This was the first time since 1986 three drivers went into the final race fighting for the title. The last 2 times this has happened the driver leading before the final race did not win the title.
The race start was a perfect display of Ferrari team work. Massa slowed down Hamilton allowing Raikkonen to gain a place. Ferrari 1-2 before the first corner… Hamilton went on to loose another place to Alonso who came out of nowhere to overtake him. Hamilton went off the track and dropped further down to 8th. After first few corners the title chances of Raikkonen and Alonso were no longer only mathematical… Then eight laps later it all went wrong for Hamilton. His car suddenly slowed down and it looked like he may have to retire. He got the car going but by that time he lost about 40 seconds and dropped way back down to 18th place. Ferraris were pulling away from Alonso. It started to look like this may be Kimi’s day after all…
Hamilton drove superbly, overtaking car after car. He made very short pit stop for short stint on super soft tyres. He also switched to 3 stop strategy, probably hoping that shorter stops will prevent him dropping too many places back. All he could do though was to climb up to 7th place.
Raikkonen kept with 2-3 seconds of Massa all the time. He stayed out for 3 laps longer before the 2nd round of pit stops. This made look the team play a bit less obvious but as expected, he came back from the pits ahead of Massa. Only some mishap could prevent Kimi’s win and Ferrari 1-2 finish now. Hamilton was way too far back to be able to make it up to 5th, only some problems to some drivers ahead of him would win him the title. Nothing like that happened (at least not on the track). Kimi cruised to victory and title. 110 points to Kimi, 109 to Hamilton, 109 to Alonso. How much closer could it be…
Behind the top three Rosberg had his bast race to date, claiming 4th, ahead of both BMWs. Red Bulls excellent qualifying was followed by horrible race. Webber retired early on, Coulthard only managed 9th. The rookie Kazuki Nakajima had great debut race, making several places and finishing 10th. Lucky for the other drivers, not so for his pit crew he left his rookie stunt for the pitlane, hitting few of his mechanics instead of any cars on the track.
Both Renaults retired from the race. Fisichella after a collision with Sakon Yamamoto, Kovalainen after crashing out. Both Toyotas finished the race, with Jarno Trulli claiming a point for 8th place finished. Sebastian Vettel had pretty good race while it lasted, unfortunatelly for him he had to retire. Honda’s season to forget ended with a race to forget. None of the cars finished the race leaving Rubens Barrichello with zero points next to his name… Not what he hoped for when he left Ferrari… Super Aguri finished their season at the back, but at least both cars finished the race. This was the last race for Spyker (under their current name), unfortunatelly for them, none of the cars made it to the chequered flag.
After the race both Williams and BMW were investigated for illegal fuel. Their disqualification would greatly affect the final standings, as hamilton would gain 3 places and go to 4th, claiming the title. However no penalty was imposed by stewards and so the results stay. For the moment at least. McLaren can appeal and it seems they plan to do so… But for now, Kimi Raikkonen is the new Formula 1 champion.