The 2007 Season Review - Mercedes-Benz Forum

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-31-2007, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
CH4S Artist
Teutone's Avatar
Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
Location: Los Angeles / Hannover Germany
Posts: 33,439
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Quoted: 937 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
(Thread Starter)
The 2007 Season Review

The 2007 Season Review - Part One
Lewis's dazzling debut, Kimi's first red win and a shock for Honda
If all publicity’s good publicity, Formula One racing had one of its best ever years in 2007. Hard-hitting news stories broke with such regularity that newspaper editors and television broadcasters tripped over themselves to get the exclusives.

Rookie sensation Lewis Hamilton was never far from the storyline. After being confirmed alongside reigning champion Fernando Alonso last November, he showed electrifying pace from the outset. His consistency surprised everyone, including Alonso, and the McLaren drivers became embroiled in a sometimes bitter rivalry that helped Kimi Raikkonen steal the drivers’ title from under their noses at the final race.

The constructors’ championship was equally hard-fought between Formula One racing’s two biggest teams and for the first time in living memory, its destiny was decided by events off-track. The so-called ‘spy scandal’ dominated the summer months and rocked the sport to its core. Two extraordinary meetings of the FIA’s World Motorsport Council were needed to establish the facts and resulted in McLaren losing all of their 2007 constructors’ points and receiving a record fine of $100 million.

Elsewhere in the pitlane, Renault struggled relative to their back-to-back world title successes of 2005 and ’06, while the BMW Sauber drivers showed great consistency in their F1.07, standing on every step of the podium, except the middle one.

Here’s how the year unfolded.

March: In Melbourne it’s all smiles at McLaren. “I have a lot of respect for Fernando,” says a fresh-faced Hamilton. “There is a lot I can learn from him.” Or is there?

Throughout winter testing, Hamilton has seemed more at ease on Bridgestone’s new-for-’07 tyres and he lays down an ominous marker when he overtakes his double world champion team mate at the start of the Australian Grand Prix. They finish the race second (Alonso) and third (Hamilton), but it's Hamilton who grabs the headlines.

“I’ve never seen anyone like him,” says triple world champion Niki Lauda.

Raikkonen, meanwhile, kicks off his Ferrari career in style, romping to an easy victory and setting fastest lap by a second. He celebrates by getting a tattoo, much to the alleged chagrin of Ferrari boss Jean Todt.

There are no such celebrations at Honda after their ‘customer’ team, Super Aguri, blows off the factory squad. Neither Rubens Barrichello nor Jenson Button can find a good balance on the RA107, and both drivers are out-qualified by Anthony Davidson and Takuma Sato, who makes it into Q3 for the first time in Super Aguri’s history.

The final talking point from Melbourne is the near-miss between David Coulthard and Alex Wurz. Coulthard’s over-optimistic lunge down the inside of Wurz on lap 48 results in his Red Bull sliding over the Williams' cockpit, missing Wurz’s head by millimetres. An investigation into the accident leads to the introduction of higher cockpit sides for 2008.

April: Formula One racing has its first off-track skirmish of the year. During the three-week gap between Australia and Malaysia, the moveable floor on Ferrari’s F2007 is banned. The result from Melbourne stands, but the Scuderia are discombobulated and struggle at Sepang, where Alonso takes his first win for McLaren.

A week later, Felipe Massa and Ferrari bounce back with a dominant win in Bahrain, but the headlines belong to Hamilton. He continues his blistering start to the year by finishing second in Malaysia and Bahrain and, significantly, he beats Alonso fair and square at Sakhir, where the reigning champ comes in fifth.

Nick Heidfeld is the best of the rest at each of the opening ‘fly-away’ races, finishing fourth on each occasion for BMW Sauber. In Bahrain, his brilliant overtaking manoeuvre on Alonso gives German fans missing Michael Schumacher something to cheer.

Williams are also in good shape after Nico Rosberg backs up his seventh place finish in Australia with two Q3 slots in Malaysia and Bahrain. He’s on course for sixth place at Sepang, until retiring with 13 laps to go.

So, with the first phase of the 2007 season complete, the Formula One paddock returns to Europe with Alonso, Hamilton and Raikkonen level on points at the top of the table and Massa just five adrift. An early sign of just how tense the championship is to become.
Teutone is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-31-2007, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
CH4S Artist
Teutone's Avatar
Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
Location: Los Angeles / Hannover Germany
Posts: 33,439
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Quoted: 937 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
(Thread Starter)
The 2007 Season Review - Part Two

The 2007 Season Review - Part Two
As the world championship headed to Europe for round four, nothing separated the top two teams in terms of performance. Better consistency from McLaren ensured they were five points ahead of Ferrari in the constructors’ championship, but the Italian team were poised to bounce back at any time.

