• Brazilian Grand Prix 2007

Raikkonen snatches title from Hamilton in Brazil

David Addison
October 21, 2007
Kimi Raikkonen: 2007 world champion © Sutton Images

Lewis Hamilton 107 points; Fernando Alonso 103; Kimi Raikkonen 100. Those were the names and numbers that mattered as the F1 circus arrived in Brazil. In an echo of 1986, when Nigel Mansell retired to hand Alain Prost the title by two points, it was the underdog that came through to win the title.

Kimi Raikkonen did all that could have been asked of him by winning the race but it was circumstances out of his - and McLaren's control - that helped him achieve his dream.

Felipe Massa had qualified on pole for his home Grand Prix and led from the start, blocking Hamilton and allowing Raikkonen alongside the Brit. The two Ferraris raced away as Hamilton tried to fight back and fell to eighth. He started to pick up places again but on lap eight the car suddenly, and inexplicably, locked in neutral. As the field swarmed past his slowing car, Hamilton coaxed the gearbox back into operation and set off in his pursuit of the pack. He was 18th.

Alonso had realised that the Ferraris were uncatchable and had to settle for third place but with Massa leading Raikkonen, that would be enough to give the Spaniard the championship. When Massa ran wide on lap 44, Raikkonen stayed out for three more laps in his stint than Massa meaning he jumped ahead at the final pit stop.

The order across the line was Raikkonen, Massa, Alonso. The order in the championship was Raikkonen (110), Hamilton (109) and Alonso (109).

The monosyllabic Finn showed the hint of emotion on the podium as he shed a tear or two. "It has been an amazing day," he said, "I am really happy with a good finish to a good season. We were taking it easy and could have gone much faster but it paid off."

It had - by just one point.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
ESPN Staff Close