Japanese Grand Prix 2007

By: Roger Munns

The 2007 FIA Formula One Championship Fuji Televised Japanese Grand Prix took place from Friday September 28 to Sunday, September 30. It was hosted by the Fuji Speedway, within sight of Mount Fuji, just 40 minutes west of Yokohama.

Race Day 2007
Drivers completed the 67 laps at Fuji Speedway for the Japanese Grand Prix despite the heavy downpour of rain, the poor visibility, and the heavy fog, creating dangerous driving conditions.

Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain completed the track in 2 hours, 0 minutes and 34.579 seconds, making him the winner of the Japanese Grand Prix for 2007. It also brought Hamilton closer to earning a spot in racing history. He needs to do well in the last two races of the season to leave his mark on the record books.

Heikki Kovalainen and Kimi Raikkonen crossed the finish line closely behind Hamilton (within seconds.) While the race was close, drivers blamed the unpredictable weather conditions for not coming in first place. They also vow not to give up and to give Hamilton a run for his money to win the Formula One title.

The Return to Fuji Speedway
The Japanese Grand Prix was first held at the Fuji Speedway in 1976. It was a huge hit and is famous for being the race that was the title decider between James Hunt and Niki Lauda. In 1977, however, Gilles Villeneuve caused a crash that killed two innocent people alongside of the track.

The Formula One race wasn't held in Japan for a full decade after the incident, and when it finally did return to Japan, it was held at Honda's Suzuka circuit rather than the Fuji Speedway. After 30 years of not being held there and having a ton of money invested to renovate the venue, the race returned to the Fuji Speedway in 2007.

Lewis Hamilton, 2007 Japanese Grand Prix Winner
Lewis Hamilton is making waves this year as a winning rookie driver. He is the first black driver to participate in Formula One races and the first rookie to win and make it to the podium as many times as he has in a single season. His budding career has caused ticket sales for Formula One races to skyrocket in Great Britain.

Hamilton had a modest upbringing, and that shines through in his personality. His racing interest began with go-karts at the age of 8. He met his current boss, Ron Dennis (owner of the McLaren Formula 1 Team), at age 10 and told him how he would be a part of his team one day. Several years later Dennis signed Hamilton on a young driver's programme, and he has been at the top of the charts ever since. He is not only fast, but he is a driver with a lot of courage and skill.

Hamilton is expecting to be offered a sizable salary increase this year because of his unprecedented success on the track. He needs to come in fifth place or better in the next race to secure his place as the champion, and the odds are in his favoor.

Winners of the Japanese Grand Prix
2007- Lewis Hamilton
2006- Fernando Alonso
2005- Kimi Raikkonen
2004- Michael Schumacher
2003- Rubens Barrichello
2002- Michael Schumacher
2001- Michael Schumacher
2000- Michael Schumacher

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