How 2007 F1 title was set up for Kimi

I am following Formula One ever since i was 8 years old. I have very rarely ever missed a race. But i have. Because i had no other choice, yet there were times when my friends went on the beach with girls and what not and i chose sitting alone in my apartment watching race on joyful summer day instead. Because thats what i love. And i enjoyed probably every race. When my guy was losing or when he was winning. When one driver was dominating and when the race was a real show. When cars had great sound and poor like today. For me, every race was always true. Even, even when in ’05 US GP there were 6 cars. I stayed till the end to see if Michael was going to win. Except once, twice or perhaps thrice. Ill come to that later.

Most people are not like that and, 8, 9 years from that point of time when i enjoyed all of those things people today complain about F1 how its easy how the engines sound etc. They don’t get it that to be a racing driver in Formula One is for sure stressful thing in which human body experiences very big G-forces and changes of speeds from 60km/h to 330km/h in a matter of seconds, sure as the sun that comes out each day one needs to be on the edge with his mental and physical abilities, as Jean Alesi would say “in F1 you need driver able to push 100% every single lap”. That’s my point of view and that’s why i can enjoy it. From always people would first complain and talk about others instead looking for themselves, or before trying to put themselves in their’s skin and try to understand.

That’s something not everyone can do it physically and not everyone has the mental capability of enduring the whole race or whole weekend doing not one single mistake. For me, that’s fascinating, that’s beautiful. For me, taking the pole, the fastest lap and winning the race by leading every single lap without anyone being able to challenge you is the best victory one could have. Nothing beats that, not even coming from last position to winning the race because for that you need luck. I don’t respect my favorite driver winning something on the back of someone else’s failure. I can celebrate it but not enjoying because in myself id know that wouldn’t be the real outcome if things were slightly different. But it has happened, and even then for that there is small reason why.

How any of this has anything to do with 2007 season you might wonder. In truth, nothing, at least not directly! But, what i am about to write next you might find quite insane, perhaps for you, as those whiners about irrelevant things to F1 racing, such is the sound of the cars, but not for me. Insane also is to think that one can enjoy Formula One race created by one man and not a group of men. I believe in the notion that nothing happens without a reason and reason why i can equally enjoy a race dominated by one driver is because for one i know that he is the best and i can point my finger at him. You know that as for a fact. There is no space for more talk. There are no more debates. And i love to see when they perform. There is no luck for them. You can see it you can feel it. But also you can feel it and see it as a matter of a fact when one can, but doesn’t want to or is not allowed. Now you can connect all i just wrote to all that i have as well written beneath and then once you finish reading, reconsider the F1 2007 season. I mean, such things like i just mentioned of one letting go and such has never happened before in my, then, 10 years of watching F1, or it did, when Rubens had to stop for Michael. I’ve seen everything. Why i am mentioning all of this, well, think on it as you are reading it till the end.

F1 is such a competitive world that in the past drivers collapsed by pushing the cars who run off with gas on foot, for few more points. Today that’s not allowed of course, but drivers could be sometimes helped by marshals. Do i need to say that in the past people died for their cause to reach their goals, their dreams of becoming the Greatest in the Hall of Fame of all times in F1? No. You are experienced you know all of that perhaps three times better than me. I didn’t witnessed the famous “golden era” of F1. I will perhaps never understand why many consider Gilles Villeneuve as one of the all time greats although he crashed 5 cars in 10 races. I wasn’t born when Ayrton Senna was fighting for every single second, every single detail that would make the difference between winning or losing. But i have seen all of that nevertheless afterwards.

 

Let’s get on with !

Season is 2007 and McLaren is with newly crowned double World Champion Fernando Alonso and a newcomer rookie who many claim is brilliantly fast, and he was, at least equally consistent. By 9th Grand Prix the rookie Lewis Hamilton had equal number of podiums out of whom two were wins. Fernando Alonso 6 with 2 wins, Kimi Raikkonen 5 with 3 wins.

As you might notice the newcomer Lewis Hamilton and the youngest in the history at the time was brilliant in any sense of the word even, even against then the Double World Champion, the man who has beaten perhaps Greatest of all times and without any doubt the most successful of all times, Michael Schumacher, for the first time after Mika Hakkinen did 6 years before. But yet imagine Hamilton is not in the center of the things. The “spygate” is!

