For the first time in over 20 years, three drivers will fight it out for motorsport’s ultimate prize at the final round of the season this weekend. Lewis Hamilton is clear favourite, thanks to a four-point lead over McLaren team mate Fernando Alonso, but the odds rarely tell the whole story.
After one of the most troubled title defences in living memory, Alonso will not give in without a struggle; and then there is Kimi Raikkonen, waiting to pounce, Ferrari very much at the top of their game. But who will win? And why? We examine the factors to be considered…
My choice SURELY goes to the Finn a.k.a Iceman.
Why he’ll win…
Third time lucky: Raikkonen has been here before. He may not have won a title, but he’s been runner-up twice, in 2003 and 2005. In ‘03 he missed out by just two points, after pushing Michael Schumacher all the way to the wire. Such experience stands him in good stead - you can rely on Raikkonen to give it his all - and not to crack under pressure. On top of that he likes coming from behind - just look at his fearless fight through the field at Fuji recently.
His team mate: with Felipe Massa out of the championship running, past form suggests Ferrari will do everything in their power to make sure his main role is a supporting one to Raikkonen’s charge for victory in Brazil. Definitely a luxury Alonso and Hamilton won’t be enjoying!
Why he won’t win…
Reliability: relative to McLaren, Ferrari’s has been pretty weak this season and just one more problem - in either qualifying or race - would put Raikkonen out of contention.
He’s too far behind: he trails Hamilton by seven points and Alonso by three, which means not only does Raikkonen almost certainly need to win in Brazil - ideally with Massa second - he also needs some serious misfortune to come his rivals’ way. Even if he leads home a Ferrari one-two, with Alonso finishing third, Raikkonen would need Hamilton to come home no higher than sixth to steal the title.
[taken from F1.com archieve on 15 Oct. 2007]