BMW Sauber had made a nest for themselves in third place, while Renault knew already that a third successive championship wasn’t on the cards. Of the two Japanese manufacturers, Toyota held the advantage with their TF107. Not only that, their engine partnership with Williams was already bearing fruit. Honda, on the other hand, were having a horrid time with their uncompetitive RA107.

The month break between the Bahrain and Spanish Grands Prix gave the teams lots of time to develop their cars. Here’s what happened next.

May: At the Circuit de Catalunya, Felipe Massa continues where he left off in Bahrain. He dominates the Spanish Grand Prix from pole position, coming home ahead of Lewis Hamilton and hometown hero Fernando Alonso. Kimi Raikkonen retires with an electrical problem.

A BMW Sauber (Robert Kubica) finishes fourth for the fourth successive race, while David Coulthard puts in an exemplary performance to finish fifth for Red Bull, despite losing third gear in the closing stages. There are also celebrations at Super Aguri, who score their first ever world championship point when Takuma Sato beats the Renault of Giancarlo Fisichella to finish eighth.

At Monaco, Ferrari struggle. Whereas the long wheelbase of their F2007 helped them stretch their legs at the aero-sensitive Circuit de Catalunya, it seems more of a hindrance through the narrow streets of the Principality. Massa finishes third and Raikkonen, after a qualifying shunt, suffers the ignominy of being lapped by the McLaren pair.

Hamilton finishes second to Alonso, but when McLaren boss Ron Dennis lets slip that his drivers were instructed to hold station during the final laps, all hell breaks loose in the British press. “Robbed!” scream the English tabloid newspapers.

“He would never have passed me,” says an unimpressed Alonso. “After all, this is Monaco we’re talking about.”

Fisichella, meanwhile, puts in a solid performance. He comes home in fourth place, giving Renault their best result of the year so far.

June: Lewis Hamilton not only breaks his duck, he does the double. The McLaren star wins both the Canadian and United States Grands Prix and returns to Europe with a 10-point lead at the top of the drivers’ championship. Amazingly, he is 26 points ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, who fails to finish on the podium in either race.

The main talking point of Montreal, however, is the miraculous escape of Robert Kubica, who hits a concrete wall head-on at 143mph. He escapes with nothing more serious than concussion and a sprained ankle.

“Not many years ago,” says Bernie Ecclestone, “that accident would have been fatal.”

Only last winter the FIA introduced three new safety developments, all of which had a bearing on the severity - or lack of - of Kubica’s injuries. The frontal impact test was increased from 14 to 15 metres per second, a six-millimetre coat of Zylon was added to prevent the chassis split lines from breaking, and the wheel tethers’ strength was increased to 6kj.

In what is the most eventful race of the year so far, there are plenty of other talking points. Massa is excluded after 51 laps for passing through a red light at the exit of the pitlane, Williams’ Alex Wurz scores his first podium for 10 years and Takuma Sato does more giant-killing for Super Aguri. He overtakes Alonso in the dying moments of the race to claim sixth place and the Spaniard immediately airs his frustrations to the Spanish press.

“I’ve never felt totally comfortable in a British team, with a British team mate,” he says. “We know the support is going to him, but I am calm.”

The top two teams dominate at Indianapolis a week later. A McLaren one-two is followed by a Ferrari three-four. Heikki Kovalainen is fifth for Renault, while Sebastian Vettel subs for Kubica at BMW Sauber and finishes eighth. At 19 years and 11 months, Vettel is the youngest driver in Formula One history to score a world championship point.
Teutone is offline  
post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-31-2007, 10:21 AM Thread Starter
CH4S Artist
Teutone's Avatar
Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
Location: Los Angeles / Hannover Germany
Posts: 33,439
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Quoted: 937 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
(Thread Starter)
The 2007 Season Review - Part Three

The 2007 Season Review - Part Three
Of Kimi Raikkonen’s six victories this season, his domination of July's French Grand Prix was one of the most crucial.

Until that point, Raikkonen’s championship challenge in the Ferrari had been less than convincing as he'd struggled to master Bridgestone's 2007-spec tyres. Suddenly, though, he got on a roll. Here's how the mid-season unfolded...

July: For the first time since Barcelona, four races earlier, the Formula One circus arrives at a track that favours Ferrari. Magny-Cours’ fast sweeps play into the hands of the F2007’s peerless aerodynamics and the Scuderia take their first one-two of the season, Raikkonen leading home team mate Felipe Massa.

In his least competitive showing of the year so far, Hamilton comes third for McLaren, while BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica finishes a creditable fourth in his first race since his horrific crash in Montreal.

There are smiles down at Honda too, where Jenson Button finishes eighth to score the team’s first point of the season. “Jenson just gets better and better with every year,” says team boss Nick Fry.

