race of his life: win the Brazilian Grand Prix for the second time in three years and hope that Lewis Hamilton does not finish in the top five. That is the main bullet point that could see Massa become Brazil's first champion since Ayrton Senna clinched the 1991 world crown in Suzuka, Japan.

The 1:12.368 set by Felipe on his final qualifying run was only 0.493 seconds slower than his mark in the second period of qualifying, perhaps hinting at a lighter load of fuel in his F2008 compared with his rivals. Nevertheless, it was an excellent performance and one that sent his home crowd wild in celebration.

Massa spoke at length in the paddock after the qualifying session.

"I think it is a great feeling", said the Ferrari driver. "Coming here and scoring the pole position is definitely a great feeling. For the third time in a row. A fantastic lap, we are a fantastic team, fantastic car. Anyway, for more than that, fantastic people all around, so it's very special.

"I think we did a great job. For sure, it is extra motivation. When you get here and see that your car is behaving very well and you see that the people, Brazilian people, you try to change even extra power in the car."

The hopes and dreams of a nation with motor racing in their blood are being soaked up admirably by Massa, who has taken everything in his stride throughout the week. Now he hopes that he can go just one step further and bring the FIA Formula One World Championship back home to Brazil.

"You have to believe," he said. First of all we need to believe that we can win the race, we need to try to do our best to win the race and after that, it doesn't depend just from our self, it depends from the circumstance, so I think we need to think about our race, after that we see.

"When you have a big decision, a big final, it is always more interesting for the people. I think we did a fantastic championship. Winning at home is like winning the championship for me. I never win the championship, so I can not imagine how is the feeling but I won already here so I know how is the feeling, I would be very proud."

Asked if he thought his fuel load was too light in comparison to that of title rival Lewis Hamilton, Massa said: "I don't know because I don't know his fuel, but I don't think I'm too light."

Whatever the fuel load inside the tank of the F2008, Massa's job in the early stages is straight forward - use the starting advantage to the maximum, lead into turn one keeping away from any potential mishaps behind him, and pull out as big a gap as possible before the first pit stop.

Lewis Hamilton16:00 Lewis Hamilton goes into today's race with the same end result on his mind as Felipe Massa: go out and win the world championship.

The Briton hasn't enjoyed the best of build-ups to the event, struggling with durability of the softer tyres and continuous locking of the front wheels on Friday. A better Saturday morning practice session put Hamilton slightly quicker than his title rival Felipe Massa, but then in qualifying he could only manage fourth place behind the flying Brazilian, Jarno Trulli and Kimi Raikkonen.

Despite this, Lewis was reasonably happy with his performance in yesterday's battle for pole.

"I'm satisfied," said Hamilton. "I think it would be nice to be on pole for sure but, with the strategy we have and the package we have, I did two relatively decent laps and so I'm happy with the job I've done and I think we're going to be very competitive tomorrow for sure."

When asked about his rival Felipe Massa, Hamilton seemed reasonably assured of the relative fuel loads of the two cars.

"My guess is as good as yours, but he (Massa) looked quite light for me," said Hamilton. "We had to make a decision as a team and you know you don't know what the weather is going to be like tomorrow (Sunday), it looks great today, it might be bad tomorrow, who knows. Then also there is safety cars and everything so we've done the best job we can.

"By the looks of it, Felipe is obviously competitive but maybe light, we'll see, but for sure I have no worries about that and I'll just try to stick with them and do the best job I can and we'll see where we come. I think we're very, very close to them, perhaps, maybe a tenth (slower), but nothing worse than that, for sure."

Lewis will come down around the grid at the end of the formation lap and be confronted with a horror story. Directly behind him and eager to make a move will be Fernando Alonso. Slightly behind him to his left will be his teammate Heikki Kovalainen, starting on the clean side of the track, and ahead of him will be Jarno Trulli and the two Ferrari drivers, Raikkonen and Massa.

Speaking after qualifying, Hamilton did not seem to share the same sense of trepidation regarding the all-important start.

"The start tomorrow, I don't know if it is crucial or it's just important we get a good getaway and we don't lose any positions," he said. "If I can just hold my position, that's my goal, and then we'll just fight our way through the race and try and bring it home.

"It's not about being confident, it's about being comfortable and just hoping that you do a good job, so that's my plan tomorrow."

16:01 The news team at the Interlagos circuit tell us that a huge clap of thunder was heard very recently above the circuit.

The skies are darkening quickly once again, as further showers continue to move around the vicinity.

16:12 The volatile weather around Interlagos refuses to make up its mind as we move to within 50 minutes of the race.

