2007: KIMI RÄIKKONEN

Model produced by: RedLine models

Year: 2007
Driver: Kimi Räikkonen (Finland)
Team: Scuderia Ferrari
Car: Ferrari F2007
Results: 6 wins, 12 podiums, 3 poles, 6 fastest laps

Michael Schumacher retired. After 5 years with McLaren and 38% of his races ending with technical or other failure, Kimi Raikkonen joined Ferrari, hoping for a more reliable car. Alonso left Renault after 5 years and joined McLaren, together with rookie Lewis Hamilton.

All races in 2007 were won by Ferrari and McLaren drivers. Räikkönen started the season in Australia by taking pole position, setting the fastest lap and becoming the first driver since Nigel Mansell in 1989 to win his first Grand Prix with Ferrari. In the following 8 races, each of the 4 contenders took 2 wins. Hamilton made an astonishing debut, matching the pace of two-time world champion Alonso, recording nine consecutive podium finishes (including 2 wins), more than any other rookie in Formula One history. It was something nobody expected, not even McLaren team. After the controversy between Alonso and Hamilton at the Hungarian Grand Prix relations between Alonso and his team declined. It was reported in the media that he was no longer on speaking terms with Hamilton, and it was speculated that he might leave McLaren at the end of the season, since he believed McLaren was favouring Hamilton.

By the end of the season there were only three contenders left: Hamilton, Alonso and Raikkonen. Hamilton was in a position to clinch the title in his debut season at the penultimate race of the season. He secured pole position, but  after the first round of pit stops lost grip as his tyres suffered graining, and Räikkönen overtook him. Hamilton retired after sliding into a gravel trap in the pit lane. Räikkönen took his fifth win of the season, that revived his title hopes before the last race of the season. Räikkönen moved to seven and three points behind Hamilton and Alonso in the Drivers’ Championship, respectively, going into the last race in Brazil, the first three-way title battle in the final race of the season since 1986.

Räikkönen took the 2007 Formula One Drivers’ title with victory in the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos, in an incident-packed race. Massa had taken pole, followed by Hamilton, Räikkönen, and Alonso. At the start of the race Räikkönen passed Hamilton on the outside and lined up behind Massa. Alonso shortly afterwards passed Hamilton, who fell progressively down the order. Räikkönen eventually overtook Massa, as Massa’s strategy for the second round of pit stops ensured Räikkönen kept the lead. Räikkönen went on to take the chequered flag, which handed him the crown by a single point from Hamilton and Alonso. Championship leader Hamilton eventually finished the race in seventh place, while defending champion Alonso managed third.

While Räikkönen had only one point more than Alonso and Hamilton at the end of the season, he had the most victories (six compared to four by each McLaren driver).

A major talking point of the season had been an espionage controversy involving Ferrari and McLaren, which led to McLaren being excluded from the World Constructors’ Championship. As a result, Ferrari clinched the championship at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Fernando Alonso left McLaren after only one year and joined Renault again.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Here’s the last lap of the race …

See the official FIA Gala 2007 season review

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