Plus another former F1 driver’s son made his F1 debut, and all the other interesting statistics from the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Lost at the final race
Lewis Hamilton joins the group of the most unfortunate drivers in Formula 1 – those who lost the championship lead in the final race.
He’s not in bad company, though – there are some illustrious names in here. No less a man than Juan Manuel Fangio lost the lead of the very first F1 championship to Giuseppe Farina in 1950. Graham Hill lost the 1964 title to John Surtees in the last race after Hill collided with Surtees’ team-mate Lorenzo Bandini.
Also in this unhappy clique is Niki Lauda, who lost the 1976 title in the final round to James Hunt. Lauda famously withdrew from the race, held in pouring rain at Fuji Speedway, because the burns he’d suffered at the N?╗???órburgring made it hard for him to blink the rain from his eyes…
Carlos Reutemann lost the 1981 title at the final round to Nelson Piquet. Amazingly, Piquet did the same to Alain Prost in 1983. Prost in turn took the title from Nigel Mansell at the final race in 1986.
Kimi Raikkonen won his first world championship and became the 28th world champion. Read more about his achievement.
He took the championship from Hamilton despite being 26 points down after the United States Grand Prix. The only driver to lose a championship having held a greater advantage was Niki Lauda, who had a 29 point lead in 1976 before missing several races due to injury.
Best of the rest
Nico Rosberg scored the best finish of his career with fourth. He took up the ‘best of the rest’ position behind the leading McLarens and Ferraris and beating Williams’ former engine suppliers BMW.
Bad year ends for Honda
A desperate year hit a new low for Honda in Interlagos. For the first time in 2007 neither car finished the race.
Kazuki Nakajima became the 26th driver to start a race this year. The son of former racer Satoru Nakajima, he is the eighth son of a former driver to start a Grand Prix.
Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest lap, the 25th of his career. Interestingly it was only three tenths of a second slower than Michael Schumacher’s fastest lap last year, set before the slower specification tyres were introduced. The new surface at Interlagos must have gone some way to reducing lap times.
Odds & ends
There were no Renault-engined cars among the points scorers for the first time in 21 races – i.e. since the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix.
Kimi Raikkonen scored his 15th career win, one fewer than Sitrling Moss, whose record for most wins without a championship once again looks safe.
Don’t miss the full statistical review of the year in the F1Fanatic 2007 season review starting next week.