Conditions remain dry but overcast with some extremely threatening clouds in view. It is a tantalising situation ahead of the most important race of the season.

Showers have been moving around the circuit, and several showers have bypassed the track in all directions in the last hour, as the latest local rainfall radar shows.

The threat of rain showers will continue throughout the afternoon.

16:22 The mechanics are now out on the grid, readying their equipment for the arrival of the cars. With the ever-present chance of a rain shower, the teams will have to be ready to react to any change in the weather conditions in the minutes before the start.

16:25 The pitlane will open in five minutes time, allowing the drivers on to the circuit for the first time today, as they check over their cars ahead of the race.

16:30 The pitlane opens at Interlagos and Lewis Hamilton is among the first to come out onto the racetrack.

16:31 Lewis Hamilton pulls out of the pit lane in his McLaren to take his car around to the grid.

16:32 As the cars tour round to the start/finish line, the mechanics pour out of the garages and head to the grid.

16:33 David Coulthard heads out of the pits in his Wings for Life liveried Red Bull. It is the Scot's final Grand Prix today.

16:35 Lewis Hamilton steps out of his McLaren on the grid, with 25 minutes to go before the decisive final race of the season.

16:35 Weather Update: The official weather forecast calls for a 50% chance of rain during the race.

16:37 The air temperature is 28 Celsius, with the track five degrees warmer at 33C.

16:38 The sunshine has broken through the clouds once again, giving a hazy feel to conditions as Felipe Massa's Ferrari is wheeled on to pole position.

16:41 The drivers are now out of their cars and immersed in final preparations for the race.

16:42 This is a time for the mechanics to make final checks to the cars on the grid. Neither championship contender can afford mechanical trouble today.

16:44 Ron Dennis shares a joke with Hamilton's race engineer Phil Prew.

16:45 Felipe Massa hops back over the wall from the pit lane and on to the grid. The recent sunshine has gone, with the clouds moving in again.

The pit lane has now closed with less than 15 minutes before the formation lap.

16:46 The Brazilian national anthem rings out over Interlagos.

16:50 The tension is clear on the grid as Lewis Hamilton paces around close to his car, with a towel draped around his neck to keep him cool, and talks with his engineers.

16:50 Felipe Massa stands calmly near his Ferrari, quietly pondering the next couple of hours where he could become the world champion.

16:53 Lewis Hamilton gets seated in the McLaren on a day where a fifth-place finish would make him the sport's youngest ever champion.

16:54 Charlie Whiting, the man who will start the lights sequence to get this race underway, stands at the control desk, his eyes firmly focused on the field of 20 who will soon take the start.

Overhead, more clouds are rolling in towards the circuit as the skies darken once again.

16:55 There are five minutes to go before the formation lap gets underway in Brazil. The tension is huge, with the world championship to be decided this afternoon.

16:56 Rain is falling sufficiently to affect grip levels.

16:57 A huge rain shower is hitting the grid!

16:57 Once again it comes down to the final race of the season. The two combatants, Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa have key objectives to achieve in the opening laps.

Massa: Get a good launch off the grid and lead the race on the opening lap.

Hamilton: Stay out of trouble in the opening laps.

16:58 The start has been delayed.

16:58 There will be a ten minute delay, with the formation lap getting underway at ten past the hour.

An immense deluge is now hitting the track.

16:59 The rain has eased in the last minute.

17:01 The sun is now showing through on the grid, with the intermediate tyre currently looking like the rubber to use for the start.

However, unless it rains again, the track will dry quickly.

17:01 The delay to the formation lap will allow for safety reasons teams to change the tyres and wing settings. If they choose to do so will be another matter.

17:01 The cars are under a parc ferme condition, so there are only minor changes allowed - adjustments of the front wing and tweaks to the brake cooling.

17:02 The official weather forecast is for no rain in the next 30 minutes.

17:03 The track surface is completely wet on the start-finish straight and around the Senna S. Around the rest of the circuit conditions are wet, but beginning to dry out.

17:03 Fernando Alonso is told on his team radio that there will be no more rain in the next 40 minutes, according to the Meteo France rain radar.

17:04 This is an incredible development in Brazil, with a tricky decision to be made on the tyres to use at the start. The dry rubber looks a difficult prospect at the moment, but with the sunshine out, the track is drying quickly.

17:05 Tyres are being changed on Massa's Ferrari, with five minutes to go before the delayed start.

17:06 The safety car pulls away from the field and there is plenty of spray from the Mercedes as he goes through the Senna S.

17:06 However, at the distant end of the circuit along the back straight, the surface is quite dry. The middle portion of the lap is, however, quite wet.

17:07 This is a critical moment for the championship contenders, where the wrong tyre choice could be disastrous for their chances.