Following such a dominant display at Magny-Cours, Ferrari are confident of another competitive showing around the fast sweeps of Silverstone a week later. They are not disappointed: Raikkonen is dominant, winning the British Grand Prix from pole position.

The top eight positions at Silverstone are filled by the top four teams: Ferrari, McLaren, BMW Sauber and Renault. Alonso is second and Hamilton third, much to the delight of the British crowd and footballer David Beckham, who watches the race from the Honda motorhome with wife Victoria.

Next it's to the Nurburgring for Formula One racing's only Grand Prix of the year on German soil. It’s a weekend for Hamilton to forget. He crashes heavily during qualifying, spins into the gravel at Turn One at the start of the race and finishes ninth. It’s the first time this year that he's failed to finish on the podium.

The dry-wet-dry-wet race is led initially by Spyker's Markus Winkelhock, who is the only driver on the grid to start on wet tyres. Then Fernando Alonso surges to the fore and overtakes Massa for the lead with four laps to go. Red Bull’s Mark Webber is the final podium finisher after he successfully fends off a late-race challenge from Williams’ driver Alex Wurz.

As soon as the chequered flag drops on the European Grand Prix, the Formula One world turns its attention to Paris, where an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council (WMSC) is scheduled for July 26. They are investigating claims by Ferrari that McLaren’s design chief Mike Coughlan has been in unauthorised possession of a 780-page dossier containing the design secrets of its F2007 since March.

After a day of cross-examinations and deliberations, the WMSC concludes that Coughlan has indeed been in possession of the dossier - allegedly given to him by disgruntled Ferrari employee Nigel Stepney - but much to the disappointment of Ferrari, McLaren escape punishment. The conclusion is that Coughlan acted alone and no technical advantage was gained by McLaren.

August: The Ferrari-McLaren ‘spy scandal’ saga continues…

Following a pit-lane kafuffle between Hamilton and Alonso during qualifying at the Hungaroring, the Spaniard’s anger is such that he purportedly threatens to publicise some emails that - he says - would incriminate McLaren further.

On-track, Hamilton returns to his winning ways in Hungary, fending off a late-race challenge from Raikkonen. Nick Heidfeld is third for BMW Sauber, Alonso is fourth, Kubica is fifth and Ralf Schumacher puts in his most impressive drive of the year to come home sixth for Toyota.

Less impressive is the pace of the Hondas. The RA107 struggles for grip around the Hungaroring and is the slowest car on the track. Bar none.

During the three-week summer break that follows the Hungarian race, rumours abound that an email exchange between Alonso and McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa could prove that McLaren had derived a technical advantage from Ferrari's technical dossier. As a result, a second extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council is called on 13 September to investigate further.

The next race, in Turkey, sees a return to a Ferrari-style track. The fast sweeps of Istanbul Park suit the F2007 and Massa scores his second successive win at the circuit, coming home ahead of Raikkonen and Alonso. Hamilton suffers a tyre delamination and comes in fifth after making an extra pit stop.

As the championship heads into its final five races, the top four drivers are separated by just 16 points. It's too close to call.

Part Four coming soon.
Teutone is offline  
post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-01-2007, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
CH4S Artist
Teutone's Avatar
Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
Location: Los Angeles / Hannover Germany
Posts: 33,439
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Quoted: 937 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
(Thread Starter)
The 2007 Season Review - Part Four

01 Nov 2007
The 2007 Season Review - Part Four
There has rarely been a more intense end to a Formula One season. For the first time since 1986, we had a three-way battle for the world championship at the final round, and that's not to mention the headlines that the sport attracted away from the racetrack.

In the fourth - and final - part of our review, we look back at how the season reached its thrilling finale and how Kimi Raikkonen beat Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso to take his maiden drivers’ crown…

September: McLaren score their first ever one-two at the Italian Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso coming home ahead of Lewis Hamilton. To rub salt into Ferrari’s wounds, Felipe Massa retires with a suspension problem and Kimi Raikkonen - who finishes third - is left nursing a sore neck following a hefty accident during practice.

After the race, all eyes turn to the meeting of the World Motor Sport Council in Paris on 13 September, where new evidence - in the form of emails between Alonso and McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa - is examined.

After several hours’ deliberation, the Council reaches a guilty verdict. McLaren lose all of their 2007 constructors’ points and are given a record fine of US$100 million.

Hamilton interrupts his preparations for the Belgian Grand Prix to be at the Paris hearing in person. As a result, he arrives at Spa-Francorchamps later than his rivals and he seems out of sorts all weekend. He comes home fourth, behind Raikkonen, Massa and Alonso.

With the European season over, Formula One racing then heads to Fuji Speedway for the track's first Japanese Grand Prix for 30 years. The weather could hardly be worse: the only dry running of the weekend takes place on Friday, after which the heavens open. Saturday morning practice is cancelled due to poor weather and Sunday’s race starts behind the safety car as the cars aquaplane their way around the flooded track.

