Sport

Kimi Raikkonen feels he's proved people wrong with US GP F1 win

Kimi Raikkonen feels he's proved people wrong with US GP F1 win”

United States Grand Prix victor Kimi Raikkonen believes he has "proved some people wrong" after claiming his first Formula 1 victory in five and a half years.

But the 39-year-old Finn, who triumphed for the first time in 113 races dating back to the 2013 Australian Grand Prix, could not resist an ultra-dry riposte at the expense of Lewis Hamilton.

It may also prove to have been his last, with the 2007 world champion leaving Ferrari for Sauber at the end of the year and Monaco's Charles Leclerc going in the other direction.

Lewis Hamilton said Mercedes made life hard for themselves with a cautious race strategy in Sunday's United States Grand Prix.

"If we have to go back to a vehicle that has been competitive three or four months ago, then surely it can not be good news if you think about it?"

With at least another two attempts remaining at each of his favourite races, Hamilton looks in good shape to match or better Schumacher.

"You can see that it hurts him". He deployed it at Monza after banging wheels with Lewis Hamilton, at Suzuka after contact with Max Verstappen, and he repeated the manoeuvre at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) after a first-lap touch with Daniel Ricciardo.

The Mercedes driver is on the cusp of his fifth world title and needs only five points over the final three races to clinch the drivers' championship. He changed tyres 11 laps in when the race was under virtual safety vehicle. "But obviously I'm happy, just proving some people wrong it's enough fun for me". A seventh place finish in Mexico on October 28, or Vettel failing to win the race, will ensure he wins a fourth title in five years.

"It gave me a lot of confidence that I can still go for some time", he laughed.

"I mean, once the s-- hit the fan, it didn't get better", he said.

"There were some things that happened to us that didn't help, but the crucial bit has been that for a big part of the season we didn't have the speed to be there".

If Vettel fails to win, Hamilton will be champion.

"The key to me was to make sure I finished ahead of Seb".

Despite his disappointment, Hamilton seems assured of wrapping up the title in Mexico next weekend.

When asked how the win would feel now that he could share it with his kids, Raikkonen said: "They've been asking for a while for a new Pirelli winner's cap, and I know we can buy them but that wouldn't be fair play".



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