17:08 Felipe Massa puts his gloves back on, as he remains extremely concentrated ahead of the start.

17:09 The formation lap is less than a minute away.

17:09 There are intermediate tyres on Hamilton's McLaren.

17:10 Felipe Massa is also using intermediate rubber.

17:10 The formation lap is finally underway at Interlagos. The cars leave the grid and kick up the spray from the wet tarmac.

17:11 The whole field seems to have chosen the lightly-treaded tyres for these first few laps.

17:11 Felipe Massa leads the pack towards the Ferradura and towards the infield section of the circuit.

17:11 Robert Kubica may have gambled on a dry tyre for the start.

17:12 Massa exits the Juncao and leads the other 19 cars towards the grid.

17:12 The front two rows stop in their gridslots, and we are ready to go with a standing start on a damp track.

Robert Kubica comes into the pits!

We await the lights ...

Lap 1: The five red lights go out and the showdown commences at Interlagos!

Lap 1: Felipe Massa gets a very good start and leads Jarno Trulli safely into the Senna S.

Lap 1: Into the middle part of the first lap it is Massa from Trulli, Raikkonen, Hamilton and Vettel.

Lap 1: The safety car has been deployed.

Lap 2: David Coulthard and Nelson Piquet have been involved in an incident exiting the Senna S on the first lap.

Lap 2: What a shame for Coulthard, who is out of his final race in Formula One.

Lap 2: The order is Massa, Trulli, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Vettel, Alonso and Kovalainen behind the safety car.

Lap 2: The Red Bull of David Coulthard is winched away over the barrier into the exit of the pitlane, as the disappointed Scot trudges back to the pits.

Lap 2: Kovalainen had a poor opening lap. Having held back the pack from teammate Hamilton into turn one, he was passed by both Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso as the lap continued.

Lap 3: The track continues to dry as the field tour behind the safety car.

Lap 3: Replays of the start show that David Coulthard was on the inside going into turn two and simply lost control of the Red Bull on the slippery kerbs. He spun at once nto the path of Kazuki Nakajima who was unable to avoid contact with him.

Slightly ahead of this incident, Nelson Piquet lost control of his Renault in a separate spin.

Lap 3: Fernando Alonso reports that the track is quite dry, except in the opening corners of the Senna S.

Lap 4: Giancarlo Fisichella has been into the pits, and has rejoined, still in 18th and last position.

Lap 4: Despite the drama, it has been a clean start for both championship contenders. Felipe Massa leads, with Hamilton in fourth.

Lap 4: The safety car will pit at the end of this lap.

Lap 5: The safety car comes into the pitlane and we are racing once again.

Lap 5: Kimi Raikkonen has a look at Jarno Trulli into turn one but there is no move from the Ferrari.

Lap 6: Replays show Heikki Kovalainen trying to get a place back from Fernando Alonso at the restart. He couldn't make it stick through the second part of the Senna S and remains in seventh.

Lap 7: Lewis Hamilton's immediate concern is the Toro Rosso of Sebastian Vettel on his tail.

Lap 7: Giancarlo Fisichella changed tyres during the safety car period, moving onto a set of dry tyres, but the Italian is extremely slow on them and losing several seconds on the rest of the field in the first two sectors.

Sector three however is good enough for dry tyres and the Italian is running at a competitive pace in the final portion of the lap.

Lap 7: Felipe Massa is pulling away at the front of the Brazilian Grand Prix and now has a 1.8 second lead over Jarno Trulli.

Kimi Raikkonen is harrying the Toyota.

Lap 8: Fisichella is now only slower than the rest of the field in the first sector of the lap. He loses three seconds per lap there and is running well in the other two sectors.

Lap 8: The track continues to dry and at some point will begin to harm these intermediate tyres. The teams will hope that point comes around their planned time for the first pit stop.

Lap 9: Kimi Raikkonen is all over the tail of Trulli's Toyota and surely will soon have the Ferrari up in to second.

Lap 9: Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button come into the pits. Both take on dry tyres and they rejoin in 17th and 18th positions.

Lap 9: Nick Heidfeld passes Mark Webber for tenth position going into the Senna S. A nice move up the inside under braking and the German takes the place.

Lap 10: Felipe Massa is escaping at the front as Jarno Trulli begins to hold up a train of cars including Raikkonen, Hamilton, Vettel and Alonso.

Lap 10: Bourdais, Glock, Sutil and Nakajima are all into the pits for dry tyres.

The race will take some time now to sort itself out as these early stops occur for dry tyres.

Lap 10: The leaders are looking for the water on the pit straight as Vettel and Alonso pit for dry rubber.

