Raikkonen crowned in Monaco

After a season packed with thrills, controversy and some excellent racing, Kimi Raikkonen was officially crowned Formula 1 World Champion in Monaco on Friday night.

The Finn claimed the title by a single point from Lewis Hamilton, with defending champion Fernando Alonso finishing his year in third position.

“I am very happy to be here to receive this trophy that comes with winning the World Championship," Raikkonen said.

"This has always been my goal and I am particularly pleased to have achieved it in my first year with Ferrari, which is a fantastic team of people who are extraordinary, both professionally and from the human point of view.

“This victory is the result of the efforts of a group that never threw in the towel, even when all seemed lost. I also want to thank my family, my wife Jenni and everyone who has been close to me since the start of my career."

It was a first appearance at the Gala for Hamilton, who described the occasion as a 'special moment'.

"I’ve had a pretty amazing season. I was given such a great opportunity by Vodafone McLaren Mercedes," the British rookie commented.

"To be on the podium at my first Grand Prix was a dream, but to continue that to get my first win was even more.

"And to be one of the three F1 drivers at the FIA Prize Giving Gala at the end of the season is a truly special moment."

Alonso, for his part, acknowledged that he had to learn some tough lessons in 2007.

"This has been another exciting season because my car was competitive from start to finish," the Spaniard said.

"From this perspective the team did a fantastic job. Away from the track, of course, it was a more bumpy road but sometimes that’s what happens in sport and I will take those lessons into next season and beyond.

"The main aspect for me when looking back on the season is winning another four races, including my first victory in Monza and my win in Monaco, which is always special." Setanta

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