Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen won the Brazilian Grand Prix to seal the Formula One drivers’ championship on this day in 2007.
In one of the closest finishes ever seen, Raikkonen’s victory enabled him to finish one point ahead of both McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and the Englishman’s team-mate Fernando Alonso in the final standings.
There was always likely to be one last extraordinary twist to the most astonishing of seasons in the 58 years of the sport, and so it proved at Interlagos.
Raikkonen started third on the grid, behind team-mate Felipe Massa on pole and Hamilton, but passed Hamilton on the approach to the first corner before the McLaren driver ran wide later in the lap and fell to eighth.
And on lap eight it appeared as if Hamilton’s dream of becoming the first rookie, and the youngest driver, to take the title was over as he dramatically slowed, almost to a standstill.
The 22-year-old could be seen rocking in his McLaren, virtually willing it to get going, while all the time the field streamed by. His car finally regained power, but the malfunction had relegated him to 18th place.
Hamilton eventually finished seventh and although Massa led comfortably for 50 laps, the championship situation dictated a pit-stop strategy from Ferrari which ensured Raikkonen emerged ahead of his team-mate and he took the chequered flag by 1.4 seconds.
Raikkonen hailed his achievement as the work of everyone at Ferrari, including Massa.
The Finn said: “We were not in the strongest position at some points of the season but we always believed we could recover and do a better job than the others.
“Even in the hard times we stuck together and we didn’t give up. Even from a long way behind we didn’t give up. We worked very hard and Felipe helped too. The team has been very close together.”