The United States Grand Prix match highlights:
- Räikkönen came first with a time of 1:34:18:643
- Verstappen and Hamilton followed him on 2nd and 3rd
- Hamilton is just five points from a fifth world title going into next week’s Mexico Grand Prix
Coming back to the United States Grand Prix match highlights, Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen came first for the first time in five years at the US Grand Prix to keep Lewis Hamilton waiting for his world championship title. With a third-place finish ensuring Lewis Hamilton of a podium finish in the USA, the Mercedes driver goes into next week’s Mexico Grand Prix requiring just five points to defend his crown.
Despite coming first in qualifying, Hamilton had to fight for his third-place finish at the Circuit of the Americas. Outfoxed by Ferrari’s tactics to use softer tyres in the opening laps, Hamilton was overtaken by Räikkönen in the opening lap. Despite the early setback for Hamilton, things looked to be going his way with his title rival Sebastian Vettel spinning while battling with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
For Vettel, the season has been characterised by mistakes that have cost him vital points. It was the same come the US F1. Needing to make up ground from his fifth place on the grid, following a three-place grid penalty, he ended up tangling with Ricciardo and spun on the first lap. Down to fifth, Vettel’s position looked doomed before Bottas ran into tyre trouble in the final laps, allowing Vettel to overtake him and finish fourth.
Hamilton, on the other hand, ended up questioning his team tactics. Having made solid decisions throughout the season that have helped in their success, Mercedes’ decision to call Hamilton in the 11th lap, during a virtual safety car period for a pit stop left everyone puzzled. The tyres failed to last the course of the, blistering out towards the end, requiring Hamilton to take a second pit stop just when he was closing in Verstappen and Räikkönen.
Mercedes’ call to ask Hamilton to come in for a tyre change was taken too long by the side. Waiting for at least five laps, in which time he ran into both traffic and grip problems, Hamilton re-entered the race after the pit too far away from his compatriots.
“As a team, we didn’t perform that great today and that’s not something we usually do – so we’ll go back to the drawing board, we’ll regroup,” the Mercedes driver said. “We’ve had some incredible performances, really good and consistent. For us, this was like a double bogey [in golf]”
Ending the race in pole position, Räikkönen was a deserving winner. The driver who joins Sauber next season defended impressively against Hamilton, maintaining his car position to perfection to keep Britain at bay. Stopping just once, he was controlled and immaculate on older tyres in the closing laps to maintain his lead on Verstappen and Hamilton.
Raikkonen: “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.
Hamilton: “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.
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