The 2007 was all in controversy or else known as “stepneygate” which involved the Formula One team McLaren to allegations that they had in their possession highly confidential documents from Ferrari, technical researches and so on. All started when the Ferrari employee Nigel Stepney who was part of the dream team consisted of Rory Byrne, Ross Brawn, Jean Todt and Michael Schumacher after the departure of Ross Brawn and the new reorganization was made within the team he stated in February his unhappiness with his current team Ferrari and later went on to steal documents and gave it to an McLaren employee Mike Coughlan.

As soon as in March, named McLaren employee Mike Coughlan is in possession of those documents, prior Australian Grand Prix. .

On 17th of June in the week of the US Grand Prix of 2007, Ferrari filed formal complaint against N.Stepney that led to an criminal investigation by the Modena district attorney in Italy.

On 3rd of JulyGazzetto delo Sport” reports that after thorough internal investigation within Ferrari Formula One Team, Nigel Stepney has been dismissed as a result and Ferrari spokesman tells “ITV Sport” that latest events surrounding Nigel Stepney are related to “irregularities Ferrari noticed at the Monaco Grand Prix” when white powder is found in the fuel tank of Felipe Massa and was send to the police, driver who at the time is closer to the duo of McLaren in the Drivers Championship than Kimi Raikkonen is. On the same day 3rd of July, Ferrari also took actions against Mike Coughlan for theft of technical information, who was later suspended by Mclaren.

Day later on 4th of July Mclaren Formula One team in their own internal investigation releases statement that nothing is found that can be connected with the case or that any of those highly confidential materials of Ferrari have been in possession within McLaren team other than Mike Coughlan and that nothing from those documents was used on their cars and how no one was ever aware of those documents until 3rd of July.

After getting an warrant for searching the house of Mike Coughlan which resulted with positive outcome for Ferrari, on 10th of July High Court hearing was opened and was set for the day tomorrow to allow Mike Coughlan to submit affidavit. Which he never did in case it was used against him in an Italian court. New details were released that all happened after Ferrari claimed that specifically 780 pages of highly confidential materials were stolen, for which they were never in fact aware of, until a worker from a photocopy shop reported the case, when Mrs.Coughlan went at him to make photocopies of the documents near Woking.

On 12th of July FIA summons McLaren to an extraordinary meeting of the FIA World Motor Sport Council to answer the charges that they had breached Article 151C of the International Sporting Code. At the hearing on 26th of July FIA concludes McLaren was in possession of the documents and is therefore in breach of the Code but with no evidence of using the documents and no actions were taken agains the team. However FIA holds the right to reconvene on the matter if new details came into light. Ferrari were furious.

On 1st of August, Ron Dennis  in open letter to the Italian president of motorsport authority Luigu Macaluso accused Ferrari for giving false accusations and went even further to state that the winning car of the Australian Grand Prix that 2007 year, which was Ferrari, was “illegal”, but McLaren learned about the ‘illegal floor’ only from Nigel Stepney. After founding out about the incident Jonathan Nale instructed Mike Coughlan to cease any communications with Nigel Stepney. McLaren suddenly turned against Ferrari accusing them that they made false accusations, for which they were already aware of those that really happened, even insisting that they never had those 780 pages. Then Hungarian Grand Prix happened.

Many remember Hungarian Grand Prix of 2007 when Fernando Alonso blocked on purpose his younger teammate Lewis Hamilton in the box, disabling him for making it around the circuit in time for one last final hotlap. Ron Dennis burst in flames from anger. TV showed him throwing headphones and running towards Alonso etc. On the day of the race, before the race took place when Ron Dennis met with Alonso, Alonso threaten from Lewis Hamilton who for him shouldn’t enjoy equal rights in the team, Alonso threatens Ron Dennis that he will release emails of his with the test driver of McLaren, Pedro de la Rosa and Mike Coughlan to the FIA. All goes upside down. Although Ron Dennis tried to persuade Max Mosley that the threat was an empty one nevertheless Max took the chance in case he lied and all thing starts once again. That was the new evidence Ferrari needed and enough for FIA to re-open the case. And so they did on 13th September.

