|Born||17 October 1979|
|Formula One World Championship Statistics|
|Team||Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro|
The 2007 Formula One season was Kimi's seventh season in Formula One. For this season he switched from McLaren to Ferrari thus becoming the highest paid driver in motor sport with an estimated wage of $51 million per year. In turn his move to Ferrari saw him secure his first Formula One World Drivers' Championship, beating McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso by one point, as well as becoming one of the very few drivers to win in their first season at Ferrari.
After the 2006 Italian Grand Prix, Ferrari announced that Räikkönen had signed a three-year contract with Scuderia Ferrari for the 2007–2009 seasons. Räikkönen said after the move that he was very happy with this change of events but wished McLaren the best of luck in the future. He became the team mate to Brazilian Felipe Massa, who had been driving for Ferrari since 2006. Following the retirement of Michael Schumacher and his new deal with Ferrari, Räikkönen was estimated to be the highest paid driver in F1, with a base salary reportedly worth US $51M annually.
Räikkönen started the season in Australia by taking pole position, setting the fastest lap and becoming the first driver since Nigel Mansell in 1989 to win his first Grand Prix with Ferrari. This was the first time in his career that he had managed the hat-trick of pole position, fastest lap and race victory.
At the Malaysian Grand Prix, Räikkönen was passed by Lewis Hamilton at the start and remained behind him for the rest of the race, finishing third. In Bahrain, Räikkönen started from third but was passed by McLaren driver Fernando Alonso. He eventually regained 3rd position from Alonso and finished the race 3rd. At the Spanish Grand Prix, Räikkönen retired after only 10 laps with an electrical problem. This took him down to fourth position in the Championship, behind team-mate Felipe Massa. At the Monaco Grand Prix, Räikkönen struck a barrier in qualifying and broke his right front suspension. He started 16th and finished 8th.
In Canada, Räikkönen qualified fourth and finished fifth, Räikkönen's team-mate Massa was disqualified. At the United States Grand Prix, Räikkönen qualified fourth, finished fourth and recorded fastest lap of the race. With ten races in the season left, Räikkönen was 26 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton in the Drivers' Championship.
In France, Räikkönen qualified third, but overtook Hamilton at the first corner of the race. He subsequently ran second, behind team-mate Massa, for much of the Grand Prix, but overtook the Brazilian during the pit-stops and took his second victory of the season. This was the 11th victory of his Formula One career, as well as Ferrari's first 1–2 win of the 2007 season. At the British Grand Prix, Räikkönen qualified in second place, just missing the pole by running wide in the last corner. In the race, again took the lead through pit stops, first overtaking Lewis Hamilton midway through the race and then putting in fast laps as Fernando Alonso pitted for the second time in the closing stages to pass him. Räikkönen led to the end of the race.
At the European Grand Prix, Räikkönen captured his second pole position of the season, but retired from the race, run in heavy rain, with a problem with the hydraulics of the car. In Hungary, Räikkönen qualified his car in fourth place, but started from third after Fernando Alonso was penalised. In the race he overtook Nick Heidfeld at the start and pressured Hamilton until the end, but had to settle for second, being 0.7s behind Hamilton. He set the fastest lap time on the last lap of the race, commenting after the race: "I was so bored behind Hamilton, I wanted to see how quick I could have been." In Turkey, Räikkönen missed pole position after making a mistake in the final sector of his fast lap, which left him third on the grid. On race day, he overtook Hamilton in the first corner and took second place, which he kept to the end of the race.
At Monza's third practice session, Räikkönen crashed into the tyre wall before entering the Ascari chicane. He qualified in fifth place, and raced in the Ferrari reserve car while suffering from a neck problem. The Ferrari team employed an unusual one-stop strategy, which left him third after Hamilton passed him late in the race on fresh tyres. At Spa-Francorchamps, Räikkönen's favourite circuit, he secured pole position again and took his fourth victory of the season. Massa finished second, Alonso third and Hamilton fourth. This was also Räikkönen's third consecutive Spa win, which placed him among six other drivers with three or more Spa wins.
At the Fuji Speedway in Japan, the only new track on the 2007 calendar, Räikkönen qualified in third position, while Hamilton took pole and Alonso second. In an extremely wet race, which saw the first 19 laps run behind the safety car, both Räikkönen and team-mate Massa were badly affected by having to change to extreme wet tyres during the early stages, because the FIA's tyre-rule notification arrived late at Ferrari. Towards the end of the race, Räikkönen moved through the field to third place, but could not pass his fellow countryman Heikki Kovalainen for second.
At the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai, Räikkönen dominated the whole weekend with fastest laps in the free-practice sessions. In qualifying, Hamilton took pole position with a lighter fuel load, while Räikkönen qualified second and Massa third. There was light rainfall at the beginning of the race which prompted the cars to start on intermediate tyres. After the first round of pit stops Hamilton lost grip as his tyres suffered graining, and Räikkönen overtook him. Hamilton retired after sliding into a gravel trap in the pit lane. Räikkönen took his fifth win of the season, that revived his title hopes before the last race of the season. This was also the 200th race win and 600th podium in Ferrari's Formula One history. Räikkönen moved to seven and three points behind Hamilton and Alonso in the Drivers' Championship, respectively, going into the last race in Brazil, the first three-way title battle in the final race of the season since 1986.
Räikkönen took the 2007 Formula One Drivers' title with victory in the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos, in an incident-packed race. Massa had taken pole, followed by Hamilton, Räikkönen, and Alonso. At the start of the race Räikkönen passed Hamilton on the outside and lined up behind Massa. Alonso shortly afterwards passed Hamilton, who fell progressively down the order. Räikkönen eventually overtook Massa, who was already eliminated from contention for the Driver's Championship in the Japanese Grand Prix. Massa's strategy for the second round of pit stops ensured Räikkönen kept the lead. Räikkönen went on to take the chequered flag, which handed him the crown by a single point from Hamilton and Alonso. Championship leader Hamilton eventually finished the race in seventh place, while defending champion Alonso managed third.
While Räikkönen had only one point more than Alonso and Hamilton at the end of the season, he had the most victories (six compared to four by each McLaren driver).
Räikkönen's Drivers' championship was briefly put into doubt when race stewards began an investigation after identifying possible fuel irregularities in the cars of Nico Rosberg, Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld following post-race inspection. Their disqualification and a race reclassification would have seen Hamilton lifted from seventh to fourth in the race result. However the race stewards decided that no sanctions would be given, meaning the results would stand.
Complete Season ResultsEdit
(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)
|2007|| Scuderia Ferrari|
|Ferrari F2007||Ferrari 056 2.4 V8|| AUS|