In an astonishing turnaround, Kimi Raikkonen came from behind to take the title from Lewis Hamilton. NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls an eventful season
Through most of the 2007 grand prix season, four drivers were in contention for the world championship, and three were still at it when the clans gathered for the final race, in Brazil. For this first year following the retirement of Michael Schumacher, two of them - Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen - had been very much the pre- season favourites, but the third was a rookie, a rookie who had led the point standings since May.
In the end it didn't quite come right for Lewis Hamilton at Interlagos: fifth place would have won him the championship, and he finished seventh, after a messy race in which both he and McLaren made mistakes. It didn't come right for team-mate Alonso either, third place leaving him a point shy of Raikkonen - the least favoured to take the title, and who actually broke into a smile on the podium. Who could have imagined that he would score 20 points in the last two races, and Hamilton only two?