Raikkonen keeps Hamilton's title hopes on ice with superb US victory

Raikkonen, who has started the race in P2, bolstered from the line and passed the pole sitter Lewis Hamilton.

Kimi Raikkonen claimed his first grand prix victory win in more than five years in a thrilling United States Grand Prix, thwarting Lewis Hamilton's bid to claim the championship at Circuit of The Americas.

Vettel was fourth despite an early collision with Daniel Ricciardo, to prolong the title battle into next weekend's Mexican GP.

Once rejoining the race, Hamilton queried both the delay and the tyre choice Mercedes made, to take the softs rather than the super-softs Verstappen had taken.

I'll be here for the next few hours for all the build-up, live updates and reaction from the 2018 US Grand Prix. He was denied that - for this week, at least - by a stunning performance by Max Verstappen late on.

He also made it very hard for Hamilton to try and pass him.

But his times soon began to drop off, and when Hamilton eventually had to pit again he was third, and 12 seconds behind the leaders.


Ferrari was predicting Hamilton would catch Raikkonen with three laps remaining, but the Briton's first hurdle was Verstappen, who was running a long stint on the supersoft tire in second place.

"That was close and I didn't know how close it was going to be when we got down to it", said Hamilton. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff is concerned about their pace, especially on the straights.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who finished on the podium in three of the previous five races, will start 13th after he damaged his vehicle in the first round of qualifying. Vettel make a key move into fourth in the final laps to keep the championship alive.

"Once we had done a stop on [lap] 11, we knew that we would be doing a two stop". There are still 100 points available so we can just never be complacent in a championship as intense as this.

"Everyone else improved much more on their second run, but I could not find more grip". I'm not quite sure all the reasoning for it, but probably in hindsight we would have started on the ultra. "The tires were not in the best shape, but I think they were a bit similar to Max's".

Hamilton: "Big congratulations to Kimi, he did a great job today, no mistakes. It was a good battle and that's what we all want, the drivers, and the people here".

  • Steve Townsend