Who won what, who broke records, and loads of random facts…
Kimi Raikkonen became the third Finnish world champion and won the fourth championship for the Scandinavian country. Read more statistics on Raikkonen’s championship victory.
Ferrari won their 15th constructors’ championship. They also scored their 200th Grand Prix victory in the Chinese Grand Prix.
Raikkonen’s victory margin of a single point (for the sixth time in F1 history) is the second smallest ever, beaten only by Niki Lauda’s triumph by half a point in 1984.
For the first time ever three drivers scored over 100 points in a single season: Kimi Raikkonen 110, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso 109 each.
Only once before has the driver going into the championship finale in third position claimed the title – Giuseppa Farina in 1950. Three drivers stayed in the championship battle until the final round this year for the first time in 21 years.
For the 14th time in the last 18 years, the winner of the opening round went on to win the championship, which has happened 27 times in 58 championships.
Lewis Hamilton’s record-breaking year
Lewis Hamilton broke or matched several records. He scored nine consecutive podiums in his first nine races, which also equalled the record for most consecutive podiums by a British driver also held by Jim Clark. In doing so he also set the record for the most consecutive points finishes from a debut race (nine).
He equalled Jacques Villeneuve’s tally of victories in a debut season (four), became the youngest driver to lead the world championship and set the most pole positions for a rookie driver (six). His 12 front row starts was another record for a rookie.
Hamilton scored the most points ever by a new F1 driver, and had the most podium finishes and led the most races. He led his first seven races, another record.
He was also the only maiden Grand Prix winner in 2007, becoming the ninth driver to win in his first Grand Prix season. He won at his sixth attempt, a feat bettered by nine drivers: Giuseppi Farina, Giancarlo Baghetti, Juan Manuel Fangio, Tony Brooks, Emerson Fittipaldi, Ludovico Scarfiotti, Jacques Villeneuve, Jose Froilan Gonzalez and Clay Regazzoni.
Hamilton spent the most laps in first position this year (321), followed by Felipe Massa (300), Kimi Raikkonen (212) and Fernando Alonso (203).
At Japan he became the youngest driver to do the treble of pole position, win and fastest lap.
But there is one final record he claimed that he will wish to forget. No one has ever had a 17 point or greater lead with two races remaining and then lost the championship.
McLaren and Ferrari dominate
Raikkonen and Massa set the most fastest laps – six each. Fastest laps are a Raikkonen trait. He set the fastest lap at Hungary and Turkey late in the race out of a self-confessed frustration at being unable to pass the man in front of him. He scored his 25th fastest lap this year – by comparison, he has 15 wins and 14 pole positions.
Such was McLaren and Ferrari’s domination that they led 97.2% of the 1,036 laps this year. The remaining 29 were led by Heikki Kovalainen (nine), Markus Winkelhock (six), Mark Webber (five), Nick Heidfeld (three), Sebastian Vettel (three), David Coulthard (one), Giancarlo Fisichella (one) and Robert Kubica (one).
Only five of the 51 podium finishing positions available this year was taken by a non-McLaren or Ferrari driver. They were Nick Heidfeld (Montreal and Hungaroring), Alex Wurz (Montreal), Mark Webber (Nurburgring) and Heikki Kovalainen (Fuji Speedway).
Spyker led a Grand Prix for the first time thanks to Markus Winkelhock at the N?‚??rburgirng. They also scored their first point (with Adrian Sutil), as did Super Aguri (Takuma Sato).
Rubens Barrichello failed to score a point all year for the first time in an F1 career that began in 1993, and next year could become the longest ever in terms of race starts. Similarly, Ralf Schumacher failed to score a podium finish for the first time in his F1 career.
Eleven winners this year started from pole position on the grid, four from second and two from third. The only driver to start from the top three not in a McLaren or Ferrari was Nick Heidfeld, who did so three times. The last time all the winners started in the top three was in 1998.
Three-quarters of race starts ended in classified finishes this year, matching the 2005 race finishing rate after last year’s blip down to 69%. This was caused by an increase in mechanical failures mainly due to the introduction of V8 engines. Last year’s 18% rate of mechanical failure fell to 14% this year, but still not as low as in 2005 when it was 11%.
Mark Webber had the most race-ending mechanical failures, six (two more than anyone else), just as he did in 2002, except on that occasions Ralf Schumacher also had six breakdowns.
Under the previous points system the championship finishing order for the top four would have been:
Kimi Raikkonen 93
Lewis Hamilton 87
Fernando Alonso 85
Felipe Massa 72
Photos: Ferrari | Daimler | Ferrari