Mercedes, Ferrari hold end-of-season celebrations 10 Nov 2008
McLaren engine partners Mercedes held their annual Stars & Cars Day in Germany this weekend, marking the end of their motorsport season and heralding the success of 2008 drivers champion Lewis Hamilton. Meanwhile, the Ferrari World Finals at Mugello saw the Italian team celebrating their 2008 constructors title.
Over 70,000 visitors, including world boxing champion Vitali Klitschko, were present at Mercedes-Benz World in Stuttgart to welcome Hamilton for a day of festivities, on and off the track. Hamilton greeted the crowd in German, saying Guten morgen Stuttgart, alles klar? (Good morning Stuttgart, everything ok?).
Switching to his native English, the British driver added: In 2007, I was able to celebrate together with many thousands of spectators being runner-up after only one year in Formula One. Today, one year later, and with 72,000 visitors, we celebrate the world championship. Its absolutely crazy how many people came today and I hope everybody had fun - I had it, thats for sure.
At Mugello, Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa received an equally rapturous reception as they completed several Formula One demonstration laps as well as some pit stops. Michael Schumacher also took to the circuit in his Ferrari FXX supercar, accompanied by official tester Luca Badoer.
Overseeing proceedings was Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo, who admitted that the tense final lap of the Brazilian Grand Prix, which saw Massa lose the drivers title by a single point, had taken its toll on his television as he hit it in frustration.
"I broke the television, I must tell the truth," Di Montezemolo told the press. "When a television breaks it makes a terrible bang. My daughter in the other room was given an awful fright. Luckily we had another television so I was able to watch the podium ceremony, which I enjoyed."