• November 2 down the years

Hamilton's title, Massa's tears

What happened on this day in Formula One history?
Champion at last: Lewis Hamilton celebrates in Sao Paolo © Getty Images
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2008
A remarkable finale to the season came at the Brazilian Grand Prix when Lewis Hamilton won the world title on the last lap. Needing to finish fifth, he slipped to six two laps from the end when he was overtaken by Sebastian Vettel. Felipe Massa crossed the line to win and was told by his Ferrari team he had secured the championship and the celebrations started. Within seconds they were stopped in their tracks - Timo Glock, on dry-weather tyres, was unable to control his car in the wet was almost coasting, losing 18 seconds on the final lap, and with one corner left he was passed by Vettel and then Hamilton. Hamilton was 15 seconds from a second year of heartbreak; as it was, it was a stunned Massa who had the greatest prize snatched from him.

"My heart was in my mouth," Hamilton said. "I was almost exploding. I don't know I kept my cool. I don't know how I did it. I was very fortunate. It was one of the toughest races of my life. I thought, 'do I have it?'. They told me and I was ecstatic." It was hard not to feel for Massa. "I don't cry a lot," he admitted, "but today it was difficult not to. Perhaps it's my age."

1946
Born on this day in Melbourne, Alan Jones was a typically no-nonsense Australian who won the world championship in 1980. He got into sport through hard graft and when the break came with Graham Hill's new team he immediately made his mark. It was with Williams, who he joined in 1978, that his career took off, finishing third in the 1979 championship and then dominating 1980 with ten podiums, including five wins, in 11 races. His appetite thereafter was not as intense and he drifted away with some low-key drives. Hugely respected, he had no time for wimps or whingers. "He was a man's man," Frank Williams said and Jones' views on women's liberation would not go down well in today's more politically-correct world. "He was great fun to be with. He never needed propping up mentally, because he was a very determined and bullish character. He didn't need any babysitting or hand-holding and that's the way it should be. It shouldn't be necessary for me to ask a driver if he is happy, or if he needs his underwear changed."

1896
The first motor insurance policy was issued on this day by the General Accident Company in England. The annual premium was 30 shillings (£1.50) and the terms excluded damage caused by frightened horses.

1895
The first issue of Autocar, the world's longest running car magazine, appeared on this day.

2008
On the other side of the Atlantic, Hamilton's win was celebrated by an unnamed gambler who collected £125,000 from Ladbrokes after he bet £100 on him winning the world championship before he was 25 when he was still a 13-year-old in karting. The same person won £40,000 a year earlier after collecting on a similar gamble that Hamilton would win a grand prix before he was 23.

1974
Stéphane Sarrazin made one Formula One appearance as a late replacement for Minardi at the 1999 Brazilian Grand Prix, spinning out after 31 laps. He subsequently switched to sports cars and rallying, and twice finished second in the Le Mans 24-Hour and in 2007 won the Le Mans Series.

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