One race: the “Formula 1™ Grande Prêmio do Brasil 2007”, maybe the most important race of the year for Hamilton, Alonso and Raikkonen. On 21 October they will do their best to finish 71 laps, those infernal 305.909 km (190,083.04 miles) that keeps them away from the Title. Maybe one of them will even break the lap record established in 2004 by Montoya: 1:11.473. Definitely Alonso and Raikkonen will try to a better position than last year – Alonso finished second last year and Kimi was the fifth. Hamilton has nothing to prove except that his the best “rookie”, if you could call him a rookie, driver in Formula 1.
It hasn’t been a fight like this for the driver championship in over 20 yeas.
Raikkonen & Hamilton (Raikkonen passing Hamilton)
This year for the first time in over 20 years, three drivers will fight for the title: Lewis Hamilton from McLaren-Mercedes, his team mate Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen from Ferrari. They all are fantastic drivers; Kimi and Alonso have on their side the experience accumulated over the years in Formula one but Hamilton has the talent – I consider him to be the best driver this year.
Let’s take a look at these fantastic drivers and see what everyone’s advantage in this “fight” is.
Lewis Hamilton (Birth date: 7 January 1985)
The “rookie” driver at his first season in Formula 1 impressed everyone. He had a great season, won some races but made some mistakes too – the most important one is that from Shanghai. The most important thing is that he’s ahead, he has 107 points and if he finishes immediately behind Alonso he will be champion.
Lewis declared after the Shanghai Grand Prix: "I will do what I can to score the points I need, and the rest is out of our hands." You can see from what he said that he doesn’t feel any pressure. And why should he feel it? If he wins he’s the first rookie champion and if he loses he’s still had the greatest rookie season in Formula One history. But there is a lot of pressure around this last Formula 1 race. Pressure after his error in China, from his rivals; his team; the media; himself; and, arguably most of all, from genuine Formula One fans around the world who, after a season seemingly dominated by off-track politicking, desperately want to see him champion.
His inexperienced, ok, he has taken titles before but Formula One is different. Maybe these things will influence the result but Formula One is very unpredictable and anything can happen.
Fernando Alonso (Birth date: 29 July 1981)
Last year champion begun his career in Formula One in 2001 at Minardi; in 2003 he raced for Renault – where he won 2 titles – until this year when he moved to McLaren.
"Although I am now only four points away from Lewis, I still need for there to be a lot of circumstances in my favor for me to win the drivers’ title that are out of my control, but for sure I will be doing everything that is under my control to make it happen," Alonso said after China. Those “circumstances” that are not in his favor are referring to the atmosphere inside the team. I’m asking myself “how can Hamilton, at his first season in Formula 1, be better the Alonso, an experienced driver whit two consecutive titles”. I think this is the main problem now at McLaren. Everyone is impressed by Lewis and isolate Alonso. This “isolation” is influenced by the rumor that Alonso will leave McLaren after the race in Brazil. I don’t think that the team atmosphere puts pressure on Alonso, the same thing happened last year at Renault but Alonso won the championship.
My only concern for Sunday’s race regarding Alonso is that he could try to be more aggressive against his team mate, and both could have an accident. And I hope that McLaren will not try to influence the drivers by giving them team orders.
Kimi Raikkonen (Birth date: 17 October 1979)
The “Ice Man” started his career in Formula One in 2001 at Sauber; from 2002 to 2006 he raced for McLaren and this year replaced Michael Schumacher at Ferrari. With McLaren he almost won the Driver Championship Title in 2003 and 2005 when he finished second. Maybe third time is the lucky one! His experienced enough for this important race and he will try everything he can to win it because this is his only chance at the Title. His behind Hamilton with 7 point, and he needs, for winning the Title that Alonso finishes third and Hamilton to come home no higher than sixth.
He has an important disadvantage: his car. This year Ferrari’s has been pretty weak relative to McLaren and the slightest car problem could cost him the Title. But he has an “Ace under his sleeve” – his team mate – Felipe Massa. Ferrari will definitely do everything in their power to make sure Massa’s main role is a supporting one to Raikkonen’s charge for victory in Brazil. Knowing Massa, this could mean the difference between victory and defeat.
Now I think that is time for some historical statistics:
In the eight previous three-way fights, the driver leading the points before the final race went on to become champion three times (1959, 1968, 1974)
Three times (1964, 1981, 1983) the guy in second place with a race to go came through to win the championship
And on two occasions (1950, 1986) the driver who was third in the standings jumped to the front in the final race
So both the leading driver and the one in second place had 37.5% chances to win the title while the driver who was third has only 25% chances of winning.
I wonder what will happen if Hamilton who has 107 point finishes the race third and receives 6 points making a total of 113 point, and Alonso who has 103 point finishes first and receives 10 points making a total of 113 point. This will definitely be the first time in Formula One when two drivers finish the Championship with the same number of points, and I will love to see something like that!
Good luck to Hamilton, Alonso and Kimi, and I hope you’ll enjoy the race!