Bridgestone congratulate Ferrari and Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) has been crowned 2007 Formula One World Champion after winning an epic championship showdown in the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos. Raikkonen joins Michael Schumacher (Ferrari, champion in 2000-2004) and Mika Hakkinen (McLaren Mercedes, champion in 1998-99) as a driver who has won the Formula One World Championship using Bridgestone Potenza tires.
At the end of one of the most scintillating Formula One seasons ever, Raikkonen used a soft-soft super-soft tire strategy to achieve his win, battling the highest track temperatures seen this season at the newly resurfaced Interlagos track. He was joined on the podium by team-mate Felipe Massa who used the same strategy to finish second, leading the race until his final pit stop. Fernando Alonso (McLaren Mercedes) finished in third place on the same strategy and took third in the drivers’ championship standings, just one point behind Raikkonen.
Championship leader coming into this race, Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes), lost a number of positions on the first lap and then suffered a brief mechanical problem. He made three pit-stops with a soft-super soft-soft-soft strategy, and finished in seventh place – his third lowest finish of the season. He took second in the drivers’ championship, tied on points with Alonso, but ahead in the standings because of more second place finishes. This meant the top three in the title finished the season just a point apart, a fitting end to such a close fought year-long battle.
Nico Rosberg (Williams) drove an aggressive final stint on the super soft tire to finish in fourth place, after finally overtaking Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber) following a multiple lap battle. Kubica finished in fifth, one place ahead of team-mate Nick Heidfeld.
Hamilton finished in seventh and Jarno Trulli scored the final championship point in eighth.
Raikkonen is the second motorsport world champion using Bridgestone tires to be crowned today, with Formula One-bound Sebastien Bourdais winning the Champ Car World Series race at Surfers’ Paradise to clinch his fourth consecutive drivers’ title. Also today, Bridgestone-shod MotoGP champion Casey Stoner won his tenth race of the season in Malaysia.
Hirohide Hamashima, Tire Development Director
“Congratulations to Kimi Raikkonen who drove a very fast race today and rose above many difficulties in this season to become champion after so many years of trying. Conditions were difficult with the highest track temperatures of the year meaning tire blistering and high degradation. We saw many different strategies to try to take account of this, but the track also improved rapidly so technical directors were given headaches as they had to modify their strategies from those originally planned. The Ferrari was very stable in these conditions and used both the soft and the super soft tire well. This has been an exciting season for Bridgestone supplying all of the teams in Formula One for the first time since 2000. Thank you to all of our hard working staff, we are all looking forward to working with everyone again in 2008.” Press Release Bridgestone