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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 October 2007, 18:27 GMT 19:27 UK
Brazilian Grand Prix 2007
Interlagos, 19-21 October, 2007



Kimi Raikkonen
Raikkonen made up a 26-point deficit
World champion Kimi Raikkonen believes he won his first Formula One title because of Ferrari's superb teamwork.

Trailing Lewis Hamilton by 26 points at one stage, Raikkonen clinched the title after winning the Brazilian Grand Prix.

"We weren't in the strongest position at some points, but we always believed we could recover," said Raikkonen.

"Even in the hard times we stuck together," the Finn added. "I need to thank the team because we always worked hard to improve the situation."

606: DEBATE

Hamilton's attempt to make history by winning the title in his maiden season ended when he finished only seventh.

The Briton had started the race as title favourite with a four-point lead over team-mate Fernando Alonso and an advantage of seven over Raikkonen.

But Hamilton's challenge was scuppered when problems with his McLaren saw him drop to the back of the field early in the race.

And former world champion Alonso's hopes were dashed as he finished third behind Raikkonen's team-mate Felipe Massa.

Brazilian Massa, who had led for most of the first 50 laps, was overtaken by Raikkonen during the second round of pitstops who held onto the lead to secure victory and the championship..

Raikkonen was quick to praise Massa's contribution to his title success.

"It is great to win both championships," said Raikkonen, referring to Ferrari's constructors' championship success. "I thank the whole team for that, for all their hard work, and Felipe too.

"It was perfect teamwork."

Runner-up in 2003 and 2005, Raikkonen is the third Finnish Formula One world champion after Keke Rosberg (1982) and Mika Hakkinen (1998 and 1999).

Raikkonen is the first driver since the late Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio to win the championship in his first season with Ferrari.

The Finn joined Ferrari from McLaren as successor to retired seven-times champion Michael Schumacher.



SEE ALSO
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F1's new star - and it's not the champ
21 Oct 07 |  Formula One
Formula One hits new heights
21 Oct 07 |  Formula One
Hamilton's maiden season
21 Oct 07 |  Motorsport
Raikkonen the playboy king
21 Oct 07 |  Formula One
Alonso will leave McLaren - Head
21 Oct 07 |  Formula One
Hamilton starts second in Brazil
20 Oct 07 |  Formula One
Brazilian Grand Prix photos
19 Oct 07 |  Formula One


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