We watched a gripping championship battle with three drivers fighting until the final race. The championship lead swapped hands at the finale, and the victor overcame a 17-point deficit to win in the last two races.
We endured a string of shockingly poor races and a title race marred by some of the worst scandals the sport has ever seen.
It was a great year
Whatever 2007 was, it wasn’t predictable. The title went down to the wire between thee drivers for the first time in 21 years. The final races in Fuji, Shanghai and Interlagos were epic and the advantage in the title race swung from one driver to another.
We witnessed some awesome racing including Lewis Hamilton’s phenomenal starts, Fernando Alonso’s pass on Felipe Massa to win at the Nurburgring, and Kimi Raikkonen’s battle through the field at the Fuji Speedway.
It was the best season for rookie talent since 2001 (when Alonso, Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya arrived). Not just Hamilton, but also Heikki Kovalainen who comprehensively beat the experience Giancarlo Fisichella.
Sebastian Vettel scored on his debut for BMW, then equalled Toro Rosso/Minardi’s best ever result, and Adrian Sutil distinguished himself on several occasions including that surprise appearance on top of the time sheets in wet practice at Monaco.
Fears F1 would struggle with the loss of Michael Schumacher faded as Hamilton’s exceptional performance catapulted him to international attention – and not just in his home country.
And it bodes well for 2008 as the FIA have announced the banning of traction control. Many have suggested that it might not make a significant difference, but most importantly it puts the cars more firmly under the control of the drivers, which is undoubtedly to the benefit of F1 as a sport.
Best of all, both Ferrari and McLaren let their drivers fight for the championship all the way until, in Massa’s case, they became mathematically incapable of winning the championship.
It was a terrible year
Dogged by scandal and ruined by poor racing, 2007 was a season to forget. Melbourne, Catalunya, Indianapolis, Magny-Cours, Silverstone, Hungaroring, Istanbul and Spa-Francorchamps all produced races with very little interest at the front of the field.
The year was dominated first by the escalating McLaren/Ferrari spy scandal, which left one of the sport’s greatest teams branded cheats, ejected from the constructors’ championship and slapped with a gargantuan fine. Only a legal dodge on the FIA’s part kept their drivers in the title race, and that rankled with many fans.
After the fury came the fall out, most of it centred around McLaren where Alonso, trailing Hamilton in the champion, wasted no opportunity to attack his team, insisting they were given preferential treatment to the rookie. Team boss Ron Dennis stated Alonso had demanded number one status in the team, which Dennis refused.
It led to the FIA taking the unprecedented step of installing an official observer in the McLaren pit for the season finale. Nothing untoward was found, but it didn’t stop Alonso’s complaints.
By the end of the year it seemed not a day passed without some new controversy coming to light. McLaren ‘team orders’ in Monte-Carlo, Hamilton’s restart at the Nurburgring, Alonso’s punishment in Hungary, the safety car incident in Fuji, three drivers using the wrong tyres in Interlagos.
And even as the season ends the controversy goes on. We won’t know for sure that Kimi Raikkonen has won the championship until November 15th. You’d think sorting it out would be a higher priority for the FIA.
Photos: Daimler | Ferrari Media
- Hamilton may be penalised over tyre blunder
- The stewards’ full verdict on McLaren & Alonso
- Alonso is not the victim of a McLaren conspiracy
- Ron Dennis revealed evidence against McLaren to FIA
- 20 day wait for Raikkonen’s title confirmation
- Video: Hamilton faces investigation over Vettel crash
- Debate: Was Hamilton’s restart legal?
- The Hamilton hype-ometer reloaded
- Traction control banned in F1 from 2008
- McLaren out of ’07 championship and fined $100m
- Alonso continues attacks on McLaren & Hamilton
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