On 13th of September FIA hearing imposed very harsh and rude penalty Mclaren deserved for hiding evidence, for dishonest and fraudulent sporting advantage over Ferrari. The penalty included erasing every single point in the Constructors Championship and 100 millions dollars penalty plus requiring from McLaren to submit their chassis for 2008 for scrutiny. However drivers is said are not affected by the penalty and are allowed to fight for the World Championship. Is said …

In the aftermath, on 14th of September just days before the Belgian Grand Prix Ron Dennis comes out and says that he is the man that informed FIA of the additional evidence, just to be confronted by Max Mosley who said that Ron Dennis did nothing else but tried to assure him of the emails had nothing intriguing, which now whole world knew was one big lie. Ron Dennis decides that he is not going to make his appeal just yet. He says he is about to decide after the Belgian Grand Prix.

After the Belgian Grand Prix that took place 2 days after all of this was now ‘almost settled’ with one sure thing, Constructor Championship points taken from Mclaren, no one knew what happened with the other penalty where allegedly McLaren had to pay no more no less but 100 millions of dollars, which in a way is compensation, a price they would pay for the Drivers Championship title, should be won, by one of their drivers Lewis Hamilton or Fernando Alonso. Remember, one of whom, is directly at fault for all this happening to them. That’s way too much to pay. So Belgian Grand Prix is won by Kimi Raikkonen which is his 4th victory that season and is now 13 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton with 3 Grand Prix’s to go. It was perfect solution for McLaren and Ron Dennis to pay back to Alonso for his selfish acts in Hungarian Grand Prix that put whole team in jeopardy, it’s perfectly easy to think they would give the Drivers Championship to Ferrari drivers, at the moment the only able for it Kimi Raikkonen, instead paying 100 millions dollars. After the race speaking to a normal reporter Ron Dennis came out and said his decision that he would not appeal against the penalties given by FIA thus saying “decision has been made and something previously offered was in motion!”

The next GP in Japan, Fernando Alonso who finished every single race in points, failed to finish by losing control in the rain while exiting one relatively easy corner for Double World Champion while going almost but straight line. That race although was won by Lewis Hamilton, after the race he was summoned by the stewarts, believe it or not, for causing an accident in which he wasn’t involved. Namely he braked too much, making Mark Webber from Red Bull to brake too much which resulted in hit from behind from Sebastian Vettel from Toro Rosso who did not brake on time and took out Webber, who were running at the time 2nd and Vettel 3rd, now both out of the race. Hamilton had threat suddenly of losing his victory because of it. Ridiculous! Vettel who hit Webber got only reprimand for being directly involved in it while ironically was said that Hamilton will keep his victory.

With 2 Grand Prix’s left Hamilton now had 107 points, 17 ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and 12 more than Fernando Alonso. Needing only 4 more points than Raikkonen and 8 more than Alonso to win the title. For a driver who finished his first 9 GP’s on podium, that would be walk in the park. If nothing, he could’ve finish easily both in 4th or 5th place and never mind who else won the remaining two he would’ve still be Champion by a single point or two. So although they tried to deny his victory in Japan they made sure he didn’t finish in China as Ron Dennis tried to save his team from throwing away 100 millions of dollars for a title for a guy that was going to win it anyway in the next several years. Before Hamilton literally parked his car in the pit entrance in the small run off area with sand, he won his 6th pole in his career in China and led the whole race, then he unnecessarily stayed longer than he should and fought pointless battle with Kimi Raikkonen risking his position and Kimi’s, so he runs wide making it all much easier for Kimi to get past. In a moment Hamilton comes back from the outside but thats all, Kimi goes ahead and Hamilton goes for the pits stop. Kimi Raikkonen goes on to win the race and Hamilton who was left to run with tyres so badly worn that wires from the tyres could be seen, prior entering the box does such mistake, that is beyond any imagination. If people wanna believe Schumacher parked his car in Monaco the year later, this was equally the same as Hamilton tried to throw the car left and right and even though at really slow speed, it was still good enough to carry him through that sand, but he stops at just few meter from the tarmac. There is only one other who really lost control in that place. Pastor Maldonado. In fact neither he lost control, but blocked his tyres and went almost straight and crashing in the wall because he tried to get himself out of that sand. But not Hamilton.

 

In the beginning of the text i wrote about the will of others before who literally would’ve done everything in their power to win the Championship. I remember Schumacher for being in similar situations and was begging the marshals to push him when he was stuck in Nurburgring. He waved and waved he lost almost whole minute in the sand, his tyres were half stuck in it, but didn’t quit. Hamilton had the right to do the same but he just raised his hands once and as if he tried to make sure marshals don’t push him, he started clicking whatever he was on the wheel as if he was shutting down his engine on purpose. Ron Dennis shown in the TV looking nervous, looking left and right, holding his head like it’s a tragedy, i laugh in same time thinking of Mr.Bean. It was so natural i almost believed it’s for real. Today it seems many did.

