While not a man normally renowned for his verbal enthusiasm, new Formula 1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen admitted he was almost at a loss for words when it came to describing how he felt at lifting the laurels at the end of one of the most incredible seasons the sport has ever seen.

The Ferrari ace went into the Brazilian Grand Prix trailing leader Lewis Hamilton by seven points and reigning double world champion Fernando Alonso by three, but victory at Interlagos - allied to Alonso's distant third place and Hamilton's problem-afflicted seventh - was enough to see him clinch the crown by a single point, and also made him the winningest driver of an extraordinary 2007 campaign.

"It's very difficult for me to explain in words what I am feeling at the moment," the Finn - in a rare display of emotion - revealed after the chequered flag had dropped for the final time this year. "It is incredible, and I want to thank the team for everything they have done. Even when we went through some difficult times and it looked as though there was no way to fight back, we never gave up and this work produced its reward today.

"Thanks also to my parents, my wife Jenni and everyone who believed in me. I have achieved what I have been after for a long time. Now everything else will be an extra. Today, Felipe's help was vital and he was amazing. We had to get a one-two and then see what the others did.

"This time, things went our way and the unexpected did happen. This has been a very nice year for me during which I have enjoyed Formula 1 like never before. In Ferrari, I have found a great family, and I am proud to have won the title with them."

The Scuderia's team principal Jean Todt was similarly moved by the final outcome, one that has seen Ferrari claim both titles at the end of a season-long, no-holds barred duel with McLaren.

"A dream that seemed impossible to come true was transformed into reality at the end of a race which the drivers and the team managed superbly," the Frenchman praised. "That is self-evident from looking at the details of the race. We had to get a one-two and then see what our main competitors could do.

"We needed a 'helping hand' from others, both those in the running for the title as well as those out of the running to bring home both titles. And yes, because not only have we taken the drivers' title with Kimi, but we also numerically confirmed the constructors' title that we acquired after the decision of the FIA World Council back on 13 September.

"Two titles, nine wins, four one-two finishes, nine pole positions and twelve fastest race laps - these are exceptional figures in a season which included some difficult moments, but in which we never gave up the fight. Today was our reward for all this work. I wish to congratulate Kimi and thank Felipe, who again demonstrated his loyalty to Ferrari. Without his help, we would have not reached this result."

"We needed a perfect race and we produced one," agreed technical director Luca Baldisserri. "However, even that on its own would not have been enough and we needed a little help from the others. Our two drivers were fantastic and the car was up to their level. This result is a dream, and we were so keen to win it on the race track. It confirms we are a fantastic group."

 

Comments

Loading Comments...