Lap 11: These stops will put the leaders under pressure to gamble on dry rubber as soon as they feel they can stay on the road.

Lap 11: Felipe Massa pits from the lead for dry tyres.

Lap 11: Giancarlo Fisichella is now flying up the classification as the rest of the drivers come in for dry tyres. The Italian is now 12th and gaining places on every lap.

The Italian is just 33 seconds off the leader, who pits.

Lap 11: Trulli, Raikkonen and Hamilton have continued on the intermediates for another lap.

Lap 11: Felipe Massa is now fourth and begins to warm up and feel out the grip on his dry tyres.

Lap 11: Fisichella takes more places on the next lap as another four drivers come into the pits. The order is changing rapidly in the early stages of the race, and Fisichella is now in ninth place in the Force India.

Lap 11: Trulli and Raikkonen pit, along with Lewis Hamilton.

Lap 12: Kimi Raikkonen jumps Trulli's Toyota, with Hamilton coming out just behind.

Lap 12: However, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso are through as they pitted early for dry rubber.

Lap 13: The pit stops shake the order radically as Felipe Massa fights to keep his Ferrari on the road.

Lap 13: Lewis Hamilton is through on Trulli's Toyota as the Italian has a huge series of moments in the first corner.

Lap 13: Kazuki Nakajima has spun at turn one. The Japanese driver is 17th and loses five seconds on his latest lap.

Lap 14: These are critical times for the title contenders as they tip-toe around on the dry rubber.

Lap 14: Lewis Hamilton is sixth at the moment and has Fisichella's Force India ahead of him. The Italian pitted early for dry rubber and has lept up the order.

Lap 14: The order has now shaken out following those early stops for dry tyres.

Felipe Massa leads the Grand Prix, with Sebastian Vettel in second place right on his gearbox. Fernando Alonso is third, Kimi Raikkonen is fourth.

Giancarlo Fisichella who pitted for dry tyres when the safety car came in runs in a sensational fifth place, with Lewis Hamilton behind him in sixth.

Lap 15: Felipe Massa sets the fastest lap at 1:16.888 as he leads in Brazil.

Lap 15: Hamilton needs to make progress on Fisichella, as sixth is not good enough to clinch the title.

Lap 15: Behind Hamilton (sixth), Timo Glock is seventh, Sebastien Bourdais is eighth, Jarno Trulli is down to ninth with Nick Heidfeld tenth and Mark Webber in 11th place.

Lap 16: Lewis has a significant speed advantage over the Force India, but is being cautious with the damp patches at the first corner.

Lap 16: Heikki Kovalainen has had a disaster in the second McLaren and has dropped down to 13th position.

Lewis Hamilton therefore loses his teammate's help and will be forced to go it alone if he is to win the world championship.

Lap 16: Timo Glock and Sebastien Bourdais are now closing in on the tail of Hamilton as he looks for a move on the Force India of Fisichella.

Lap 17: Felipe Massa still has Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso tailing the Ferrari.

Lap 18: Hamilton sends a move on Fisichella, taking the chance on the wet part of the line. Lewis is fifth and back in a championship winning position.

Lap 18: It was a brave move from Hamilton as he risked all on the parts of the track that are still slippery.

Lap 18: The lap times are around three seconds away from full dry-weather times as the track continues to dry out, with the leaders lapping in the 1:15s bracket.

Lap 19: Sebastian Vettel is told on the radio that no more rain is expected. The winner of the Italian Grand Prix is right behind leader Felipe Massa and pushing hard.

Lap 20: Felipe Massa leads by a second from Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, with the leading trio in a close group.

Kimi Raikkonen runs alone in fourth, with Lewis Hamilton five seconds further adrift in fifth.

Lap 20: Timo Glock has also passed Giancarlo Fisichella for sixth position on the last lap, and the Force India is now losing pace and holding up Bourdais with Jarno Trulli closing in on this battle quickly.

Lap 21: Sebastian Vettel sets the fastest lap of the race as he gives leader Massa a hard time at the front. The is a sensational drive from the young German, who has nothing to lose if he goes wheel-to-wheel with Massa for the lead.

Lap 22: Jarno Trulli caught the Fisichella, Bourdais battle easily and immediately Jarno tries to send a move up the inside of Bourdais into turn one.

Trulli almost outbrakes himself and appears to force the Frenchman off the road. The stewards may want to take a look at the incident.

Bourdais rejoins after going across the grass in 13th place, whereas Trulli is through and in eighth position chasing Giancarlo Fisichella.

Lap 23: Felipe Massa continues to lead in Brazil while Lewis Hamilton is just in the position he needs to clinch the title - fifth.

