3

At the start of the 2007 season final at Brazil, Kimi Raikkonen was third in the Drivers' Championship table behind Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.

He went on to win the Championship by one point. It was only the second time (Giuseppe Farina in 1950) that this has occurred.

Has there been an instance where a driver ranked outside the top three at the start of the final race, then won that Drivers' Championship?

6

It has never happened that a driver who was 4th or further before the last race has won the Formula 1 Driver's Championship.

Below, you can find a list of situations in which the winner had a reduced point margin.

These are the years where the Driver Champion won within 25 points:

  1. 2012 Vettel wins by 3 points but lead since last 4 races
  2. 2010 Vettel wins by 4 points and starts the last races from 3rd position in Driver ranking

Before 2010 the winner took 10 points (or less):

  1. 2008 Hamilton wins by 1 point starting last race as a leader (I remember an incredible last lap where Hamilton take the point to win the title)
  2. 2007 as quoted in the question, Raikkonnen wins the title by 1 point starting the last race from 3rd position in Driver rankings
  3. 2003 Schumacher wins by 2 points starting last race as a leader
  4. 1999 Häkkinen wins by 2 points starting last race as a leader
  5. 1994 Schumacher wins by 1 point starting last race as a leader (Schumacher and Hill retired because of a collision in last race)
  6. 1990 Senna wins by 7 points starting last race as a leader
  7. 1988 Senna wins by 3 points starting last race as a leader
  8. 1986 Prost wins by 2 points starting last race from 2nd position
  9. 1984 Laura wins by 0.5 points starting last race as a leader
  10. 1983 Piquet wins by 2 points starting last race from 2nd position
  11. 1981 Piquet wins by 1 point starting last race from 2nd position
  12. 1979 Scheckter wins by 4 points starting last race as a leader
  13. 1976 Hunt wins by 1 point starting last race from 2nd position
  14. 1974 Fittipaldi wins by 3 points starting last race as a co-leader
  15. 1970 Rindt wins by 5 points not racing last 4 races
  16. 1697 Hulme wins by 5 points starting last race as a leader
  17. 1964 Surtees wins by 1 point starting last race from 2nd position
  18. 1961 Hill wins by 1 points not racing last race as a leader
  19. 1960 Brabham wins by 9 points starting last race as a leader
  20. 1959 Brabham wins by 4 points starting last race as a leader
  21. 1958 Hawthorn wins by 1 point starting last race as a leader
  22. 1956 Fangio wins by 3 points starting last race as a leader
  23. 1953 Ascari wins by 6.5 points starting last race as a leader
  24. 1951 Fangio wins by 6 points starting last race from 2nd position
  25. 1950 Farina wins by 3 points starting last race from 2nd position

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