Q: Coming to another Finn, who had the hot breath of Lewis in his neck all the time. How tough were the closing laps, Kimi?
Kimi Raikkonen: Well, it wasn’t all the time, obviously, it was only in the end. I must admit I had a little bit tricky balance on the first set. It improved at the end of the first run. The second set was very good, the car handled very well and I could catch up with the guys, but it’s impossible to get past here if you have this close the speed of a few cars. Yeah, he [Hamilton] got close to me, also I got close to Sebastian and Valtteri, but I wasn’t too worried, I had a pretty good run out of the last corner, so it was OK.
Q: Kimi, for you obviously, the real talking point was the end. Hamilton was going past cars with sometimes 248km/h on the straight in the DRS. Talk about that and also, he had a couple of lock-ups. Do you think that’s where he lost the momentum that stopped him coming through on you?
KR: He did or I did? OK. Obviously, I don’t really look at what he’s doing. All the time I try to do my own stuff. I had a few lock-ups in the first corner, basically for no really good reason. I was checking a bit, obviously, this year it’s very hard to see from the mirrors where the other guy is, especially in the circuit where it goes a bit up and down: you lose the sight of them. I had very good last few corners so I could see it when we pulled out of the last corner that he was quite far away. I know that they’re very fast when they put full power and full energy and DRS, they catch up a lot by the end of the straight – but I was quite comfortable with a, let’s say, gap in the last three corners and I was surprised that he didn’t go closer to me. That’s why I wasn’t too worried – but then I locked a few times into Turn One because I think I was looking too much in the mirrors and not really braking so heavy and then just locked a bit. To be honest, my car was pretty good. Maybe the first part was a bit tricky. More, close to that first pitstop it got a bit better. The second, with the soft tyres, with the pitstop was very good. I took it very easy in the beginning and was still catching up with the guys in the front but I felt always I took care of my tyres but once I pushed, it’s nothing… you can get close but you cannot really do anything. The circuit, the cars this year, in this kind of place, it seems to be very difficult to pass anybody and it gets a bit boring, unfortunately. I felt that I had a lot of speed but I felt there’s nothing that I could have done. We all stayed the same distance. Yeah. It was a good end result but obviously I wanted more.
Brazilian GP: Vettel defeats Bottas as Hamilton charges to fourth
Sebastian Vettel secured his fifth victory of the 2017 Formula 1 season with an impressive drive to defeat Valtteri Bottas in the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.
Vettel passed pole-sitter Bottas on the inside into Turn 1 and had the pace to fend off an attack from his Mercedes rival to secure Ferrari’s first victory since Hungary in July.
Bottas crossed the line second, 2.7 seconds adrift, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen holding off a charging Lewis Hamilton, who had started from the pitlane, to finish third for the third race in succession.
Vettel made a great start from second on the grid and though Bottas gave him a squeeze into Turn 1, the Ferrari driver made the move stick.
Further down the field, Kevin Magnussen squeezed Stoffel Vandoorne towards Daniel Ricciardo exiting Turn 2.
Ricciardo was spun round, dropping him to the back of the field, but he continued while Vandoorne and Magnussen retired immediately.
That incident sparked a safety car and was not the only clash on the opening lap – Esteban Ocon suffered the first retirement of his F1 career after being tagged by Romain Grosjean, who lost control of his Haas at Turn 5.
Grosjean continued, but was handed a 10-second time penalty for causing the collision, and ultimately finished 15th.
At the restart, Vettel retained the lead from Bottas, Raikkonen and Max Verstappen, with Felipe Massa delighting his home crowd with a pass around the outside of Fernando Alonso into Turn 1 for fifth.
Hamilton, running on soft tyres, made good progress through the field and was up into the points by lap nine, passing Pierre Gasly for 10th.
Bottas was the first to pit for softs, with Vettel pitting a lap later and rejoining just ahead of the Mercedes driver, managing to hold him off into Turn 4.
As those who started the race on the super-softs pitted, Hamilton inherited the lead and pushed on until lap 43, when he pitted, rejoining 15th – 19 seconds behind Vettel.
The four-time world champion was the fastest driver on the track, catching and passing Verstappen around the outside on the run to Turn 4 with 12 laps to go.
He then rapidly caught Raikkonen but a lock-up into Turn 1 dropped him back and he could not attack the Ferrari before the race’s end.
Verstappen, who struggled with his tyres in the closing stages leading to a late stop for super-softs, was fifth ahead of Red Bull team-mate Ricciardo.
Massa held off Alonso to take seventh in his final Brazilian Grand Prix and penultimate race of his F1 career.
Sergio Perez took ninth, crossing the line right behind Alonso, with Nico Hulkenberg scoring Renault’s first point since Singapore with 10th.
