Kimi Raikkonen claimed his first F1 win in over five years via the 2018 USGP; Naturally, the Finnish Ferrari driver isn’t impressed
Raikkonen talks the USGP win; Is excited to drive for Sauber in 2019
Lewis Hamilton started on the pole position in his Mercedes in the 2018 USGP and The Circuit of the Americas over the weekend. But, that couldn’t stop the 39-year-old Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen who started the Austin, Texas race from the 3rd position.
The lights dropped, Kimi was on the throttle. As the field stretches up the hill, He had a run on the front row. From row two, Raikkonen drove to the inside of the pole sitter heading into turn one. They ran three wide for the lead in the first corner of the race.
Out of turn one, Raikkonen came out with the lead. From there, he went on to control the event. With a final pit stop, Raikkonen was able to get fresh tires and maintain the lead. That made it all but impossible for Hamilton to challenge for the lead.
“Fucking finally,” Kimi Raikkonen screamed over the team radio as he crossed the finish line in the Scuderia Ferrari.
USGP post race
It’s his first win in five years. However, Kimi Raikkonen isn’t jumping with excitement or even cracking a smile.
“I’m ok to be here a few more years and I enjoy it,” Kimi Raikkonen stated via the post-race press conference at The Circuit of the Americas.
“I have a lovely wife and kids. I’m sure they’re happy. The kids probably fell asleep during the race. But, the wife probably watched it. I’m more than happy for all of us.”
“It’s nice to win again. But, it doesn’t change my life.”
“It was a great day to prove a few people wrong. But, it doesn’t really change anything for me. Life goes on.”
Did you always think you could back to win with a Ferrari?
“I don’t know. It hasn’t really been a big deal for me. I think it’s a much bigger deal for a lot of the people.”
“If it comes, it comes. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t really change my life one bit.”
That line drew smiles from the podium. Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton both fought back a laugh.
“Obviously, I’m happy because we are hear purely to try to win. But, the biggest different is how people look [at] you. If you look at somebody differently [based] on if you win or not… It doesn’t really matter in my view.”
“Obviously, I’m happy. It just proved some people wrong. It makes it fun for me.”
Move to Sauber
Next year, Kimi is set to part ways with the Ferrari powerhouse team. Instead, he will be heading to the Sauber F1 Team. But, Kimi doesn’t see that as any kind of demotion, he’s genuinely excited to take that new role.
At least I think he is, it’s hard to tell with Kimi sometimes.
“People don’t understand, I’m actually very happy [with] where I’m going. I had my time with Ferrari. I won the championship with them and I’ve won many races with them.”
“For me, as a driver, I want different challenges. I’m actually very happy to go there. It’s roughly 40 minutes from my home. For sure, my family will be happy. I’m happy to be with my family.”
“It’s probably the best thing. I’ve been in F1 long enough to know that it doesn’t matter if you have [a] contract or not. The end result, I’m very excited about it.”
With the win in the 2018 United Stated Grand Prix, Raikkonen now has 21 wins on his F1 resume. Earlier this year, he claimed two runner-up finishes. The first came at the Baku Street Circuit and the other came in the Italian Grand Prix.
Between 2007-2009, he piloted the Ferrari F2008 for the Italian based team. In that short three year period, he went to victory lane nine times. In 53 races, that was a win percentage of nearly 17%.
However, Kimi’s last win came during the 2013 season. That came in the opening round while piloting the Lotus machine. In 2014, he was signed to return to Ferrari. Until this weekend, he’s gone winless since rejoining the team.
“Performance wise, we were definitely off this week. But, Kimi’s giving me a lot of confidence that I can keep getting better,” Lewis Hamilton refers to the age of Kimi with his latest win.