Kimi Raikkonen has hailed Ferrari's perseverance and belief that they could still win the 2007 Formula 1 Drivers' title long after it looked unlikely having stunned McLaren by claiming a double championship win in Brazil.

Raikkonen and Ferrari had not even led the standings since the second round of the season, while the seven point deficit the Finn found himself with heading into the race meant he was barely considered next to Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.

However, with Hamilton having to contend with a rare McLaren mechanical problem and Alonso off the pace in third, Raikkonen's imperious victory - aided by team-mate Felipe Massa - meant he would walk away as champion by just a single point.

The Finn's first title and a return to the top for Ferrari for the first time since Michael Schumacher triumphed in 2004, the win stunned many down the paddock, not least Raikkonen himself.

Nonetheless, he claims his unfailing confidence in the championship remaining open until it was mathematically impossible made all the difference

"We weren't in the strongest position at some points, but we always believed we could recover," he told the post-race press conference. "Even in the hard times we stuck together," he added. "I need to thank the team because we always worked hard to improve the situation."

Adding to the teams' championship Ferrari inherited when McLaren had all of their points stripped in light of the spying scandal, Raikkonen, in his first season with the team, was full of praise for the Scuderia

"It is great to win both championships. I thank the whole team for that, for all their hard work, and Felipe, too. It was perfect teamwork."



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