United States Grand Prix: Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen happy to 'prove some people wrong' by winning the race

Kimi Raikkonen insists he has no plans for a special celebration after he 'proved some people wrong' by winning Sunday's United States Grand Prix.

Press Trust of India October 22, 2018 21:12:39 IST
United States Grand Prix: Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen happy to 'prove some people wrong' by winning the race

Austin: Kimi Raikkonen insists he has no plans for a special celebration after he "proved some people wrong" by winning Sunday's United States Grand Prix.

United States Grand Prix Ferraris Kimi Raikkonen happy to prove some people wrong by winning the race

File image of Kimi Raikkonen. Reuters

The Finn, whose victory for a resurgent Ferrari prevented Lewis Hamilton from clinching his fifth drivers' title in Texas, is leaving the Italian team at the end of the season and, at the age of 39, had been written off in some quarters.

But he never lost self-belief and made the most of his chance at the Circuit of the Americas with a faultless drive and flawless strategy as his rivals floundered around him.

It was his first win in more than five years and 113 races dating back to the 2013 Australian Grand Prix – and his first win for Ferrari since 2009.

He returns to Sauber, where he started his career in 2001, on a two-year contract next season.

"I'm happy for that," he said. "It was a great day to prove some people wrong and have a good race, but it doesn’t really change anything for me.

"It’s just a number. Life goes on….

"I might be getting older, but it’s not too bad still. Maybe I’m ok to be around a few years more.

"I enjoy it, so we are here to try to win. I always try to do it, but obviously it’s not easy otherwise anybody could do it.

"I think this weekend we have been pretty solid in many ways. I just had a good feeling with the car."

The laconic racer added that his young children were unlikely to be too excited.

"They’ve been asking for a while, but they’re more interested in the Pirelli cap than probably a win itself," he said.

"I know that we can buy it also, but I know it’s not fair play to bring them if I had to buy it…

"The kids probably fell asleep during the race, but the wife probably looked at it. I’m more than happy for all of us. It’s nice."

As a near-deadpan Raikkonen smiled, Hamilton, who failed to outscore fourth-placed Sebastian Vettel by eight points, the tally needed to seal the world title, conceded that Mercedes near-metronomic consistency had let him down with a poor choice of tyres and strategy.

He also pointed out that it was difficult to pass second placed Max Verstappen and the victorious Raikkonen to deliver his sixth win in seven visits to Texas.

Too much space

"Honestly, I was trying to win the race, but you look at the two guys next to me – they’re not fighting for a championship so I had to be very, very careful how I navigated around them," he explained.

"Championships are not won by fighting and making silly mistakes."

Hamilton made several efforts to pass Verstappen in the closing laps, but was unable to find a way past him.

"I gave him way too much space just to be sure that I didn’t get clipped, for example, and didn’t get taken out," he said, adding that he feared the Dutchman may understeer into him or defend his position with more aggression.

"The key for me was that I finished ahead of Seb and for me it doesn’t matter when you win the championship as long as you get it done," he said.

"Ultimately, we wanted to win the race today and I think going backwards two steps is not a good result, but you can’t win them all."

Hamilton will become only the third five-time champion in the sport if Vettel wins and he finishes in the top seven in Mexico next weekend or if Vettel fails to win.

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel came close to retiring before Racing Point move
Sports

Four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel came close to retiring before Racing Point move

Racing Point said Sebastian Vettel has signed for the 2021 season "and beyond" but did not reveal the length of the contract.

Formula 1 2020: Lewis Hamilton demands justice for Breonna Taylor after winning Tuscan GP
Sports

Formula 1 2020: Lewis Hamilton demands justice for Breonna Taylor after winning Tuscan GP

Lewis Hamilton, the only black driver in his sport, produced not only a perfectly measured drive, but also another clear message in his fight for equality and justice.

FIA investigating Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton for Breonna Taylor t-shirt at Tuscan Grand Prix, says report
Sports

FIA investigating Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton for Breonna Taylor t-shirt at Tuscan Grand Prix, says report

Lewis Hamilton, who won the Tuscan GP, wore a t-shirt bearing a message that said "Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor" before and after the race, during an anti-racism ceremony and television interviews.