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United States GP: Kimi Raikkonen wins to delay Lewis Hamilton’s title bid

Reaction live on Sky F1; Raikkonen’s first win since 2013; Ferrari’s ‘long game’ strategy works perfectly; Hamilton denied by late stop and stubborn Verstappen

Last Updated: 21/10/18 9:14pm

Kimi Raikkonen won an outstanding United States GP ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen with Lewis Hamilton’s title coronation delayed for at least a week.

Hamilton pitted from the lead of the race with 20 laps remaining but couldn’t pass Verstappen, who started in 18th, and Raikkonen for the race victory he required to secure a fifth world championship.

The next race is in Mexico on Sunday, exclusively live on Sky Sports F1.

In the race’s decisive moments, Raikkonen passed Hamilton off the line and Ferrari then elected not to pit the Finn under a Virtual Safety Car period.

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When Mercedes called in Hamilton for a cheap stop, it appeared that the world champions had pulled off a strategic masterstroke. But with Hamilton unable to make his tyres last after being held up by Raikkonen prior to the Finn’s only stop, a second visit to the pits demoted the Englishman to fourth.

Although team-mate Valtteri Bottas swiftly pulled aside to let Hamilton through, the championship leader was unable to pull off the overtaking moves required to wrap up the title.

In a dramatic conclusion, Hamilton slipped off track when he tried in vain to pass Verstappen. But with Sebastian Vettel rounding Bottas on the final lap, only victory would have been sufficient in any case for Hamilton to conclude the title race.

More to follow…

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Race result in brief
Top 10: Raikkonen, Verstappen, Hamilton, Vettel, Bottas, Hulkenberg, Sainz, Ocon, Magnussen, Perez

What happened to Vettel and what now for the title race?

Sebastian Vettel spins off after colliding with Daniel Ricciardo on a dramatic first lap of the US GP.

Sebastian Vettel spins off after colliding with Daniel Ricciardo on a dramatic first lap of the US GP.

How the United States GP unfolded
Lap 1: Raikkonen takes the lead from Hamilton in the first corner. Vettel and Sainz are both off track at the first corner…and Vettel then clashes with Ricciardo, spins and returns to the field in just 18th.

Lap 10: Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull car suddenly crawls to a halt. The Virtual Safety Car is deployed…

Lap 11: Told to pit if Raikkonen doesn’t, Hamilton pits under the Virtual Safety Car and returns in third – 16 seconds behind Raikkonen.

Lap 20: Hamilton has caught Raikkonen but cannot pass the Ferrari. Hamilton only inherits the lead when Raikkonen pits.

Lap 24: Verstappen puts on the supersoft tyres and holds on for track position ahead of Bottas when the Mercedes stops for softs.

Lap 37: Losing time and grip, Hamilton and Mercedes pull the trigger and opt for a second stop. Hamilton returns in just fourth – a place ahead of Vettel.

Lap 40: Bottas lets Hamilton through – and Hamilton sets new track record.

Lap 45: As Verstappen closes within two seconds of Raikkonen, Vettel moves into DRS range of Bottas.

Lap 50: The top three are covered by three seconds while Vettel continues to hound Bottas.

Lap 54: Hamilton finally makes his move on Verstappen. After a thrilling wheel-to-wheel duel, Hamilton slides off track and the Red Bull escapes.

Lap 55: Vettel passes Bottas for fourth – all-but guaranteeing the title race will carry on to Mexico.

Lap 56: Raikkonen crosses the line for his first victory since 2013.

United States GP race result

Driver Team Time
1) Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:34:18.643
2) Max Verstappen Red Bull + 1.281
3) Lewis Hamilton Mercedes + 2.342
4) Sebastian Vettel Ferrari + 18.222
5) Valtteri Bottas Mercedes +24.744
6) Nico Hulkenberg Renault +87.210
7) Carlos Sainz Renault +94.994
8) Esteban Ocon Force India +99.288
9) Kevin Magnussen Haas +100.657
10) Sergio Perez Force India +101.080
11) Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso +1 LAP
12) Marcus Ericsson Sauber +1 LAP
13) Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren +1 LAP
14) Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso +1 LAP
15) Sergey Sirotkin Williams +1 LAP
16) Lance Stroll Williams +1 LAP
Fernando Alonso McLaren DNF
Romain Grosjean Haas DNF
Charles Leclerc Sauber DNF
Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull DNF

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