by Rob Wilkins
The 2007 FIA Formula 1 World Championship had it all, with drama by the bucket load both on and off the track.
In the end the battle for the drivers' title went right to the wire and for the first time since 1986, there was a three-way title showdown at the season finale. In the end Kimi Raikkonen came through to take the crown at Interlagos, finishing the year just one point up on Lewis Hamilton and
columnist and ITV F1
pundit, Mark Blundell looks back over the year, in the first of two
interviews about 2007. Just what did MB think about the year?
Read on to find out...
Mark, if you had to sum up the 2007 season in a few words, which ones would you choose?
Fantastic, interesting - and I would have to say probably the best world championship I have seen since I was involved in motorsport. I don't think there has ever been such an exciting championship.
Overall what do you think people will remember most about 2007?
I think they will remember the emergence of Lewis Hamilton, the fierce battles on circuit between four guys in McLarens and Ferraris fighting to win the championship and the trials and tribulations off the track as well because it has certainly been very busy on that side of things.
Was Kimi Raikkonen a worthy champion?
Very much so - he deserved to win the championship. He won six grand prix's and that was more than anyone else. He had a tough couple of years when he was at McLaren with lots of reliability issues and when he went to Ferrari it took a little bit of time to make the marriage work, but it is definitely really working now.
So much has been said and written about Lewis Hamilton during his debut year in the sport, ultimately though he just missed out on the drivers' title. Was the runners-up spot still a good result for him?
It was fantastic - a brilliant result. Nobody ever thought he would come in and do what he did. Nobody ever thought he would be fighting for the world championship right up to the end and no one really ever thought he would be there winning grand's prix as quickly as what he did. He has made a statement and he has come into the sport with a bang and he is here to stay. It won't be long in the future before he is crowned world champion, because for sure he has got the talent to do that.
We saw a side to Fernando Alonso this season, which I think is fair to say, has left his reputation a bit tarnished. Would you agree with that?
Yeah, from my side of things he is damaged goods. He has created an area of concern about him because any team now cannot be confident that he is not going to destabilise things. That is definitely what he did at McLaren. I was somewhat surprised by how he acted because I think he pretty much had the championship for the taking if he had kept his head down and shown us what a great driver we all know him to be. He has won two championships already and he is still a young man and he had a great deal to offer and that was very evident on many occasions. But unfortunately I think his reputation is slightly tarnished now. [Mark was speaking before Renault confirmed they had resigned him for 2008 – ed].
If you had to pick out your top five drivers' of the season, who would they be?