The first change from reality was Spain without Alonso, so Lewis Hamilton took the lead of the championship from Massa who was coming on after a slow start. Hamilton then followed that with four more podiums including his first two wins in Canada and USA, so he had a buffer for Britain, where all his rivals scored well, though he was pleased to see Kubica keep Massa off the podium. After Silverstone the standings were Hamilton leading on 64 with his three main rivals, teammate Alonso and Ferrari drivers Raikkonen and Massa all on 52.
At the European GP at the Nurburgring with only non-European drivers present, Massa took full advantage to close up to 2 points behind, with Webber 2nd and Barrichello in the awful Honda on the podium.
In Hungary, Hamilton took full advantage of his teammate's misdemeanour in qualifying by winning, with Alonso being stuck behind Heidfeld in 3rd and Massa out of the points, and Raikkonen eliminated.
No significant runners were eliminated in Turkey, Italy, Belgium or Japan, and with good scores in all of them Hamilton went to China 18 points ahead of Massa, 19 ahead of Raikkonen, and Alonso was out of it having retired in Japan. Ferrari did the right thing in China making putting everything behind Raikkonen as Massa wouldn't be eligible in Brazil, and he obliged by winning and keeping the championship alive once Hamilton beached himself in the gravel at the pit entry. However it was still a tall order for Kimi - he'd have no help from his eliminated teammate and Hamilton only needed a 7th place.
Raikkonen produced a dominat display in Brazil, and despite some hiccups along the way for Hamilton, he fought his way through from an early gearbox glitch up to 6th. Alonso out of the championship didn't care and took a quiet 2nd, with a great first podium for Nico Rosberg. However this was overshadowed by the first championship win for a driver in his debut season!
Lewis Hamilton 104 (4 wins, 5 2nd, 2 3rd)
Kimi Raikkonen 102 (6 wins, 1 2nd, 4 3rd)
Fernando Alonso 96 (3 wins, 5 2nd, 3 3rd)
Felipe Massa 89 (4 wins, 2 2nd, 3 3rd)
Nick Heidfeld 62 (2 2nd, 5 4th)
Robert Kubica 36 (2 3rd, 1 4th)
Heikki Kovalainen 30 (1 2nd, 1 4th)
Nico Rosberg 24 (1 3rd, 2 5th)
Giancarlo Fisichella 23 (1 4th, 2 5th)
Mark Webber 15 (1 2nd, 1 6th)
David Coulthard 13 (2 4th)
Jarno Trulli 11 (1 6th, 4 7th)
Alex Wurz 8 (1 3rd)
Rubens Barrichello 7 (1 3rd)
Ralf Schumacher 7 (1 4th)
Sebastian Vettel 6 (1 4th)
Jenson Button 6 (1 5th)
Takuma Sato 5 (1 6th)
Vitantonio Liuzzi 3 (1 6th)
Adrian Sutil 1 (1 8th)
Alonso has cause to be more annoyed than Kimi actually - had the race at Nurburgring been the German GP rather than European (as it was originally supposed to be), then he would have been champion rather than Hamilton (he'd have had 10 points putting him on 106, Hamilton would have only got 1 more point to put him on 105, he'd have been 8th as only Heidfeld in front of him would have been eliminated).