Brazilian Grand Prix came and nothing was sure thing yet. Hamilton was still leading the Championship by 7 points from Raikkonen and 6 from Alonso. With the points system of the time being awarded to 8th place that meant all Hamilton needed was to finish at least 5th in case Alonso or Raikkonen win the race. Race went and it was all good and then suddenly out of nowhere we witness Hamilton losing the gears from 7th to N in the very same moment when with his left hand he clicks some button on the back of the wheel, where neutral command actually is located, and steers the cars through the corner, goes 400m in neutral then starts it again like nothing happened.

 

Hamilton now without any points, still with 107 he is behind Raikkonen with 108 and Alonso with 109 who will win the title if Kimi Raikkonen  cannot find a way around Felipe Masa who leads the Grand Prix. Yes, he needs to find a way to pass his teammate Felipe Masa indeed. Imagine, he did that!

While Raikkonen took the lead and got 110 points the duo of McLaren left splitting 2nd and 3rd like never before or after in the history both down by only 1 single point. Creating perhaps the biggest show F1 has ever seen. Many will say it was uncertain it was great watching it etc. But i’d say it was poor, way worse than a dominant season by one single driver. At least, when he wins we can point with finger, he is the best. For the 2007 Formula One Championship though i have whole different opinion and although i am far from being Hamilton fan or anything like it, he was perhaps the only driver who would’ve win the title in his debut Formula 1 Season.

I have very few times started this debate and every single time i was attacked very harshly for believing in the rightly most logical explanation of how Double World Champion Fernando Alonso and a brilliantly good Lewis Hamilton could both lose title by 1 single point to Kimi Raikkonen because for me everything else is the Greatest Failure F1 sports has ever seen. No tyre exploded in last races. No engines went up in flames. Nothing of that kind. 


For Hamilton to lose a title with 2 races to go and 12 points lead and respectively 17 from Kimi from whom and he lost it, having car capable of regularly finishing in 4th at least when the winner could take as much as only 5 points from him, take it if he wins both of them, i dont know what can be worse than that. Football World Cups we know have been set-up. Great football teams were put down in other leagues and in the motorsport nothing is different for that 2007 season.  


Both penalties to McLaren most probably were given in order to twist it all so people can still enjoy it believing its happening for real once Constructor Points were erased and McLaren personal was forbidden to climb on the podium. “It’s said drivers can fight for the title”. Do you think a team like Ferrari with such power will leave it all of that just like that? Be satisfied with McLaren’s penalty of 100 million dollars, literally buying the Drivers Championship when they all knew who really deserved it? After all McLaren had those illegal documents and you cannot lose points in Constructors but win the Drivers Championship when you need a car for that, and how when the car is proclaimed as using competitors confidential materials. How can you say that drivers are taken out of the Championship publicly and losing perhaps all those money from coverage and broadcasting and what not? 100 million dollars is nothing compared to that loss. And no Drivers Championship costs 100 millions of dollars and especially you won’t pay it for your driver who turned the back on you to won it.

You might think whatever you want of this article. Whatever you want about the one who wrote it. But i was very sure that Kimi Raikkonen is going to win the title. And that wasn’t a lucky guess.
Everything happened for some reason! 

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2 thoughts on “How 2007 F1 title was set up for Kimi

  1. I loved your story, believe what you can. How hard is it to accept that lewis was just unlucky last few races? If I would make the decisions I wouldn’t just erase McLaren from constructors, but the drivers too, with few years ban. If anyone was cheating that year, it was McLaren. F1 is a sport known for its ‘cheating’ and bending the rules, hell, Schumacher proves that he was the best in the sport with all that. Mclaren just got caught, and I know it is hard to face it.
    Don’t take this the wrong way, please. I just can’t agree with your story, on the other hand, I LOVE your writing, just.. So many fact in here and accusations just tangled together. Still makes your opinion wrong 🙂

    Like

    1. Thank you but nevertheless no matter what happens no one will make me think otherwise, even if Ron Dennis comes up and says it didn’t happen i wouldn’t believe him. It was all beautifully arranged and for someone like me so obvious. I put a bet that Kimi would be the Champion once the Hungarian GP was finished. Although i had no reason for it whatsoever somehow i was right.

      Like

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