Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen finally claimed his first win in years in Formula 1 US GP, beating Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.
Raikkonen got off to a good start to lead in Turn 1 from Hamilton and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas while a tangle between Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo and Ferrari’s Sebastian vettel sent the German to he back of the field.
This helped Ferrari to concentrate on Raikkonen as the Finn finally broke the jinx to take his first win of 2018 and also in years as he fended off the charge from Verstappen and Hamilton in a tensed end to the grand prix.
Ferrari worked well in terms of strategy which eventually sealed Raikkonen’s famous win while an error from Mercedes meant they lost out to a charging Verstappen with Hamilton’s third place means the title fight lives on.
After another spin, Vettel fought back to fourth after overtaking a struggling Bottas in the late stages with Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz doing well for the French manufacturer to be sixth and seventh respectively.
Here’s a statistical highlights from the US GP:
- Raikkonen took his career’s 21st win in US GP and his 10th for Ferrari. It was also his first win since the 2013 Australian GP for Lotus and his first for Ferrari since the 2009 Belgian GP. It was the 50th win for a Finnish driver in F1.
- Raikkonen scored his first win on US soil while Ferrari won for the first time at the Circuit of the Americas and its 10th US GP win – first since the 2006 US GP where Michael Schumacher won at Indianapolis. Ferrari scored its 235th race win.
- Raikkonen won at the age of 39-years and 4 days old, the last driver older him to win a race was Nigel Mansell at 41-years and 97 days in the 1994 Australian GP. Raikkonen is the 13th oldest F1 race winner.
- Raikkonen currently holds the record for longest time between first win and last at 5691 days from 2003 Malaysian GP to 2018 US GP. Raikkonen is the only driver to win in three eras of F1 – V10, V8 and V6T. Raikkonen now holds the record for the most races between wins, with 113 between them – the record previously belonged to Riccardo Patrese with 99 races (Patrese still has the record in time between wins).
- In the five and a half years between Raikkonen’s last two wins, only seven drivers have won a race which includes Hamilton, Vettel, Bottas, Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Rosberg. In a contrast, the first seven races of 2012 already had seven different winners.
- Verstappen scored his 19th career’s podium after starting from 18th whereas Raikkonen claimed his 101st podium. It was Verstappen’s eighth podium of 2018 and 10th for Raikkonen.
- Hamilton took his 132nd podium after his 81st pole. It was also Mercedes’ 99th pole in F1. Hamilton is amid a streak of nine consecutive podiums in 2018 – two more will put him fourth in the list with Vettel who twice scored 11 podiums in succession whereas three more move him ahead of Vettel but still fourth on the list. Schumacher holds the record of 19 podiums in succession.
- Hamilton registered only his second fastest lap of 2018. It was his 41st of career and he is now a joint third with Alain Prost.
- By finishing fourth, Vettel kept the championship alive for Mexico GP but Hamilton is certain to win it in Mexico unless he retires from the race.
- By finishing sixth and seventh, Renault registered its best result in F1 since return beating their previous best of sixth and ninth which came earlier in the season in China.
- Ricciardo’s seventh retirement in 2018 is the maximum for a driver this season in a legitimate manner. Fernando Alonso also hasn’t finished seven races but two of them he was classified having completed 90% of the race, the same as Brendon Hartley.
- Esteban Ocon and Kevin Magnussen both got disqualified which promoted Hartley to 9th and Marcus Ericsson to 10th – Hartley registered his best result in F1 while Ericsson scored his sixth 10th place result of his career.
- Romain Grosjean is on the brink of a race ban with 10 penalty points on his superlicense. He earned one point in US GP for his collision with Charles Leclerc – one point will be removed a day after Mexico GP while two more will be removed after November 12.
- Lance Stroll also got two points on his superlicene for a collision with Alonso which takes his tally to seven in the current period while Vettel total his five after he got two for driving fast under red flag condition in FP1. Carlos Sainz earned one point with his tally being three.
[Check: Japanese GP stats]