Ferrari F2007 - A champion that was fortune's favorite
The Ferrari F2007 was the car that won both Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles in 2007 Formula 1 World Championship. The season of 2016 was the last season when Scuderia from Maranello won both trophies.
Much different to its predecessor
The new car, designed by Aldo Costa and Nicholas Tombazis, was quite different in comparison to its predecessor Ferrari 248 F1 which had solid results in 2006 but failed to win the title. The chassis was longer, as well as interspace between the cockpit and front wheels, all in order to maximize aerodynamic performance but also to accommodate new front suspension. Ferrari that year also adopted zero-keel suspension configuration.
The shape of the sidepods was revised as a part of modifications done on the cooling system. The rear part of the car was significantly narrower, while the gearbox was fitted with an innovative quick-shift system. The Ferrari 056 engine used in the previous campaign was slightly modified, while the exhaust system remained unchanged.
One of the team’s secrets was the hydrofluorocarbon (HFC)-based mixture gas used by Ferrari, designed especially for racecar tires. It was discovered that the gas was able to effectively conduct the heat generated during the rotation of the tire to the wheel rim at a more or less constant pressure when the rim then acts as a radiator. That was especially effective on aluminum or magnesium wheels.
Changes in the team
The Ferrari F2007 was launched in January at the team’s Fiorano test track. During winter test the new car was fast and reliable but was still modified several times. Felipe Massa stayed with the team while Kimi Raikkonen arrived from McLaren as a replacement for the 7-time champion Michael Schumacher who retired.
Raikkonen won that year his first and so far the only title, while Ferrari won its 16th crown. That season was marked by espionage controversy involving McLaren and Ferrari which is why the British team was excluded from the Constructors’ Championship. As a result, Ferrari secured the title at the Belgian Grand Prix, three rounds before the end of the season.
Fine start of the season
The season started in Australia and Raikkonen on his debut with Ferrari won the race in Melbourne, while Massa finished 6th. In Malaysia, the Finn was 3rd and the Brazilian was 5th. That was followed by two Massa’s victories, in Bahrain and Spain, while Kimi was 3rd at Sakhir before retiring from the Spanish Grand Prix due to an electrical failure on lap 9.
The Monaco Grand Prix was the 5th round of 2007 season and Ferrari again scored a podium finish after Massa took the 3rd position and Raikkonen finished in 8th place. In the next round in Canada, he was 5th while Massa was disqualified because he didn’t stop at the end of the pit lane when the exit was closed.
At that point of the season, Massa and Raikkonen were 3rd and 4th in the standings respectively, well behind the leader Lewis Hamilton, while Ferrari was 28 points behind McLaren in the Constructors’ championship.
Kimi geared up in the middle of the season
In the US Grand Prix Felipe and Kimi finished 3rd and 4th respectively but in France, they dominated the race. Raikkonen triumphed at Magny-Cours and Massa finished 2nd which was a huge stimulus for the team. At Silverstone, Kimi scored the third win of the season and Felipe finished 5th. Raikkonen won the pole position at Nurburgring but retired from the race on lap 34 after hydraulics problems. However, his teammate took the 2nd place in the chaotic European Grand Prix.
The following race was in Hungary where Raikkonen was 2nd. This time Massa was the one who underachieved after finishing 13th. The Brazilian driver won the following event in Turkey where the Finn was second which was an announcement for the strong finish of the campaign.
With five races remaining, Massa and Raikkonen were 3rd and 4th in the standings but they reduced a gap to Hamilton. In the Constructors’ championship, Ferrari chased McLaren and was just 11 points behind.
Raikkonen finishes strong
In the last five rounds, Raikkonen did exceptionally well. He won the races in Belgium, China, and in the thrilling season-closing in Brazil, while in Italy and Japan he was 3rd. Lewis Hamilton, who held a four-point advantage over Fernando Alonso, and a seven-point lead over Raikkonen, prior to the race was slowed by a gearbox problem early in the race. Massa also did fine later in the season as he finished 2nd at Spa and Interlagos, while at Shanghai he was 3rd.
At the end of the season, Raikkonen scored 110 points, only one more than McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso, while Massa finished 4th in the standings with 94 points. After McLaren was excluded from the Constructors’ championship, Ferrari easily claimed the title.
What do the numbers say?
The Ferrari F2007 won 9 out of 17 races in 2007 – 6 by Raikkonen and 3 by Massa. They amassed a total of 22 podiums (Raikkonen 12, Massa 10), 9 pole positions (Raikkonen 3, Massa 6), and 12 (6 by each driver) fastest laps.
Video – Ferrari F2007
Ferrari F2007 technical specifications
|Chassis||Carbon fiber and honeycomb composite monocoque|
|Front track||1.470 mm|
|Rear track||1.405 mm|
|Engine||Ferrari 056 2.4 l, V8 90° mid-engine, longitudinally mounted, naturally aspirated, 750 horsepower, rev limit 19.000 rpm|
|Gearbox||Ferrari longitudinal 7-speed + reverse|
|Suspension (f/r)||Independent suspension, push-rod activated torsion springs, front, and rear|
|Brakes||Ventilated carbon fiber disc brakes|