Raikkonen celebrates championship success 24 Oct 2007
Newly-crowned world champion Kimi Raikkonen has paid tribute to Ferrari after claiming his first drivers title on Sunday in Brazil. Raikkonen, who beat McLarens Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso by a single point, also thanked his loyal fans for their support.
I am so happy it almost hurts! This is like a dream come true, said the Finn. I want to thank all those who have been close to me over all these years, all my fans. Thanks to the team: it is fantastic being a part of the greatest team of all times. This year I really enjoyed Formula One more than ever before. I dreamt about winning the title with Ferrari and I bet that this is every driver's dream. This team never stops: they work at the max and never give up.
Raikkonen had arrived at Interlagos seven points adrift and needed to win the race - and for Hamilton to finish no higher than sixth and Alonso to cross the line no higher than third - to claim the crown. He eventually won the Brazilian event, ahead of team mate Felipe Massa and third-placed Alonso.
It was a great race and I think that I've never experienced such emotions in the cockpit, Raikkonen added. As a team we couldn't do more than a double-win, but when I had crossed the line the most important thing to know was what Hamilton had done.
"I asked for information over the radio but there was just silence for a couple of seconds: finally Chris (Dyer, race engineer) told me that he came in seventh and my heart nearly went into flames due to happiness! This is it: now we're world champions!
Raikkonen will be in action next at Ferraris World Finals later this month. The annual event, which traditionally marks the end of the Italian teams motorsport season, gets underway on Wednesday October 24 at Monza.