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After China
Championship Standings:

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1 Sebastian Vettel 54
2 Lewis Hamilton 45
3 Valtteri Bottas 40
4 Daniel Ricciardo 37
5 Kimi Raikkonen 30
6 Fernando Alonso 22
7 Nico Hulkenberg 22
8 Max Verstappen 18
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14 Esteban Ocon 1
15 Sergio Perez 0
16 Charles Leclerc 0
17 Brendon Hartley 0
18 Lance Stroll 0
19 Romain Grosjean 0
20 Sergey Sirotkin 0

Constructors' Standings
1 Mercedes 85
2 Ferrari 84
3 Red Bull Racing 55
4 Mclaren Renault 28
5 Renault 25
6 Toro Rosso Honda 12
7 Haas Ferrari 11
8 Sauber Ferrari 2
9 Force India Mercedes 1
10 Williams Mercedes 0

Raikkonen wins F1 title as Hamilton chokes

by Mark Cipolloni
Sunday, October 21, 2007


Kimi Raikkonen

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - On a sun-splashed day in Sao Paulo, Brazil Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen has won the Brazilian GP and with it the F1 World Driving title. Felipe Massa was 2nd in the other Ferrari and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso third.

Lewis Hamilton, who appeared to have the title all wrapped up going into the race, went off course on the first lap and fell back. He recovered to finish 7th and tie Alonso for 2nd in the title, both 1 point behind Kimi. Hamilton was awarded 2nd on the tie-breaker.

Nico Rosberg in the Williams-Toyota was fourth, Robert Kubica was fifth in the BMW Sauber, Nick Heidfeld in the second BMW in sixth, Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren-Mercedes in seventh and Jarno Trulli in the Toyota finishing in the final points position.

For the first time since the title battle between Alain Prost, Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell in 1986 the championship went down to a three-way fight in the final race of the season.

At the start Massa cut across to block Hamilton, and Raikkonen charged up the outside to take second place, while into the second corner Alonso passed Hamilton on the outside to take third place.

On the charge down the hill into the fourth corner Hamilton made an attempt on Alonso, choked, and ended up going off the circuit wide, coming back onto the track in eighth place. However, the off-course excursion may have done some damage to the car because on lap 8 Hamilton slowed, appearing not to be able to find a gear, and dropped back to 18th - the car finally coming back to life. He came back to finish 7th but it was not enough.

In some respects, if McLaren did indeed use Ferrari’s secrets gained from the stolen Ferrari design document that Nigel Stepney gave to McLaren to all of a sudden become competitive with Ferrari, then justice was served with Ferrari winning both the drivers and manufacturers championship.

The Ferraris assume first and 2nd at the start

Race Recap
On a hot day, with the track temperature reaching a record 64 degrees, and an ambient of 34 degrees, the circuit was packed with eager spectators. The start was crucial, as Massa took off into the lead and Raikkonen drove around the outside of Hamilton in the first corner. Into turn two, Hamilton’s teammate Alonso passed his rival and slipped into third place, but Hamilton, trying to fight back, braked on the outside of the corner at the end of the first straight, locked up his brakes, and slid wide, eventually rejoining in eighth place.

Now began a fight back, quickly overtaking Jarno Trulli and then latching onto the tail of a group comprising the two BMWs and Weber in fourth place. As the two Ferraris began to pull away from Alonso, Hamilton moved up to sixth ahead of Heidfeld, while a lap later Kubica overtook Webber.

But Hamilton had slowed drastically. He lost 28s on this lap as he tried to find gears, then was told how to re-set the electronic gearshift system by radio, eventually getting back up to speed and crossing the line in 18th place.

At the front, Massa and Raikkonen were reigning supreme, their advantage over Alonso in third place standing at 8.9s after 14 laps, the Spaniard slowly pulling away from Kubica in fourth place. Webber suddenly pulled out of fifth place on lap 15 when the car stopped, promoting a battle between Trulli and Nico Rosberg to fifth and sixth.

The first pit stops came on lap 19 when Kubica pitted, while Massa came in on lap 20, Raikkonen next time round, and Alonso on lap 22. Heidfeld, however, stayed out until lap 25. The gap had grown between the two Ferrari drivers and would peak at 3.7s on lap 28, while the gap to Alonso grew to 12s - and now began to grow faster.

Was Alonso happy to finish 3rd, or happy because his teammate lost the title?

At half distance, Hamilton had reached ninth place before making a second stop. Fourth placed Kubica made his second stop on lap 38 which promoted Trulli to fourth place. By now, Alonso was 30s behind Raikkonen.

Crucially, on lap 44, Massa lost most of his 2.8s lead to Raikkonen when he had a moment down at turn four and slid wide, suspecting there may have been oil there. He was able to pull away again over the next few laps, but he only had a 1.4s lead when he pitted for the second time on lap 50. Raikkonen, however, stayed out for a further three laps, and when he came in after several quick laps, he emerged just ahead of his teammate.

Raikkonen pulled away to 3.4s, but then the pair settled into a rhythm which they held to the checkered flag. Behind them, Alonso was 45s away, and not that much ahead of the BMW pair of Heidfeld and Kubica, having a tremendous battle with Nico Rosberg. In the end, it was Rosberg who finished fourth from the BMW pair. Next up was Hamilton in seventh place.

Raikkonen crossed the line a delighted winner, his sixth victory of the season and in his first year with Ferrari. Only Juan-Manuel Fangio had won the title with Formula One’s oldest and most famous team in his rookie year with the team. Massa was a popular second, while Alonso a philosophical third, clearly acknowledging the superior pace of Ferrari on this important day.

Late in the evening, however, there were reports that there was a fuel discrepancy with the BMW Sauber and Williams cars, which had finished fourth, fifth and sixth. As this is written we await further details. Race recap by Ferrari PR


Press Conference


1. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Ferrari 71 1h28m15.270
2. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari 71 1.493
3. Fernando Alonso Spain McLaren-Mercedes 71 57.019
4. Nico Rosberg Germany Williams-Toyota 71 1m02.848
5. Robert Kubica Poland BMW Sauber 71 1m10.957
6. Nick Heidfeld Germany BMW Sauber 71 1m11.317
7. Lewis Hamilton Britain McLaren-Mercedes 70 1 Lap
8. Jarno Trulli Italy Toyota 70 1 Lap
9. David Coulthard Britain Red Bull-Renault 70 1 Lap
10. Kazuki Nakajima Japan Williams-Toyota 70 1 Lap
11. Ralf Schumacher Germany Toyota 70 1 Lap
12. Takuma Sato Japan Super Aguri-Honda 69 2 Laps
13. Vitantonio Liuzzi Italy Toro Rosso-Ferrari 69 2 Laps
14. Anthony Davidson Britain Super Aguri-Honda 68 3 Laps
R Adrian Sutil Germany Spyker-Ferrari 43
R Rubens Barrichello Brazil Honda 40 Engine
R Heikki Kovalainen Finland Renault 35 Accident
R Sebastian Vettel Germany Toro Rosso-Ferrari 34
R Jenson Button Britain Honda 20
R Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 14
R Sakon Yamamoto Japan Spyker-Ferrari 2 Accident
R Giancarlo Fisichella Italy Renault 2 Accident
Fastest Lap Kimi Raikkonen Finland Ferrari 66 1:12.445

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