Lap 26: Giancarlo Fisichella in seventh is maintaining position ahead of Jarno Trulli. Heikki Kovalainen is recovering through the field and has caught both of them to make this a three-car battle.

Lap 26: Timo Glock is keeping Hamilton's McLaren in his sights at this stage, with the championship leader lapping quite slowly at the moment.

Glock is 1.1 seconds behind Hamilton in sixth.

Lap 27: Felipe Massa sets a new fastest lap of 1:14.161 as he pulls to a one second lead over Sebastian Vettel. Fernando Alonso has fallen almost three seconds behind the lead pair.

Lap 28: Behind this three-car battle for seventh, Nick Heidfeld in 10th is latching on to the back of the group.

Mark Webber is three seconds behind Heidfeld in 11th, and the Australian has Rubens Barrichello and Sebastien Bourdais closing him down.

Lap 28: Sebastian Vettel pits his Toro Rosso and has been running low fuel since the first stop for dry tyres.

This will drop the pressure on Felipe Massa considerably.

Lap 28: Heikki Kovalainen has passed Jarno Trulli up the inside into the Senna S, to take over eighth position.

Lap 29: Kovalainen makes it two in two laps as he eases his way past the Force India of Giancarlo Fisichella for seventh place as they flash across the start-finish line.

Lap 29: Felipe Massa now leads by 4.2 seconds over Fernando Alonso. Kimi Raikkonen is third in the Ferrari, with Lewis Hamilton elevated to fourth and Glock to fifth.

Sebastian Vettel has emerged in sixth after a very short stint.

Lap 30: Sebastian Vettel rejoined after his pitstop in sixth position, and has Heikki Kovalainen 6.6 seconds behind him.

Lap 31: ITV report that Toyota didn't put additional fuel in Glock's car during the scramble for dry tyres.

Lewis Hamilton, who did take fuel in the McLaren, is now two seconds ahead of the Toyota.

Lap 31: Lewis Hamilton is replayed with a sizable lock-up into the first corner, doing some damage to his left front tyre.

Lap 32: Lewis Hamilton finds a surge of speed with the fastest lap of the race so far - 1:14.159.

Lap 33: Robert Kubica has not managed to make any headway through the field following his premature move to dry tyres prior to the formation lap.

The Pole came into the pits at the end of lap one to go back onto intermediate tyres, and finds himself bottled up behind Adrian Sutil. The pair have been fighting over 16th place for several laps now.

Lap 34: Felipe Massa continues to lead in Brazil but Fernando Alonso is not disappearing from behind the Ferrari. The gap is 4.2 seconds.

Alonso is told on the radio that his team think they have two laps more fuel than the Ferrari for the final pit stop, with the Spaniard once again looking at a chance for a very strong result.

Lap 35: The current standings are ideal for Ferrari in the constructors' championship. They will comfortably clinch the series if these positions are maintained.

Lap 35: Jenson Button comes into the pits from 14th position in the Honda. The British driver rejoins following a total pitlane time of 26.9 seconds.

Lap 36: Massa has pulled out his lead to 5.8 seconds, with the Ferrari now setting a very quick pace that Alonso is unable to match.

Lap 37: Meanwhile, for Lewis Hamilton in fourth, he still has Timo Glock's Toyota just 1.5 seconds behind the McLaren.

Glock pits, to the relief of the McLaren pit wall.

Lap 37: It is a slow stop for Glock as he is fueled to the finish.

Lap 38: Giancarlo Fisichella in eighth continues to hold off Jarno Trulli and Nick Heidfeld as the three of them continue to fight for track position.

Timo Glock rejoins following his pitstop in 14th position, behind the Williams of Nico Rosberg.

Lap 38: The Ferrari team are in the pit lane for a stop.

Lap 39: Massa pits from the lead for fuel and tyres.

Lap 40: Felipe resumes in fourth, behind Lewis Hamilton at the moment.

Fernando Alonso leads in Brazil but has yet to make his second stop.

Lap 40: Giancarlo Fisichella and Sebastien Bourdais come into the pits for a stop.

It's an enormously long stop for Fisichella with a problem there. His total pitlane time was 54 seconds.

The Bourdais stop appeared to be clean.

Lap 40: With wet tyres used at the start of the race, the drivers do not have to use both types of dry rubber today.

Lap 41: Fernando Alonso pits the Renault, one lap later than Massa.

Lewis Hamilton also pits in the McLaren.

Lap 41: Hamilton takes more of the harder tyres and continues, ahead of Jarno Trulli in sixth at the moment.

