Kimi Raikkonen won the first race of the season in Australia on this day in 2007, in his first appearance for Ferrari, making the best possible start to his only championship winning season.
Raikkonen made his Formula One debut in 2001 in Sauber when he finished sixth in Australia and in 2002 he went to McLaren as Hakkinen’s successor and finished the 2003 and 2005 F1 seasons in second place behind Schumacher (2003) and Alonso (2005).
After Schumacher withdrew from Formula One at the end of 2006, Ferrari decided to bring Raikkonen and retain Massa for the 2007 F1 season.
Raikkonen was fastest in Q1, while Alonso was fastest in Q2, three tenths ahead of Raikkonen, but in Q3, where drivers started with race fuel, Raikkonen was fastest, four tenths ahead of Alonso, who moved to McLaren that season where his team-mate was 2006 GP2 Champion Hamilton.
Heidfeld was third for the BMW Sauber, Hamilton fourth for McLaren and Kubica fifth in the second BMW Sauber. Massa was fifth fastest in Q1, but crashed in Q2 and started from the pits due to a badly damaged car whose repair required a violation of the parc ferme rule.
Raikkonen keeps the lead at the start, with Hamilton overtaking Alonso for third place on the outside of the first corner, behind Raikkonen and Heidfeld.
Heidfeld had the least fuel at the start of the race and entered the pits in lap 14 and Raikkonen had a 15-second advantage over Hamilton at the end of round 18 and a 16.4 advantage over Alonso before entering the pits in round 19.
Alonso and Hamilton made their first stops in laps 22 and 23 and Raikkonen had an 11.6-second lead over Hamilton and 13 seconds ahead of Alonso at the end of the lap 24.
In the second stint, Alonso stayed two laps longer on the track than Hamilton and came out ahead of him after second stops while Raikkonen was untouchable with 16 seconds advantage in first place.
Raikkonen celebrated in his first race for Ferrari, 7.2 seconds ahead of Alonso and 18.6 s ahead of Hamilton who finished on the podium in his F1 debut on his way to nine consecutive podiums at the start of the season, which is still a record for the F1 debutant.
Heidfeld finished fourth for the BMW Sauber while Kubica retired in the lap 38 due to gearbox problems while he was in fourth place. Fisichella finished fifth for the current constructors’ champions Renault while Massa finished sixth after starting from the pitlane.
The last points were won by Rosberg in Williams and Ralf Schumacher in Toyota who were the first drivers to be lapped in this race.
The race will also be remembered for Coulthard clashing with Wurz when his Red Bull RB3 flew closely over Austrian’s helmet which led to introducing higher cockpit side protection panels for 2008.
|3||9||Nick Heidfeld||BMW Sauber||1:26.556||0.484|
|5||10||Robert Kubica||BMW Sauber||1:27.347||1.275|
|7||15||Mark Webber||Red Bull/Renault||1:27.934||1.862|
|10||22||Takuma Sato||Super Aguri/Honda||1:28.871||2.799|
|11||23||Anthony Davidson||Super Aguri/Honda||1:26.909||0.837|
|17||19||Scott Speed||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1:28.305||2.233|
|18||14||David Coulthard||Red Bull/Renault||1:28.579||2.507|
|19||18||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1:29.267||3.195|
|Pitlane start due to Q2 crash|
|4||9||Nick Heidfeld||BMW Sauber||58||1:26:07.533||38.763|
|7||16||Nico Rosberg||Williams/Toyota||57||1:25:32.237||1 lap|
|8||11||Ralf Schumacher||Toyota||57||1:25:55.972||1 lap|
|9||12||Jarno Trulli||Toyota||57||1:26:03.643||1 lap|
|12||22||Takuma Sato||Super Aguri/Honda||57||1:26:09.506||1 lap|
|13||15||Mark Webber||Red Bull/Renault||57||1:26:39.409||1 lap|
|14||18||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||57||1:26:46.364||1 lap|
|15||7||Jenson Button||Honda||57||1:26:47.799||1 lap|
|16||23||Anthony Davidson||Super Aguri/Honda||56||1:25:31.618||2 laps|
|17||20||Adrian Sutil||Spyker/Ferrari||56||1:26:43.931||2 laps|
|(14)||14||David Coulthard||Red Bull/Renault||48||1:12:44.295||Collision|
|(4)||10||Robert Kubica||BMW Sauber||36||53:24.248||Gearbox|
|(19)||19||Scott Speed||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||28||43:01.350||Puncture|
Fastest lap: Kimi Raikkonen – 1:25.235 (lap 41)
DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP AFTER 1/17 RACES