Timo Glock says he was 'scared to go out the house' after 2008 Brazilian GP

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Timo Glock reveals how he felt after 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix
13 June at 15:30
Last update 13 June at 15:47
  • Toby Nixon

Former German F1 driver Timo Glock received death threats after the 2008 title-deciding Brazilian Grand Prix. He was dramatically overtaken on the last lap by Lewis Hamilton who finished in fifth, which meant that Hamilton won his first world title by just one point over home hero Felipe Massa. On the Formula For Success podcast, Glock, who started 91 Grand Prix, has revealed how the infamous moment unfolded for him and his Toyota team.  

"I went through the craziest half a year after the race," said Glock, who is the protagonist in one of the most famous races in F1 history. "The moment when that happened, I had no clue where I was. I think we were P9 and 10 or even out of the points. I can't remember exactly. Then, we saw that rain coming, and the team decided that we had nothing to lose. They said, let's stay out. I said, guys, it's still dry enough to keep on going with the groove tyres. With the groove tyres, if there is a bit of rain coming and they cool out, you have zero grip. I was going around in the second to last lap and it was already raining in the last corner. I said, guys, I need to come in. I will not survive the last lap. There is no chance. They said, Timo, you cannot come in because they were building up the fences already around the podium, and people were freaking out that the pit lane was blocked, a bit like in Baku." (2023 where Ocon avoided people in the pitlane at the end of the race)

Glock was simply 'trying to survive' on a sodden circuit 

"I just tried to keep the car on the track and survive. A lot of cars passed me. I didn't really pay attention when Sebastian and Lewis overtook me. I was driving back to the pits and my engineer just told me, listen, Lewis won the championship. I go to Lewis, congratulate him and say well done and camera guys and journalists run down towards me. I just moved to the side because I thought they all wanted to go to Lewis. They come to me and ask me those questions. Was this on purpose? Why did you let Lewis by? I thought, what the hell is going on! Then my physio grabbed me, pulled me back to the pits and took my helmet and he explained to me what happened."

'Freak show' post-race meant Glock was given a police escort

"From that moment on, it was a freak show. I was going to the airport by police escort because they were scared the Brazilian people were going mad. they brought me into the plane with a police escort in Germany. It was crazy. My parents got letters written about me, saying I should be killed. I should be banned from racing. It was really scary for a long time until Formula One released the onboard. Then after the people saw what happened, everything calmed down a bit.

"In the first couple of weeks and months after the race, I was scared to actually go out of the house, and thinking about going to Brazil for the F1 race, I was like, no, I'm going to skip that race. 

"That was a crazy time," Glock concluded.