Lap 42: Rubens Barrichello pits from 11th in the Honda after a very good opening 40 laps of the race. The Brazilian rejoins and drops down the order.

Lap 42: Kimi Raikkonen leads for Ferrari, having yet to make his pit stop. Felipe Massa is second and will resume the lead once his teammate calls in the pits.

Lap 43: The unfortunate Giancarlo Fisichella, who was running as high as fifth at one stage earlier in the race, has dropped all the way down to 18th and last position following that problem with his recent pitstop.

Lap 43: This is head scratching time for the strategists as the early scramble to change tyres upsets the normal flow of pit stops.

Heikki Kovalainen is the latest man to stop.

Lap 43: Nick Heidfeld pits from ninth in the BMW, promoting Glock into that place. Heidfeld rejoins in tenth place.

Lap 44: Kimi Raikkonen pits from the lead, handing the advantage back to his teammate.

Lap 44: Raikkonen pulls out of the pit lane, a few seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

Lap 45: A long stint for Mark Webber has seen him move up through the field to sixth place. The Australian is due to stop soon however.

Lap 46: Jenson Button passes his teammate Rubens Barrichello for 11th place as the pair dive into the braking zone for the Senna S.

Adrian Sutil comes into the pits from 16th in the Force India.

Lap 46: The stops shake out with Felipe Massa leading from Sebastian Vettel by 4.1 seconds. Fernando Alonso is a further 3.2 seconds behind the leader.

Kimi Raikkonen is fourth in the Ferrari, with Lewis Hamilton holding on to the championship advantage in fifth, 2.7 seconds behind the 2007 champion.

Lap 47: The Renault team believe that Sebastian Vettel does have to stop again after the Toro Rosso stopped very early at the last round of pit visits.

Lap 48: Robert Kubica comes into the pits from a lowly 15th place. The Pole rejoins in 17th position, with only Adrian Sutil behind him.

Lap 49: Mark Webber comes into the pitlane for his second stop of the afternoon. He rejoins in ninth position and has an outside chance of scoring a point this afternoon.

Lap 51: Vettel is lapping quickly at the moment ahead of his next stop. He is over a second per lap quicker than Lewis Hamilton and is now over 20 seconds ahead of the championship leader.

Vettel will need to continue at this pace for a few more laps if he wants to come out ahead of Hamilton at his expected final stop.

Lap 51: Vettel pits from second.

Lap 51: Robert Kubica very cleverly uses the faster Lewis Hamilton to gain a position.

Lewis was coming up to lap Giancarlo Fisichella, who was being trailed by Kubica. Robert let the McLaren go and then stayed very close to the back of the Briton as both of them went past Fisichella, who pulled off line to stay well out of Hamilton's way.

The move puts Kubica in 16th, with Fisichella 17th.

Lap 52: Hamilton comfortably stays ahead of the Toro Rosso at the pit exit, despite a quick stop that puts Vettel down to fifth.

Lap 53: Kazuki Nakajima comes into the pits from 15th place in the Williams. The Japanese driver rejoins and remains well down the field.

Lap 54: Felipe Massa now leads by a comfortable 9.6 seconds over Fernando Alonso's Renault.

Kimi Raikkonen is third for Ferrari and the team are in excellent shape for the constructors' championship.

Lewis Hamilton is fourth, with Sebastian Vettel just 2.2 seconds behind the McLaren.

Lap 54: Hamilton can afford to hand fourth place to the charging Vettel, with fifth place enough to clinch the title even if Massa does win the race.

Lap 55: Heikki Kovalainen is in sixth place, with a four second buffer over Timo Glock. Jarno Trulli is eighth, with Mark Webber ninth. Webber has Nick Heidfeld all over the back of him as they battle just out of the points.

Lap 56: Sebastian Vettel is only a second behind Hamilton's McLaren and closing fast on the championship leader.

Lap 57: The Meteo France rainfall radar paints a worrying picture for the title contenders - a sizable shower is making progress towards the circuit!

Lap 57: The Webber, Heidfeld fight for ninth is about to become a three-car scrap as Jenson Button in 11th has caught the pair of them quickly.

However, Button comes into the pits and will now drop back down the order.

Lap 58: BMW warn Robert Kubica over the radio that it may rain in the next ten minutes. Kubica is in 15th and is out of the running at the moment.

Lap 59: There is a scramble on the pit wall as the teams react to the possibility of a sudden shower.

The on-site radar is continuing to track the progress of rain approaching the circuit.

Lap 60: Mark Webber is maintaining track position well over Nick Heidfeld as they continue to batle for ninth place.

Lap 61: Kimi Raikkonen is closing on Fernando Alonso's Renault, with Raikkonen looking to make it a Ferrari one-two.

