The United States GP offered Kimi Raikkonen a much needed victory, after 112 races. The event was so momentous Raikkonen welcomed it with an expletive. That his victory and a resurgent Verstappen in second would deny third placed Lewis Hamilton his title seemed almost fitting.
Verstappen had to start from the back of the pack, while Raikkonen had the P2 start because Vettel was fined for aggressive driving under red flags. Hamilton started on pole but Raikkonen got past on the first turn, while Vettel managed to make contact with Daniel Ricciardo, spinning off and finding himself back down in 15th spot.
However Vettel would still be happier than Alonso who got rammed by Lance Stroll and had to retire.
Two other drivers in an incident were Romain Grosjean and Charles Leclerc, with Grosjean being penalized for the collision that saw both drivers having to retire.
Raikkonen stayed ahead of Hamilton, with Bottas still very much in the reckoning, but Red Bull driver Ricciardo had another incident of power failure and had to drop out of fifth.
The resulting virtual safety car saw Hamilton dive in for tyres, allowing Hamilton to get back ahead of Raikkonen when the Ferrari came in, but Hamilton needed another tyre stop which deprived him of that advantage.
That’s when he rejoined in fourth behind Raikkonen, Verstappen and Bottas. Bottas seemed to give Hamilton his spot, but with a charging Vettel in fifth, it was just a matter of time before Vettel grabbed fourth from the Mercedes driver.
Despite the battle between Hamilton and Verstappen in the closing parts of the race, Hamilton couldn’t get ahead and in the process allowing a breather to Raikkonen.
The race ended with Raikkonen leading the Dutchman and Hamilton to the podium with Vettel bringing in a useful fourth ahead of Bottas, Hulkenberg and Sainz (delivering a good finish for Renault between them).
Kimi Raikkonen was his usual inscrutable self at the press conference, ”Obviously it’s a great feeling to win this race. It’s nice to prove to all the people that we can still win; that’s the reason we are here for, try to win races and Championships. It was an exciting race, not only for us but also for all those who were watching. We had a very solid weekend, I felt confident and I’m glad about that especially because lately we’ve had rough weekends for the team. I’m glad we had a fight and it’s nice to see that we still have the speed to go for it and fight has hard as we can. This weekend we found the car that we expected to have. The start was a key moment; In the first part of the race we had the speed, I tried to take care of tires and save fuel. Then the Mercedes stopped and came back on fresher tires: at that time, my target was to keep them behind before we, too, stopped for tyres. If Hamilton had passed us before our stop, it would have been a different story. We are still in the fight for both Championships and this is a good thing. We’re off to Mexico now, where we’ll try do the best we can and hopefully we can get a great result for both teams. We’ll keep fighting until the end.”
2018 Formula 1 Drivers
|Car No||Name||Team||2018 season||2017 season|
|33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||216||168|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||146||200|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India||57||100|
|31||Esteban Ocon||Force India||49||87|
|10||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||29||0|
|28||Brendan Hartley||Toro Rosso||4||0|
2018 Formula 1 Teams
|Team||2018 season||2017 season|
|Red Bull Racing||362||368|
|Force India Mercedes||47||187|
|Toro Rosso Honda||33||53|
2018 Formula 1 Races
|Mexico||28/10/2018||Max Verstappen||Sebastian Vettel||Kimi Raikkonen|
|United States||21/10/2018||Kimi Raikkonen||Max Verstappen||Lewis Hamilton|
|Japan||07/10/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Valtteri Bottas||Max Verstappen|
|Russia||20/09/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Valtteri Bottas||Sebastian Vettel|
|Singapore||16/09/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Max Verstappen||Sebastian Vettel|
|Italy||02/09/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Kimi Raikkonen||Valtteri Bottas|
|Belgium||26/08/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Lewis Hamilton||Max Verstappen|
|Hungary||29/07/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Sebastian Vettel||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Germany||22/07/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Valtteri Bottas||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Britain||08/07/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Lewis Hamilton||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Austria||01/07/2018||Max Verstappen||Kimi Raikkonen||Sebastian Vettel|
|France||24/06/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Max Verstappen||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Canada||10/06/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Valtteri Bottas||Max Verstappen|
|Monaco||27/05/2018||Daniel Ricciardo||Sebastian Vettel||Lewis Hamilton|
|Spain||13/05/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Valtteri Bottas||Max Verstappen|
|Azerbaijan||29/04/2018||Lewis Hamilton||Kimi Raikkonen||Sergio Perez|
|China||15/04/2018||Daniel Ricciardo||Valtteri Bottas||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Bahrain||04/04/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Valtteri Bottas||Lewis Hamilton|
|Australia||25/03/2018||Sebastian Vettel||Lewis Hamilton||Kimi Raikkonen|