When it comes to sport, Italians are generally considered among the most passionate fans, and their love for their heroes is almost second-to-none. In motorsport, nearly every Italian fan is a Ferrari lover, so when the F1 paddock heads to Monza, there will always be a sea of red awaiting them. After the hugely successful Michael Schumacher era, the team went through a 2-year dry spell until Kimi Raikkonen gave them hope once again in 2007.
That year, many pegged the then-rookie driver, Lewis Hamilton, or his teammate Fernando Alonso for the world championship. Meanwhile, Raikkonen was there within touching distance, but he was the underdog in the 2007 title fight when heading into the final race in Brazil.
How did Kimi Raikkonen Win his only title?
Hamilton was leading the standings on 107 points with Alonso four points behind him and Raikkonen in 3rd on 100 points. It was the first three-way championship showdown since the 1986 Australian Grand Prix. Up until that point, Ferrari had always played catch up. until their form picked up late into the season.
The showdown in Sao Paulo would have been interesting as it was the first time Hamilton race there and neither of his two rivals had won there. The seeds of McLaren’s fall that year were sown by a scathing attack on Ron Dennis and questions of integrity and fairness of the McLaren team prior.
Raikkonen’s third-placed Ferrari launched off the line and past Hamilton at turn one and held firm to second behind Felipe Massa. A number of shenanigans ensued for McLaren, with mechanical issues for Hamilton and Alonso unable to keep up with the Ferrari duo.
Raikkonen took the lead later on in the race and there was no stopping him. Alonso was almost a minute behind the Ferraris and Hamilton was a lap down. Kimi Raikkonen eventually cruised to the win he needed for a famous maiden title, and Maranello practically exploded with joy.