Lap 61: Felipe Massa leads by over 12 seconds into the final ten laps of the Brazilian Grand Prix with the dramatic prospect of a rain shower that could radically shake up the running order.

Lap 64: Sebastian Vettel remains just under a second behind Hamilton's McLaren.

Lap 64: Conditions are now extremely dark over the circuit as the race moves into its last nine laps.

Lap 64: Williams tell Nico Rosberg over the team radio that as soon as he feels rain on his visor he should tell the team and they will prepare tyres.

Lap 64: There are spots of rain falling at Interlagos!

Lap 64: Very light moisture at the moment but no significant rainfall as yet.

Lap 64: Kazuki Nakajima pits from 18th and last position. He remains at the rear of the field.

Lap 66: Sebastian Vettel is all over Hamilton's McLaren in the battle for fourth. Lewis will still take the title if he finishes fifth.

Lap 66: Felipe Massa has continued into his next lap as the rain begins to intensify.

Lap 67: Nick Heidfeld comes into the pits and takes on intermediate tyres as the light rain begins to fall at Interlagos.

Lap 67: Vettel is harrying Hamilton as the track gets ever more slippery.

Lap 67: The rain is now falling heavily at Interlagos. Intermediate tyres will be needed now.

Lap 67: There is a massive scramble to pit for Intermediate rubber.

Lap 67: Raikkonen pits as Massa continues!

Lap 68: Almost everyone piles into the pits this time round.

Lap 68: Hamilton and Vettel pit for intermediate tyres.

Lap 68: Timo Glock stays out on dry tyres in the Toyota and passes Hamilton!

Lap 68: This is an incredible scenario at Interlagos.

Massa pits this time, putting the championship contenders on to the same tyres.

Lap 69: The rain continues but is light at the moment. The track is lightly damp but as yet no spray is coming up from the tyres.

Lap 69: Lewis Hamilton is still fifth with four laps to go.

Lap 70: Felipe Massa continues to lead the race.

Lap 70: Timo Glock in fourth position is the fastest car on the track currently. The German is 45 seconds off the lead and he did not pit and remains on dry tyres.

Lap 70: Lewis Hamilton is in fifth, with the Toro Rosso of Vettel able to take the critical position away from him!

Lap 70: Felipe Massa continues to lead and has 14 seconds over Fernando Alonso in second.

Lap 70: Vettel is though - past Hamilton - as the rain comes on hard!

Lap 70: Two laps to go and amazing drama in Interlagos!

Lap 70: Hamilton is sixth and that is not enough at the moment.

Lap 70: Hamilton is forced to attack Vettel!

Lap 71: Massa is maintaining his 14 second lead over Alonso as he starts the final lap of the race.

Lap 71: It is the last lap in Interlagos. Hamilton must pass Vettel or he will lose the title to Felipe Massa.

Lap 71: The rain is falling ever more intensely!

Lap 71: Hamilton has one lap to try and save the championship.

18:47: Felipe Massa crosses the line to win the Brazilian Grand Prix. Now he is praying that Hamilton does not pass Vettel in the last half-lap.

A brilliant drive from Massa in tricky conditions!

18:47 Hamilton is though on Glock for fifth at the last corner. Incredible!

18:48 Felipe Massa did all he could but, as the McLaren crosses the line fifth, Lewis Hamilton is the 2008 FIA Formula One world champion.

He beats Fernando Alonso's record to become the youngest ever world champion, the first for McLaren since Mika Hakkinen in 1999.

18:48 What an incredible conclusion to the 2008 season.

18:49 It's utter heartbreak for the Brazilian home crowd as Massa had the championship in his hands, but the move from Hamilton on Glock at the Juncao on the last lap takes it away from him.

The most amazing finish ever to a Formula One World Championship.

18:49 In the end, it came down to a slowing Timo Glock, who stayed out on dry rubber and was a quarter of a lap away from handing the title to Massa.

18:50 There are incredible scenes in the pit lane as the McLaren team celebrate wildly Hamilton's incredible last-lap run to the championship.

18:51 Felipe Massa is incredibly emotional on the team radio as the race winner realises the championship has slipped away from him on the last lap.

18:52 Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton embrace in the queue of cars at the end of the pit lane.

18:52 Felipe Massa takes victory in Brazil, but no title. Fernando Alonso finished second, 13 seconds behind Massa. Kimi Raikkonen finished third, Vettel fourth.

Lewis Hamilton claims the FIA Formula One World Championship for 2008 with fifth place, overtaking Timo Glock (6th) at the last corner of the last lap.

