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United States GP 2018

OCTOBER 21, 2018

Race Notes - Raikkonen wins in Austin

Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, United States GP 2018
© RV Press

By Mark Karp

Kimi Raikkonen won the United States Grand Prix in Austin, in his Ferrari, 1.2 seconds ahead of Max Verstappen in his Red Bull-Renault in second place, followed by Lewis Hamilton, 2.3 seconds behind the winner in his Mercedes.

It is the first win for Raikkonen since the 2013 Australian GP, and his 21st career victory. It is the first Ferrari win in the United States since Michael Schumacher in 2006. It is the sixth win for Ferrari this season, the first five coming from Vettel.

Sebastian Vettel (18.2s) in the second Ferrari was fourth, Valtteri Bottas (24.7s) in the second Mercedes was fifth, Nico Hulkenberg (1m27.2s) in the Renault was sixth, his team mate Carlos Sainz (1m34.9s) was seventh, Esteban Ocon (1m39.2s) in the Force India-Mercedes was eighth, Kevin Magnussen (1m40.6s) in the Haas-Ferrari was ninth and Sergio Perez (1m41.0s) in the second Force India took the final point for tenth place.

Before the start Hamilton sat on pole on supersoft tyres, with Raikkonen alonside on the front row with ultrasoft tyres. Bottas and Ricciardo starting on row two, Vettel with a three grid spot penalty and Ocon on row three, Hulkenberg and Grosjean on row four and Leclerc and Perez rounding out the top ten.

Verstappen starts in 18th place.

Those starting on ultrasoft will probably need two stops, while those starting on soft or supersoft will probably only need to make one stop.

Hamilton, Bottas, Ricciardo and Vettel on the supersoft tyres, Raikkonen, Ocon, Hulkenberg, Grosjean, Leclerc and Perez on the ultrasoft tyres. Verstappen starting on soft tyres.

If Hamilton outscores Vettel by eight points in this race he will clinch his fifth drivers worldchampionship.

At the appointed time the lights go out and the race begins with Hamilton from pole, but Raikkonen passes him into the first corner and takes the lead. Alonso makes contact, but continues. Vettel tries to pass Ricciardo but the two make contact and Vettel spinns back to 15th place. Grosjean and Leclerc make contact.

On lap 5 Raikkonen sets fast lap at 1m40.126s.

Raikkonen has a two-second lead over Hamilton.

On lap 6 Stroll pits for a 10-second penalty for causing the contact with Alonso on lap one.

On lap 8 Vettel is up to eighth place, Verstappen up to fifth.

Hamilton reports to the team, “struggling to keep up.”

On lap 9 Ricciardo pulls off the track from fourth place with a suspected battery failure.

At lap 10 Raikkonen leads Hamilton by 1.2 seconds, followed by Bottas (10.1s), Verstappen (21.2s), Hulkenberg (30.8s), Vettel (32.5s), Sainz (34.7s), Ocon (36.7s), Perez (36.9s) and Magnussen (40.2s) in tenth place.

The Virtual Safety car is deployed.

On lap 12 Hamilton pits, Raikkonen stays out. Hamilton switches to soft tyres and runs third.

On lap 13 Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m38.860s.

On lap 14 Hamilton passes his team mate Bottas to take over second place.

Verstappen asks the team, “any concern about my engine or something.” and the team tells him no worries.

On lap 17 Hamilton is closing on Raikkonen and is now 1.3 seconds behind.

Verstappen is complaining that he is strugging with the brakes.

At lap 20 Raikkonen leads Hamilton by 0.3 seconds, followed by

Raikkonen reports that “I cannot hold him behind.”

Raikkonen pits at the end of lap 21 for soft tyres and rejoins in fifth.

On lap 23 Verstappen pits for supersoft tyres and rejoins in fifth. Ocon pits for soft tyres.

On lap 24 Bottas pits and changes to soft tyres and rejoins in fifth behind Verstappen.

Sainz pits from sixth for soft tyres. and rejoins in tenth.

On lap 25 Vettel lets Raikkonen by for second place, and Raikkonen sets fast lap at 1m38.742s.

On lap 27 Vettel pits switching to soft tyres, and rejoins in fifth.

On lap 28 Hartley pits and switches to supersoft tyres.

On lap 28 Vettel sets fast lap at 1m38.715s.

Vandoorne is shown the black and white flag for going beyond track limits.

On lap 29 Sirotkin pits for soft tyres.

Verstappen reports, “these brakes are really not good.”

At lap 30 Hamilton leads Raikkonen by 16.1 seconds, followed by Verstappen (19.6s), Bottas (24.0s), Vettel (37.0s), Hulkenberg (73.0s), Sainz (77.4s), Ocon (82.8s), Magnussen (86.7s) and Perez (90.9s) in tenth place.

On lap 31 Vettel sets fast lap at 1m38.575s.

On lap 33 Leclerc pits his Sauber and retires with damage.

On lap 34 Vettel sets fast lap at 1m38.462s. Raikkonen has closed to only 11.2 seconds - will Hamilton lapping in the 1m41s need to pit again?

On lap 35 Vettel sets another fast lap at 1m38.445s.

Hamilton complains “rears running out.”

On lap 37 Hamilton pits from the lead and takes another set of soft tyres and rejoins in fourth place. Raikkonen retakes the lead.

On lap 39 Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m37.702s.

On lap 40 Hamilton sets another fast lap at 1m37.392s, and Bottas lets Hamilton by for third place.

At lap 40 Raikkonen leads Verstappen by 2.2 seconds, followed by Hamilton (7.9s), Bottas (11.8s), Vettel (15.5s), Hulkenberg (68.3s), Sainz (71.9s), Ocon (75.5s), Magnussen (78.1s) and Perez (79.6s) in tenth place.

On lap 40 Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m37.392s.

Ferrari tell Raikkonen, “we think he will catch us in the last three laps of the race.”

Ferrari tell Vettel that they see some blisters on Bottas rear tyres.

On lap 44 Hamilton has closed to 2,8s behind Verstapprn, and 5.0s behind Raikkonen in the lead.

On lap 46 Vettel closes to within DRS range of Bottas in fourth.

On lap 47 Hamilton tells the team, “I feel like we have the wrong tyre."

Hamilton is 1.2s behind Verstappen, and 2.5s behind Raikkonen.

At lap 50 Raikkonen leads Verstappen by 1.2 seconds, followed by Hamilton (1.9s), Bottas (15.1s), Vettel (16.2s), Hulkenberg (79.8s), Sainz (84.9s), Ocon (88.3s), Magnussen (88.9s) and Perez (91.0s) in tenth place.

On lap 53 Verstappen gets a bad exit to turn 12, and Verstappen and Hamilton go side-by-side for several corners, and runs wide and Verstappen retakes second place.

On lap 55 Vettel overtakes Bottas at turn 12 and takes fourth place.

At the finish Raikonen wins ahead of Verstappen and Hamilton.