It happened today – 16 September

Kimi Raikkonen, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso

On 16th September 2007, Kimi Raikkonen won the Belgian Grand Prix.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

On 16th September 2007, Kimi Raikkonen won the Belgian Grand Prix. Victory for the Finn, with Felipe Massa second was enough to give Scuderia Ferrari its fifteenth Constructors’ title, when there were still three races to go to the end of the season. Three days earlier, on 13th September, the FIA World Council had excluded McLaren from the Constructors’ Championship, removing all the points it had scored so far, as well as imposing a heavy fine, following what has now become known as the Spygate saga. With its main rival disqualified, it was a formality for the Scuderia to pick up the necessary points to put itself out of reach of BMW, now second in the classification. The one-two finish in Spa was a response to McLaren doing the same thing a fortnight earlier in Monza and gave the Scuderia a glimmer of hope for the Drivers’ title, which had looked to be heading for the English team.

On the grid, the front row was all red, with Kimi on pole and Felipe alongside him. When the lights went out, the two Ferrari men got away well, leaving the two McLarens trailing, fighting hard between themselves. The lead quartet immediately pulled away from the pack, to the extent that on lap 5, Rosberg was already over 11” down on Kimi. The Finn led his team-mate by 1”8, with Alonso third at 4”4 and Hamilton fourth at 6”2. The first part of the race was the key to the duel between Kimi and Felipe: the pole man managed to gradually pull out tenth after tenth, until his advantage reached a maximum of 5”4, on the lap before his first pit stop, which came on lap 15. Alonso pitted at the same time, although he was over 10” behind. Next time round, it was Felipe and Hamilton who came in, but the situation didn’t change: on lap 17, Kimi still led by 4”8 from Felipe, Heidfeld, who would stop next time round was third at 8”. Alonso was fourth, 12”4 down and Hamilton was fifth at 14”7. The second stint was run by the Maranello pitwall crew in the same way as the first, with the two drivers’ stops again separated by one lap. However, the McLaren duo were banking on a later second stop, especially for Hamilton. The gap between the two Ferraris was pretty much unaltered and only changed as they lapped other cars. However, the gap to the McLarens was growing: on lap 30, Alonso was at 19”9 off Kimi, with Hamilton at 24”2. The second and final stops for the Ferrari men came on laps 31 and 32, first with Kimi and then Felipe. Alonso pitted on lap 33, while Hamilton stayed on track until lap 37. After the run of pit stops, the positions remained unchanged: Kimi first, Felipe at 3”1, Alonso at 17”2 and Hamilton at 23”6. The final stint, run on the softer tyres, saw Felipe close on Kimi, but without getting close enough to pose a threat. At the end of the 44 laps, the Ferrari duo crossed the line separated by 4”6. Alonso was third ahead of his team-mate.

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