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Raikkonen Wins in the USA; Hamilton will have to wait for Mexico

Raikkonen Wins in the USA;  Hamilton will have to wait for Mexico

Kimi Raiikkonen’s second stint with Ferrari has brought him more frustrations than triumphs. Now, at least he is putting off the coronation of the staunch rival.

Raikkonen scored his first win since 2013 on Sunday, during a big day for Ferrari in the United States Grand Prix, which prevented Lewis Hamilton from securing his fifth Formula One championship.

“It is good to win. This doesn’t change my life, ”Raikkonen said. “The biggest difference is how people look at you.”

Hamilton, the Mercedes driver, could have equaled Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio’s number of titles with any result that left him eight points behind Sebastian Vettel, the other Ferrari driver.

But the Briton was third – the first time he has not won the United States GP since 2013. German Vettel was fourth, so the definition of the championship will have to wait at least another week, for the Mexican Grand Prix.

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Raikkonen, a former world champion, conquered a career that had a dynamic outcome. Hamilton attacked for second place, but Red Bull’s Max Verstappen blocked his way.

Vettel made a key move to sneak into fourth place in the closing laps, and the fight is still alive in F1. Hamilton said he had to be cautious to avoid a collision.

Championships are not won by making silly mistakes. I gave too much space just to make sure they didn’t take me out, ”the Briton said. “The key for me was making sure I finished in front of Seb. I don’t care when I win the championship, I just want to win it. “

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Verstapen started from 18th after damaging his car in qualifying. He was climbing positions to finish in second place, his fourth podium in six races.

“At that moment, I pushed as hard as I could,” said the Dutchman. “I was really trying to hold onto a better position.”

The Mexican Sergio Pérez was in tenth place, in the week in which it was confirmed that he will continue with the Force India team for the next season.

Hamilton started first but lagged quickly behind Raikkonen on the first lap. Vettel didn’t get off to a good start either – he was placed in fifth place due to a three-step penalty for exceeding the speed limit in red-flag practice on Friday.

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At first Vettel evidently tried to try too hard. A crash against Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull caused the German’s car to skid and lag behind to ninth.

It seemed impossible that he could recover. But Raikkonen’s ability to keep Hamilton at bay gave Vettel a chance to get closer, passing Valtteri Bottas, the other Mercedes driver.

“It is clear that the whole team had problems,” acknowledged Hamilton.

Raikkonen will leave Ferrari to join Sauber after the season. He will be moving from a racing car capable of winning to a team that is rarely competitive.

The Finn has denied that he has any hard feelings with Ferrari.

“I am very happy with where I am going. I won the championship with Ferrari, ”recalled Raikkonen. “As a driver, I want different challenges.” AP

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