40th F1 United States GP, 2018:
A massive week for Formula 1 in the United States was topped by SCUDERÍA FERRARI, Kimi Räikkönen’s superlative return to the top step of the podium in Austin.
The three drivers on the podium crossed the line within the same three seconds. They all ran different tyre strategies, through choice in the case of Räikkönen and Hamilton and by necessity for Verstappen who started from the penultimate row of the grid.
But it wasn’t just in Texas that the F1 sport enjoyed an amazing weekend:
A thousand miles away the sport was also thrilling existing and future fans of the sport at the final Formula 1 Fan Festival of the season, in Miami, Florida.
Over the course of the weekend, a few hundred thousand fans had the chance to immerse themselves in the F1 experience – thrilling not only to incredible on-
At the end of a spectacular weekend it was the main event at the Circuit of the Americas that provided the biggest spectacle, with Räikkönen’s beautifully balanced drive to a first victory in 113 races headlined an enthralling grand prix.
There was plenty more to take away from a fascinating 40th United States Grand Prix, as Formula 1’s Managing Director, Motorsport, Ross Brawn, reveals as he highlights a magnificent drive from Max, the apparent golden opportunity that may have hamstrung Hamilton, and the Friday data vacuum that helped set up a great race and that could point the way forward for future race weekends.
Scudería Ferrari -
'Today’s win came courtesy of Kimi who drove a great race and the team, which at such a tricky time, showed great courage in taking a step back, fighting our closest rivals on equal terms.
Seb was unfortunate and had to fight his way back up the order after the collision on the opening lap. In the championship, the numbers are against us, but we will knuckle down and fight all the way to the end, just as we did today.'
'Obviously it’s a great feeling to win this race. It’s nice to prove to all the people that we can still win; that’s the reason we are here for, try to win races and Championships. It was an exciting race, not only for us but also for all those who were watching. We had a very solid weekend, I felt confident and I’m glad about that especially because lately we’ve had rough weekends for the team. I’m glad we had a fight and it’s nice to see that we still have the speed to go for it and fight has hard as we can.
This weekend we found the car that we expected to have. The start was a key moment; In the first part of the race we had the speed, I tried to take care of tires and save fuel. Then the Mercedes stopped and came back on fresher tires: at that time, my target was to keep them behind before we, too, stopped for tyres.
If Hamilton had passed us before our stop, it would have been a different story. We are still in the fight for both Championships and this is a good thing.
We’re off to Mexico now, where we’ll try do the best we can and hopefully we can get a great result for both teams. We’ll keep fighting until the end.'
I am really, really happy for Kimi and his result today, but I am not happy with my race and I am disappointed for letting the team down today. I had a contact with Ricciardo on lap one, I am not sure he saw me when I was getting closer to him. I wanted to put him under pressure for the next corner, I wasn’t thinking about passing in that point at any rate, but I had nowhere to go, we touched wheels and I span around. I think this has been an important race for us as a team and it’s nice to see that we had a good pace during the race, even though there are still many things we need to learn and to understand. It has not been an easy time for me lately and bad results are part of the game, but I believe it’s always possible to overcome issues.
Aston Martin RedBull Racing -
MAX VERSTAPPEN, Finish Position: 2nd, Start Position: 18th
“It is safe to say today went a lot better than expected. I managed to stay out of trouble on the first lap while progressing up the field as the pace of my car was really strong. This was crucial as it allowed me to settle into my own rhythm and catch the cars ahead. I didn’t think the Soft compound was the best out there, once I pitted I felt more comfortable and able to control the Supersofts. The undercut on Valtteri was ideal and probably the key to achieving the podium, a great call from the team. In fact, our entire strategy was spot on and once we stopped we were able to manage the Supersofts all the way to the end. The last 10 laps were pretty exciting, especially being the only car on the softer compound fighting at the front. I was trying to get close to Kimi but at the same time keeping an eye on Lewis in my mirror, it was close but we managed to hang on to second. Lewis had a go but we both gave each other plenty of room and thankfully he ran a bit wide and onto a dirty part of the track. I think I started to run out of traction towards the end so attacking Kimi was not on the table. The team have certainly earnt a little celebration tonight before we head to Mexico, where we will try to do even better.”
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Finish Position: DNF, Start Position: 4th
“It’s incredibly frustrating to retire so early in the race and I just don’t seem to have any luck at the moment. Everything just switched off and it seemed pretty much identical to the issue I had in Bahrain at the beginning of the year. I couldn’t even communicate with anyone on the radio so it looks like a battery failure. Now, seeing how the race played out makes it even harder to take as it could have been pretty interesting and it was a great afternoon for Max. There’s not much more to say about it to be honest. A lot of times this year there have been things out of my control but I can only keep trying. The biggest shame is that I only have a handful of races left with Red Bull and I want to have more highs than we’ve had. I want to be able to celebrate with the Team at least one more time and be on the podium to enjoy that feeling, but we’re running out of races which is pretty tough to take at the moment.”
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “A stunning drive from Max again today starting 18th and finishing the first lap in ninth. He started on the Soft tyre and quickly made his way through the field. We then picked the right moment to undercut Bottas and go onto the Supersoft. At that point we thought it would be a two-
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