18:53 A scrum of photographers and camera crews are sprinting towards Hamilton's McLaren and he is now making his way into the pit lane as the 2008 world champion.

18:54 Hamilton reaches his team in the pits and the celebrates winning the title in incredible circumstances.

18:54 Heikki Kovalainen finished in seventh, with Jarno Trulli claiming the final point for Toyota in eighth position.

Mark Webber was ninth, Heidfeld tenth, Robert Kubica did well to climb up to 11th place in the end.

18:55 The rain is falling heavily as the podium ceremony gets underway.

18:55 The Brazilian national anthem plays on the podium as a fiercely proud and determined Felipe Massa fights back the tears as winner of the Brazilian Grand Prix.

18:56 The Italian national anthem plays for Ferrari, today's winning constructor.

18:56 Felipe Massa accepts his trophy as the race winner and runs to the front of the podium to celebrate victory.

18:56 The construtor's prize goes to Ferrari, who secure the 2008 title with a one-three finish.

18:57 Fernando Alonso has another strong drive to second. He takes his trophy and cheers from the crowd.

18:58 Kimi Raikkonen receives his award for third place this afternoon.

18:58 A huge media scrum is trying to get a word from world champion Lewis Hamilton, who is not on the podium today.

18:59 We are the champions rings out in the McLaren garage as the scrum moves indoors.

19:02 Motorsport coverage on Live continues next month with exclusively live commentary from the Autosport Awards. Join us on Sunday December 7th for live updates from this famous event as we celebrate outstanding personal and team achievements from the past season.

"I have no words at the minute. We've done such a good job this weekend and missed the drivers' championship by just a point, in the last corner.

"That's life, we get on with it. We're current world champions, we're 2008 constructors' champions and the team has worked so well. It's something that we deserve. So, I'm very happy for that"
Rob Smedley, Ferrari, speaking to German broadcaster Premiere

19:09 Rain continues to fall at Interlagos as the paddock reflects on a stunning conclusion to the championship.

19:12 The circuit is now completely soaked by the shower that played a role in making this a truly memorable conclusion to the season.

19:13 The rain has turned to a deluge at the circuit.

"It's been such a long journey, with a lot of support from people back home, my team did a fantastic job all year and all the sacrifices we made. I'm so thrilled to do this for everyone.

"I was able to stay ahead of Vettel and then it started to drizzle. I didn't want to take any risks, and he got past me. I was told that I had to get in front of him and I couldn't believe it and at the last corner I managed to get past Glock."
Lewis Hamilton, world champion, speaking to British broadcaster ITV

19:20 The most amazing ending ever to a Formula One World Championship.

The race began with a sudden shower, and ended with a sudden shower, but tonight, it is world champion Lewis Hamilton who will be showered - in champagne.

The start of the race was delayed for safety reasons, to allow the cars to move on to wet tyres. Once achieved, the race started with hectic action in the opening stages. Felipe Massa impressively led and was pulling away comfortably, with Lewis Hamilton safe in fourth position.

The positions between the contenders remained the same until the final few laps of the race, when another shower hit to throw the race into chaos. Almost everyone came into the pits for intermediate tyres, the exception being Timo Glock, who moved ahead of Hamilton, while Massa continued to lead.

Sebastian Vettel had been pressing Hamilton throughout the race and, as the rain hit, he passed the Briton, taking him out of the top five places and at that stage out of the championship.

Massa went on safely to win, and the Brazilian crowd were beginning to party with Hamilton in sixth. However, Glock could not last the pace on his dry tyres, on a circuit that was getting wetter by the minute.

Eventually - at the Juncao on the final lap - Hamilton passed the struggling Toyota driver, still on his dry tyres, to go back into fifth place less than one mile from the flag.

Felipe Massa was brilliant, what a fabulous drive, but it's Lewis Hamilton's title - a deserved title.

This was the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix weekend on Live. Thank you for being with us throughout the weekend, and indeed the Formula One season. Motorsport coverage on Live continues next month with exclusively live commentary from the Autosport Awards. Join us then.

Race Length: 71 laps
 View official live timing
Heavy rain High Temp: 28°C / 82°F
Track: Wet
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Monday 27 Oct Start GMT
 Brazilian Grand Prix Weather 15:00
Friday 31 Oct
 Friday Practice 11:30
Saturday 01 Nov
 Final Practice and Qualifying 12:30
Sunday 02 Nov
 Showdown at Interlagos 13:00
Emlyn Hughes and Geoff Creighton are's live commentary team. The dynamic duo have developed an inimitable style and a reputation for fast, accurate and insightful commentary. With unrivaled access to events unfolding at the circuit, they bring you the very latest, as it happens.

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