F1 – United States GP – Race
Hello MiniFans and welcome back to the Ciruit of the Americas! It promissed to be a very exciting race with Verstappen starting from the 18th position after breaking his rear suspention in the first part of qualifying yesterday and changing his gearbox. Also Vettel started further back following a gridpenalty of three places for speeding during a red flag. He tried to work his way back up from P5, but was it enough to end the battle for the championship? You will read it here!
Raikkonen overtook Hamilton beautifully at the start, while the rest of the field went really wide through the first sector. There was a yellow flag and lots of swearing over Alonso’s radio due to a collision between Stroll and the Spaniard. Stroll payed the bill for his action and got a drive through penalty, though Alonso had too much damage to continue his race. Vettel spun and moved down to P13 after hitting Ricciardo. In the meantime, Verstappen could move up a whopping eight places in only one and a half lap! Grosjean retired as well, owing to contact with Leclerc, who moved down to P17.
We could enjoy the amazing comebacks of both Verstappen and Vettel with lots of overtakes! Ricciardo had to stop his car after only nine laps as a result of an engine failure. That way, Verstappen moved up to P4, while Vettel knocked back to the sixth position. Hamilton pitted during the virtual safety car to try out an undercut on Raikkonen, whom they told over the radio that he probably had to pit two times during the race.
The hot battle between Hamilton and Raikkonen started in lap nineteen, but it didn’t stop there. It took the Brit two laps to overtake the Finn, but that was only because Raikkonen. Meanwhile, we got to know that Sainz recieved a five second penalty for going off the track and benefitting from it, while most of the drivers were entering the pits to get new tyres mounted on their cars. Verstappen overtook Vettel after a while without too much of a problem, but right after that, the German had to pit anyways. The intrim score after 28 laps was Hamilton on P1 followed by Raikkonen, Verstappen, Bottas and Vettel. If Hamilton could hold up this pace and if Vettel couldn’t move up to the second position by the end of the race, the Brit would win the championship!
Leclerc had to quit after 34 laps, since the collision with Grosjean left him with too much damage on his car. The blisters on Hamiltons car got too bad in order for him to finish the race with those tyres. After his pitstop, he fell back to P4 behind Bottas and in front of Vettel. The final battle in the top ten began in the last fifteen laps of the race. Hamilton was hunting after Verstappen and Vettel after Bottas, while Raikkonen was giving everything to hold on to his lead. We heard that Vettel couldn’t try to catch Bottas anymore since he had to save fuel, but nothing seemed less true in the second last lap! The Ferrari driver was able to overtake the Silberpfeil and that made the Tifosi go wild! We could even enjoy a delicious, toe curling battle between Hamilton and Verstappen, that was unfortunately stopped by Hamilton running off the track.
Kimi Raikkonen won the GP of the United States of 2018! Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton completed the podium! The top ten was completed by Vettel, Bottas, Hulkenberg, Sainz, Ocon, Magnussen and Perez! This all means that Hamilton is not yet the world champion of 2018, but will his fifth championship win next week? We will see you next week for the answer on this question!