Raikkonen Wins US Grand Prix to Keep Lewis Hamilton in the Hunt for a Fifth World Crown
The Iceman cometh.
Everything was set for Lewis Hamilton to be crowned five-time world champion, but Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari would have none of it. The Finn won the US Grand Prix, keeping the championship away from Hamilton for at least one more week.
Raikkonen overcame the pole-sitter at the start and held on to the lead right till the chequered flag – his first victory since the 2013 Australian Grand Prix. Ironically, it was the same day that Raikkonen won his only world championship back in 2007, during his first stint with Ferrari. The Iceman now has the most wins by a Finnish driver, with 21.
“It has been a great weekend. The car has been good all the time. Got a good start and needed to push hard. The tyres were going off at the end but we had enough speed and kept it consistent and just tried to keep the tyres alive to the end. It’s been a long time [since I last won] but here we are,” said Raikkonen.
Race highlights :
Needing to outscore Sebastian Vettel by eight points, Hamilton was muscled out in Turn 1. However, half a lap later, the pendulum swung in Hamilton’s favour as Vettel spun to drop to 15th.
But it was not enough as he had to take third place after Max Verstappen’s Red Bull came in second, having started 18th on the grid. There was drama late in the race on lap 54 as he raced side by side, switching back and looking for the advantage through five corners with Verstappen, only to run wide at Turn 18 and lose his chance.
After the thrilling race, Hamilton said, “Big congratulations to Kimi, he did a great job today, no mistakes. Verstappen did a great job as well. He was on a slightly better tyre than us at the end.”
On to Mexico then, mate.
“I thought we would be able to do better but this was the best we could do. I’ll have to see what happened with the strategy. We just have to keep working, keep pushing to the next race,” he added.
The next race is in Mexico next weekend. Hamilton just needs to score five points to be world champion. We know he’ll be hunting for a win to capture the crown in style.