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||32.940s|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||48.691s|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m09.500s|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||1 Lap|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Renault||1 Lap|
|12||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Renault||1 Lap|
|13||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|14||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|15||Romain Grosjean||Haas/Ferrari||2 Laps|
|16||Lance Stroll||Williams/Mercedes||2 Laps|
|–||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Renault||Retirement|
|–||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||Collision|
Verstappen wins Mexican GP, Lewis Hamilton takes 2017 championship
Max Verstappen took victory in a dramatic Mexican Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton survived a collision with Formula 1 title rival Sebastian Vettel to clinch his fourth world championship.
The Red Bull driver boldly passed pole-sitter Vettel into Turn 1 at the start, escaping contact with the Ferrari driver to continue and dominate the race at Mexico City.
But behind him, Vettel had suffered minor front wing damage, and Hamilton got ahead of the Ferrari through Turn 2. Vettel then tagged the right-rear tyre of Hamilton on the exit of Turn 3, further damaging his own wing and giving Hamilton a puncture.
That forced both drivers to limp back to the pits, leaving Verstappen clear to defeat the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas by 19.6 seconds to take his third F1 win.
Though Vettel recovered to fourth place to cut Hamilton’s championship lead to 56-points, there are only 50 remaining in the final two races, meaning Hamilton won the championship despite only battling back to ninth.
While Hamilton struggled to close back up to the pack, Vettel made quick progress through the field, climbing up to seventh before the race was neutralised by the virtual safety car when Brendon Hartley’s retired with an engine problem.
Race leader Verstappen took the opportunity to pit from the lead, with Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen, who had climbed up to third following early stops from Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez and Hulkenberg’s retirement with an engine issue.
The trio rejoined in the same positions, with Vettel and Hamilton also pitting for fresh rubber and taking ultra-softs and super-softs respectively with a little over half of the race to go.
The title rivals restarted their recovery drives, with Vettel passing Kevin Magnussen to take seventh, while Hamilton passed Romain Grosjean, Pascal Wehrlein, Pierre Gasly and Marcus Ericsson to run 12th.
Vettel lunged down the inside of Perez to take sixth at Turn 4 and made short work of Stroll into Turn 1 to snatch fifth, before setting off in pursuit of Ocon.
The Ferrari driver caught the Force India quickly and used DRS to blast past Ocon into Turn 1 for fourth, with team-mate Raikkonen a further 24 seconds up the road with 14 laps to go.
When he heard the size of the gap, Vettel replied "Mama mia, that’s a little bit too much" and he ultimately crossed the line fourth.
Hamilton, who came out on top in a brilliant tussle with Fernando Alonso late on to take ninth, joins Vettel and Alain Prost on four world titles, with only Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel Fangio ahead on the all-time list with seven and five respectively.
Ocon equalled his best-ever F1 result with fifth, ahead of Stroll, Perez and Magnussen.
Daniel Ricciardo recovered from starting 16th – following grid penalties for engine component changes, to run seventh early on, but his race lasted just five laps as he suffered yet more problems with his Renault engine.
Marcus Ericsson spent the early part of the race just inside the points, but retired in the closing stages after reporting a brake-by-wire failure and retiring the car.
Renault suffered a double retirement, with Carlos Sainz Jr stopping late on after reporting his car was pulling on the straights.
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||71||1h36m26.552s|
|5||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||70||1 Lap|
|6||Lance Stroll||Williams/Mercedes||70||1 Lap|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||70||1 Lap|
|8||Kevin Magnussen||Haas/Ferrari||70||1 Lap|
|9||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||70||1 Lap|
|10||Fernando Alonso||McLaren/Honda||70||1 Lap|
|11||Felipe Massa||Williams/Mercedes||70||1 Lap|
|12||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren/Honda||70||1 Lap|
|13||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Renault||70||1 Lap|
|14||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber/Ferrari||69||2 Laps|
|15||Romain Grosjean||Haas/Ferrari||69||2 Laps|
|–||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||55||Power Unit|
|–||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Renault||30||Power Unit|
|–||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||5||Retirement|
Max Verstappen US GP penalty: Raikkonen had no idea what happened
Kimi Raikkonen says he had "no idea" why Max Verstappen was penalised for his overtaking move on the final lap of Formula 1’s United States Grand Prix.
Red Bull driver Verstappen was handed a five-second penalty after the race for having gone off track to overtake Raikkonen for third at Turn 17.
The penalty meant the Ferrari driver was promoted to a podium finish, while Verstappen dropped down to fourth, having started from 16th.
Raikkonen admitted he did not know how Verstappen had passed him.
"I have no idea what happened with Verstappen or why he got the penalty," said Raikkonen.
"I had no idea what happened to him apart from he got past me at the second last corner.
"Obviously I was disappointed just after the race when I thought I had finished fourth but there was some issue with Max.
"I got to go on the podium but didn’t see it, I don’t know where he went."
