STOP THE PRESS!!!!!
Perhaps the most exciting season of Formula One finally came to an end last night when Kimi Raikkonen against all odds took home both the race and the driver's championship beating both Fernando Alonso and the erstwhile leader - Lewis Hamilton.
17 points ahead of the rest of the pack - Lewis Hamilton, had just about sealed the championship race after a washed out Japanese Grand Prix and most racing pundits had written off everyone else's chances what with only two races to go in the 2007 season. But with Hamilton suffering a blown tire at the Chinese Grand Prix and consequently failing to finish the race, leave along a podium position, the title race went down to the wire at the ultimate race of the season - the Brazilian Grand Prix. Regarded as one of the most challenging and exciting circuits in the racing calendar, the fact that the race would also decide which way the championship swung only helped up the tension in the stands.
Pre-race driver standings were:
1) Lewis Hamilton - 107 points
2) Fernando Alonso - 103 points
3) Kimi Raikkonen - 100 points
For those not in the know-how, in Formula One points are awarded to the first 8 drivers to complete the race. The winner of the race is awarded 10 points, 2nd and 3rd place results in 8 and 6 points respectively with the rest of the pack getting 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 point(s) based on race rankings.
A statistical nightmare for some, a delicious ending for many.
Saturday qualifying was the usual paranoia-filled affair with most drivers making last minute efforts in order to get a decent starting grid position for the race on Sunday. Most of it passed uneventfully except for a mix up in the dying moments of the qualifying session when the "Flying Finn" was bottled behind Lewis Hamilton on his flying lap while making a final attempt for pole position on the starting grid. Apologies were offered later and the matter laid to rest.
Based on Saturday's qualifying session the starting grid for Sunday was as follows:
(1) Felipe Massa
(Ferrari) (2) Lewis Hamilton
(3) Kimi Raikkonen
(Ferrari) (4) Fernando Alonso
. . . . the rest of the pack
What happened from thereon has to be seen to be fully appreciated. No words can describe the next 90 minutes filled with frequent strategy changes, outrageous overtaking maneuvers and failed electrical systems which resulted in the final collapse of the rookie
's dream run and the championship for one of the most underrated driver
s in the history of Formula One.
Post-race driver standings were:
1) Kimi Raikkonen - 110 points
2) Fernando Alonso - 109 points **
3) Lewis Hamilton - 109 points
** - Alonso was awarded second position by virtue of having more second place podium finishes.
Needless to say, I was late for work this morning .