Raikkonen wins at COTA as Hamilton has to wait for title

Kimi Raikkonen ends a 113-race wait for a win with victory at the United States Grand Prix

Kimi Raikkonen has won a Formula 1 race for the first time since 2013 by taking victory at the United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas, keeping teammate Sebastian Vettel’s hopes of winning the title alive for another week.

Pole sitter and championship leader Lewis Hamilton lost the lead to Raikkonen at turn one on the opening lap, with the Ferrari making a faster start on the ultrasoft tyres.

A number of cars were involved in incidents on the opening lap. Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso had a coming together, which caused enough damage to end the McLaren driver’s race and earned Stroll a drive-through penalty.

Vettel dropped down the order after banging wheels with Daniel Ricciardo, while Romain Grosjean had to retire his Haas after running into the back of Charles Leclerc.

Ricciardo was relatively unscathed after his contact with Vettel, but he didn’t continue much further, pulling to the side of the track with an apparent battery issue a few laps into the race.

The Australian’s retirement lead to a Virtual Safety Car, which gave Hamilton the chance to come into the pit for an early stop while Raikkonen continued.

Raikkonen stopped after the end of the VSC period, which allowed Hamilton to move ahead of the Finn, but Hamilton’s stop appeared to have come too early as the race progressed, with the Mercedes suffering severe degradation on the softs with 20 laps remaining.

Raikkonen regained the lead after Hamilton made his second stop, but the fresher tyres allowed the championship leader to close the gap to Verstappen and Raikkonen.

Verstappen switched from the softs to the supersofts, leaving him on well-worn tyres in the closing stages of the race, but he closed to within two seconds of Raikkonen.

With Vettel running fifth and stuck behind Valtteri Bottas, Hamilton had a chance to wrap up the title with two laps to go as he briefly moved ahead of Verstappen, but the Mercedes run wide, allowing Verstappen to stay ahead.

Vettel finally managed to get ahead of Bottas going into the final lap to take fourth, while Verstappen held on to wrap up second after starting from 18th.

Provisional classification:

1 Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)

2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

3. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

4. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)

5. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)

6. Nico Hulkenberg (Renault)

7. Carlos Sainz (Renault)

8. Esteban Ocon (Force India)

9. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

10. Sergio Perez (Force India)

11. Brendon Hartley (Toro Rosso)

12. Marcus Ericsson (Sauber)

13. Stoffel Vandoorne (McLaren)

14. Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso)

15. Sergey Sirotkin (Williams)

16. Lance Stroll (Williams)

DNF:

Charles Leclerc (Sauber)

Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)

Romain Grosjean (Haas)

Fernando Alonso (McLaren)

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