Raikkonen, who admitted Verstappen’s move surprised him, said he was angry he had let the Dutchman through.
"I was half surprised," said the Finn. "I saw him in my mirror and tried to slow down the whole thing before, the previous corners and I thought I had enough covering on the corner, and then suddenly he was there.
"I saw in my mirror and I was a bit surprised, at that speed – I was a bit pissed off he got past me but I didn’t have chance to slow down."
Lewis Hamilton wins United States Grand Prix ahead of Vettel
Lewis Hamilton moved closer to his fourth Formula 1 world championship with a commanding victory in the United States Grand Prix at Austin.
The Mercedes driver lost the lead to F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel at the start, but got back past the Ferrari driver early on to clinch his ninth win of the season and fifth in six attempts at the Circuit of Americas.
Vettel finished second, 10.1 seconds adrift, and now trails Hamilton by 66 points with only 75 remaining, with Max Verstappen snatching third from Kimi Raikkonen with a sensational pass on the final lap of the race.
However, Verstappen was given a five-second penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage when completing that pass, which demoted him to fourth with Raikkonen promoted back to third.
Valtteri Bottas finished fifth as his Mercedes team clinched its fourth successive constructors’ championship with three grands prix still remaining.
Vettel made a great start from second on the grid to dive up the inside of Hamilton into Turn 1, despite the Briton’s efforts to defend the line.
Hamilton reported that his tyres felt good and after a couple of laps had got back within DRS range before launching an attack down the back straight.
The Mercedes nipped down the inside to take the position and though Vettel attacked through the twisty section that followed, Hamilton held him off.
Vettel pitted at the end of lap 16, swapping the ultra-softs for softs, but Hamilton chose to stay out three laps longer before pitting for fresh rubber.
Vettel set a series of fast laps, but ran wide at the penultimate corner as Hamilton pitted, with the Mercedes emerging from the pits just ahead into Turn 1 to stay ahead.
Max Verstappen ran a long first stint, having started 16th, and rose through the field to take the lead as others made their stops.
Hamilton quickly caught the Red Bull driver and used DRS to make the pass on cut back at Turn 14 to retake a lead he would not relinquish.
Verstappen pitted at the end of lap 24, taking the soft tyre and rejoining fifth. Red Bull then went aggressive by pitting him for a second time 13 laps later.
The Dutchman took the super-softs and stayed fifth, such was the gap to Esteban Ocon behind, with Vettel responding and taking the same compound, rejoining fourth having run second.
That promoted Bottas to second with Raikkonen third, but the Mercedes driver was struggling for pace and after a series of attacks, Raikkonen finally made one stick at the end of the back straight to snatch second.
Vettel used fresh tyres to close back up to Bottas, passing the Mercedes driver around the outside of Turn 1 to take third with five laps to go.
Raikkonen was informed by his team that Vettel was now the car behind and promptly moved over at Turn 1 to allow his team-mate to take second.
He then lost third in the final sequence of corners when Verstappen dived down the inside of the long right-hander on the final lap only to be given the position back following the Red Bull driver’s penalty.
It was a bad day for Verstappen’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo who retired early on, having had a great battle with Bottas for third, with a suspected engine problem.
Ocon absorbed pressure from Carlos Sainz Jr to hold on to sixth, with the latter scoring points on his first start for Renault in seventh.
Sergio Perez, who was frustrated with his Force India team when he felt he was being held up by Ocon midway through the race, ended up eighth with Felipe Massa and Daniil Kvyat completing the top 10.
Brendon Hartley finished 13th on his grand prix debut with Toro Rosso, 26 seconds behind Toro Rosso team-mate Kvyat.
Nico Hulkenberg retired after suffering a loss of oil pressure, while Fernando Alonso’s race was ended with an engine problem.
Pascal Wehrlein also failed to finish after contact with Kevin Magnussen at the start while his Sauber team-mate finished 15th, having incurred a five-second penalty for causing a separate collision with Magnussen.
US Grand Prix result
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||56||16.768s|
|6||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||56||1m30.980s|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||55||1 Lap|
|9||Felipe Massa||Williams/Mercedes||55||1 Lap|
|10||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||55||1 Lap|
|11||Lance Stroll||Williams/Mercedes||55||1 Lap|
|12||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren/Honda||55||1 Lap|
|13||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Renault||55||1 Lap|
|14||Romain Grosjean||Haas/Ferrari||55||1 Lap|
|15||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||55||1 Lap|
|16||Kevin Magnussen||Haas/Ferrari||55||1 Lap|
|–||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||14||Engine|
|–||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||3||Oil pressure|
Our starting position today was not ideal. I did a decent start on the soft tires and in the first lap I tried to gain some positions, but when I attempted to pass a Renault I ran wide and lost some places; so I had to make them back. The feeling in the car was a little bit tricky all the way through the race, not the nicest balance; some laps were ok, some others a bit more difficult. It’s quite tricky to follow other cars on this track; we did a fairly good job out of overtaking people but we were too far from those at the front. Obviously, the final result is far from being the best possible. As for Sebastian, I don’t know what happened; we have made a lot of improvements over the last few years as a team, but now, for whatever reason, we suddenly seem to have technical issues coming out from nothing. It’s kind of weird, our cars are running perfectly and suddenly on Sunday there is an problem that nobody expects. There is some work to be done on that side. Then we are going to push until the last lap of the last race and we’ll see where we end up.