Before the race goes green, Ferrari are in tyre trouble. They elect to start the race on wet tyres, having not received a directive from the FIA, requesting all cars start on extreme wets, in time. As a result, Raikkonen and Massa are forced to pit within the opening couple of laps, scuppering their races.

When the safety car pits on Lap 19, pole-sitter Hamilton leads and he drives an inch-perfect race to score his first win in the wet. Alonso crashes out at two-thirds distance, leaving Renault’s Heikki Kovalainen to finish second and Raikkonen third. It’s the first time ever that two Finns have appeared on the same Formula One podium.

A couple of incidents bring out the safety car during the race, the last of which results in a collision between Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel. The Red Bull-supported drivers are lying second and third at the time and both hint that Hamilton’s erratic driving behind the safety car played a role in the shunt. After discussion by the stewards, no action is taken against Hamilton.

He leaves Japan with a 12-point lead over Alonso and a staggering 17-point buffer over Raikkonen.

October: When Hamilton qualifies on pole at the Shanghai International Circuit, Formula One prepares for its first rookie world champion since Giuseppe Farina in 1950. Even British Prime Minister Gordon Brown sends a message to McLaren requesting Hamilton’s company at 10 Downing Street the following week, should he clinch the title.

The start of the race is wet for the second successive Grand Prix. Hamilton leads away and stays in front until Lap 28, when, on a drying track, Raikkonen seizes the lead with an audacious overtaking manoeuvre. Two laps later, Hamilton is left beached in the pit-lane gravel trap, his tyres too worn even to make the turn in the pit lane.

Raikkonen wins, Alonso is second and the championship battle heads to Brazil.

There are two other performances of note in China. Vettel makes up for his retirement in Japan by coming home fourth, giving him and Toro Rosso their best-ever result, and Jenson Button drives a cracking race to finish fifth for Honda.

There are few more dramatic locations for a championship showdown than Interlagos. The track is built in a bowl, creating a natural amphitheatre for the country's passionate Formula One fans.

At the top of the drivers’ championship, Hamilton has a four-point lead over Alonso and a seven-point lead over Raikkonen. Irrespective of where his rivals finish, fifth place will guarantee the rookie the world title.

There is another first-timer in the race. Kazuki Nakajima is a new face at Williams, following Alex Wurz’s retirement from Formula One racing after the Chinese Grand Prix and he impresses immediately by ending Friday practice within 0.1 seconds of team mate Nico Rosberg.

Massa repeats his pole position of 2006 and Hamilton lines up alongside him on the grid. Raikkonen is third and Alonso fourth and there are two Red Bulls in the top ten for the second race in succession.

Raikkonen makes the best start of the title contenders, overtaking Hamilton immediately. But Hamilton's woes are far from over: first Alonso passes him on the inside at Turn Three and then he runs wide at Turn Four, dropping to eighth.

On Lap Eight, Hamilton's dream is effectively over. A gearbox glitch slows him for 37 seconds and drops him to 18th position. Despite a spirited fightback, he only makes it back to seventh place.

A thrilling late-race battle between Nico Rosberg and BMW Sauber’s Robert Kubica for fourth place ends in Rosberg’s favour, giving the 22 year-old his best finish in Formula One racing and assuring Williams of fourth place in the constructors’ championship, behind Renault.

Raikkonen, meanwhile, wins the race - his sixth victory of the year - after passing Massa for the lead during the second pit-stop sequence. The Finn is world champion for the first time, following in the wheel tracks of compatriots Keke Rosberg and Mika Hakkinen.

Hamilton and Alonso finish the year equal on points, but the Briton finishes second on countback.
Teutone is offline  
Sponsored Links

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > Mercedes-Benz Motorsports & Racing

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


  • Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
    Thread Tools
    Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
    Email this Page Email this Page
    Display Modes
    Linear Mode Linear Mode

    Similar Threads
    Topic Author Forum Replies Last Post
    Niki Lauda’s 2007 Season Review Teutone Mercedes-Benz Motorsports & Racing 0 10-30-2007 09:53 PM
    Season 2007 - Porsche rules out F1 return Teutone Mercedes-Benz Motorsports & Racing 3 09-25-2007 06:34 PM
    2007 Mercedes G-Class review torres G-Class 2 02-28-2007 06:05 AM
    New F1 Line Up for 2007 Season Curacao Mercedes-Benz Motorsports & Racing 7 01-12-2007 10:54 PM
    Hexomat all season floormat review alexnatt W124 E,CE,D,TD Class 0 12-08-2006 09:38 AM

    Posting Rules  
    You may post new threads
    You may post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are On
    Pingbacks are On
    Refbacks are On


    Title goes here

    video goes here
    description goes here. Read Full Story
    For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome