Fans had been looking forward to it for years, and now it's come to a close. For 2007, Formula One stepped out of the dominating shadow of seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, the first season since his retirement, and came to today's final race of the season in a close three-way battle between Ferrari's "iceman" Kimi Raikonnen and McLaren's feuding fraternity of defending champion Fernando Alonso and amazing rookie Lewis Hamilton, Ferrari's brave Brazilian Felipe Massa having fell out of contention earlier in the season.
The 2007 Brazilian Grand Prix was a thrilling end to a thrilling season and a gripping race in its own rite. SPOILER ALERT: Follow the jump to find out who won the race, who took the title and how it all went down.
The first two rows of the starting grid were divided up as they've been practically all season between the two front-running teams, with Felipe Massa taking pole alongside Lewis Hamilton, who looked almost assured to race to victory. Raikkonen lined up behind his team-mate in third, and Alonso behind his in fourth. Off the line Massa blocked Hamilton and Raikkonen swooped into second place, and the Ferraris lead the race from the first lap and held it almost exclusively the entire race. Hamilton meanwhile punted off the track and came back in fourth after the first corner, and things only went downhill for him as he dropped further down the field. On Lap 8, Hamilton's car almost inexplicably slowed down and it seemed the race might be over for the promising young driver, but he soon sped up again and fought to work his way back up the field, only to finish seventh, adding just two points to the 107 he brought with him to Brazil. Not enough.
Massa had a spectacular race, leading from the start through the middle of the race when it was time for both Ferraris to pit, and when it was over, Raikkonen had conveniently taken the lead over his team mate. Massa had said publicly before the race that if it would make the difference, he'd be willing to help Kimi clinch the title. It was a far more discreet switching of places than that seen in the Schumacher-Barrichello era, and Kimi acknowledged his team-mate's support.
Alonso was also in contention to secure what would have been his third consecutive world title, but the Spanish driver just couldn't keep pace with the red storm, finishing third on the podium alongside hometown hero Massa in second and Raikkonen on the top step of the podium. Nico Rosberg came in fourth for Williams, followed by BMW's Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld in fifth and sixth respectively, and Toyota's Jarno Trulli who scored the final point in eighth place behind Hamilton in seventh.
Raikkonen's brilliant victory was enough by one point for the Finn to secure the driver's championship. Hamilton's larger number of grand prix victories this season over his team mate meant he took second place in the standings to Alonso's third with the same points, Massa taking fourth followed by Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica who had a solid season with BMW-Sauber.