Hamilton wins the Japanese GP to close on F1 title, Vettel retires
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton closed in on the Formula 1 title with victory in the Japanese Grand Prix, beating Max Verstappen as Sebastian Vettel’s championship hopes took a blow with retirement.
Hamilton converted pole into an early lead while second-placed Vettel began to drop back immediately, minutes after his Ferrari team had taken the engine cover off the car on the grid to check a spark plug problem.
Vettel’s susbequent lack of pace after meant Verstappen, who passed Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo off the line, picked off Vettel at the hairpin on the opening lap, before the Ferrari dropped another three places at the start of the second tour.
After a brief safety car period, caused by Carlos Sainz crashing his Toro Rosso at Turn 6, Vettel slumped to eighth before getting the call on the radio to pit and retire the car on lap 4.
Hamilton then extended his lead to just over four seconds before Verstappen pitted to change his supersofts for soft tyres on lap 21, with Hamilton covering off the undercut on the following tour.
Bottas began to hold up Mercedes teammate Hamilton after Ricciardo made his stop, allowing Verstappen to close within a second of his rival, but the gap grew again when Bottas allowed Hamilton through at the Casio Triangle at the midway point and started to hold up Verstappen.
It wasn’t until lap 30 that Bottas pitted for supersofts by which time Verstappen had fallen 3.4s adrift.
The Dutchman then managed to cut Hamilton’s advantage to a little over two seconds, but couldn’t keep up the pace until Hamilton found himself impeded by Fernando Alonso on lap 51.
That allowed Verstappen to close to within a second at the start of the final lap, but more traffic allowed Hamilton to escape once more and seal the win by a slight margin.
Ricciardo completed the podium in third after a succession of fastest laps late on but couldn’t make further inroads after switching to supersoft tyres on lap 25.
The sole surviving Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen finished fifth, recovering after dropping to 15th on the opening lap when he was forced wide at Spoon by Nico Hulkenberg.
The Force Indias of Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez finished sixth and seventh. Ocon had run as high as third early on after passing Ricciardo on the opening lap, but was soon demoted to fifth on successive laps by Ricciardo and Bottas.
An aggressive late move at Turn 1 on the Williams of Felipe Massa gave Kevin Magnussen eighth place, with Haas team-mate Romain Grosjean following through to grab ninth.
Fernando Alonso finished 11th in the final home race for Honda as engine partner to McLaren, ahead of Jolyon Palmer’s Renault and Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly.
Stoffel Vandoorne came home 14th in the second McLaren after dropping to the rear on the first lap.
Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein was the only other finisher in 15th, his team-mate Marcus Ericsson crashing out early on at Degner 2.
Lance Stroll retired when an apparent failure on the front-right of his Williams sent him skating across the gravel late on, while Nico Hulkenberg’s DRS refusing to close forced him out.
|1||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||Mercedes||1h27m31.194s|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||Red Bull/Renault||1.211s|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||Red Bull/Renault||9.679s|
|4||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||Mercedes||10.580s|
|5||Kimi Raikkonen||Scuderia Ferrari||Ferrari||32.622s|
|6||Esteban Ocon||Sahara Force India F1 Team||Force India/Mercedes||1m07.788s|
|7||Sergio Perez||Sahara Force India F1 Team||Force India/Mercedes||1m11.424s|
|8||Kevin Magnussen||Haas F1 Team||Haas/Ferrari||1m28.953s|
|9||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team||Haas/Ferrari||1m29.883s|
|10||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing||Williams/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|11||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda||McLaren/Honda||1 Lap|
|12||Jolyon Palmer||Renault Sport F1 Team||Renault||1 Lap|
|13||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia Toro Rosso||Toro Rosso/Renault||1 Lap|
|14||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Honda||McLaren/Honda||1 Lap|
|15||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber F1 Team||Sauber/Ferrari||2 Laps|
|–||Lance Stroll||Williams Martini Racing||Williams/Mercedes||Suspension|
|–||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault Sport F1 Team||Renault||DRS|
|–||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team||Sauber/Ferrari||Spun off|
|–||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari||Ferrari||Spark plug|
|–||Carlos Sainz||Scuderia Toro Rosso||Toro Rosso/Renault||Spun off|