Kimi è un Iceman, Vettel no
Dopo 113 gare Kimi Raikkonen è tornato sul gradino più alto del podio in F1 esattamente nel giorno in cui undici anni fa si laureava campione del mondo a Interlagos in Brasile. Raikkonen ha così anche superato Patrese, che aveva atteso 99 gare per festeggiare un successo. La vittoria del finlandese ha rimandato la festa iridata di Lewis Hamilton, terzo alle spalle anche di uno strepitoso Max Verstappen. Ancora una volta insufficiente la prova di Sebastian Vettel, quarto e autore di un altro errore nel corso del primo giro. Ecco come i principali quotidiani nazionali sportivi e non hanno analizzato il bellissimo Gran Premio degli Stati Uniti.
Kimi is back
“Scrive Paulo Coelho che quando vuoi davvero qualcosa tutto l’Universo cospira perché tu possa ottenerlo. Ieri le stelle si sono mosse per aiutare Sebastian Vettel e hanno spinto Kimi Raikkonen e Max Verstappen a collaborare, rimandando la festa iridata di Lewis Hamilton e della Mercedes. L’inglese ci ha provato in tutti i modi a blindare il Mondiale con 4 gare di anticipo, ma sulla sua strada ha trovato due rivali imprevisti e una strategia infelice della squadra che l’ha costretto sempre a rimontare, dopo il sorpasso incassato in partenza da Kimi che ha cominciato a complicargli la vita. L’ultimo assalto per il secondo posto, quando mancavano due giri alla fine, ha visto andare in scena un duello magnifico con Verstappen, risolto a favore dell’olandesino volante. Mentre pochi metri più avanti Raikkonen si involava verso un trionfo atteso da cinque stagioni e oltre cento gran premi, il primo con la Ferrari fin dal suo ritorno a Maranello nel 2014. Del resto, solo un miracolo (in questo caso due) poteva salvare Vettel e allungare la speranza, anche se a Hamilton mancano 6 punti per l’aritmetica certezza del quinto titolo, e la logica dice che il sipario calerà domenica prossima in Messico. Per fortuna di Seb ci hanno pensato Kimi e Max a mettere i bastoni fra le ruote di Lewis. Perché, fosse stato per il tedesco, i conti sarebbero già chiusi. L’incidente al primo giro con Daniel Ricciardo ha infatti complicato per l’ennesima volta la corsa di Vettel, finito subito in testacoda e costretto a una rimonta furiosa dalla 15a posizione. Prima del contatto, il pilota della Ferrari aveva superato quello della Red Bull in fondo al rettilineo opposto di Austin, arrivando però lungo in frenata e consentendo la replica dell’australiano. In una delle curve successive, Seb ha provato a resistergli, ma ha perso il controllo (sottosterzo) toccando la fiancata di Daniel e girandosi. Una dinamica simile a quella dello scontro con Hamilton a Monza e conclusa allo stesso modo”.
Luigi Perna, La Gazzetta dello Sport
Un memorabile acuto nell’ora dei saluti
“L’aspettava, lo aspettavamo da cinque anni. Cinque anni della sua seconda giovinezza in rosso carichi di giorni amari, deludenti, grigi, nell’ombra di Alonso prima, di Vettel poi. Ma Kimi Raikkonen è un dadaista della velocità, un mattocchio amatissimo, capace di regalarsi e regalarci un memorabile acuto nel momento dell’addio. Come dire, beh, sono ancora qui, sulle note di Vasco Rossi, ad anni 39, ad un passo da un futuro (nel Team Sauber) che non gli permetterà giorni così carichi di smalto, così gonfi di una emozione che questo strano uomo, glaciale per finta, nasconde da una vita. Dunque, applausi. Meritati, in arrivo dall’intera platea, avversari compresi. Ma il volo magnifico di Kimi ad Austin contiene molti significati. […] La vittoria di Kimi dimostra ancora una volta quanto questo Mondiale avrebbe potuto offrirci tutt’altro finale. Perché la macchina, affanni compresi, reagisce e tiene testa anche in un epilogo dal destino scontato causa punti gettati dal suo primo pilota. Il quale fa ora tenerezza, schiacciato come pare da una serenità perduta. Anche perché Raikkonen, già dimesso e vincente, si trasforma adesso in un ennesimo, implicito, sghignazzante testimone dell’accusa”.
Giorgio Terruzzi, Il Corriere della Sera
È la festa rossa di Raikkonen, rinviata quella di Hamilton
“C’erano cheerleader, cantanti, vip e le bandierine già pronte ad Austin. Ma la festa di Lewis Hamilton è rinviata, con ogni probabilità solo di una settimana al Gp del Messico. Non aveva calcolato due «imbucati» il campione della Mercedes. Il primo è il «nonno» del paddock: Kimi Raikkonen torna a vincere dopo 5 anni e 113 Gp nel momento più inaspettato della sua lunghissima carriera. Il secondo è Max Verstappen, il predestinato della Red Bull: partiva 18° dopo una qualifica da incubo (per la rottura di una sospensione e per aver sostituito alcuni elementi del motore), ha evitato il far west del primo giro, ha rimontato furiosamente con sorpassi pazzeschi e poi a due tornate dalla fine ha chiuso la porta in faccia a Hamilton con coraggio e classe. Per l’inglese è un podio insapore dopo la pole conquistata al sabato con una delle sue magie sulla pista dove vinceva da 4 anni di fila. Ma non si dispera, ha il campionato in pugno e ha imparato che a volte conviene limitare i rischi. Chi, invece, non cambia mai è Sebastian Vettel: dopo il pasticcio del venerdì (-3 posizioni al via per non aver rallentato in regime di bandiere rosse nelle prove)ne combina un altro, anche peggiore. Nel tentativo di liberarsi di Daniel Ricciardo nelle prime curve perde la macchina, frana addosso all’australiano e va in testacoda. È condannato a una gara di rimessa, i commissari non puniscono nessuno dei due, ed è giusto così”.
Daniele Sparisci, Il Corriere della Sera
Colpo di coda di Raikkonen
“Gara divertente e incerta fino agli ultimi giri il Gran premio degli Stati Uniti. Hamilton è scattato (non benissimo) dalla pole position e alla prima curva ha ceduto la testa della corsa a Raikkonen. Avrebbe potuto chiudere lo stesso il campionato grazie all’errore di Sebastian Vettel, finito in testacoda nella fretta di superare Ricciardo. Ma stavolta nelle strategie la Ferrari è stata più astuta della Mercedes: ha chiesto a Kimi di resistere con le gomme che stavano andando in pappa e gli ha fatto fare un solo pit stop. Hamilton, invece, si è fermato due volte e non è riuscito a rimontare oltre il terzo posto, dietro a Verstappen e davanti a Vettel”.
Stefano Mancini, La Stampa
KR7, finalmente e dimmi che non vuoi morire
Hamilton è stato costretto a rinviare l’inevitabile festa iridata.
Vettel mai come ora ha bisogno di essere aiutato.
“E dimmi che non vuoi morire”, Vasco Rossi per Patty Pravo.
Ps. Scrivete quello che volete. Io scrissi.
Da Blog Turrini
Kimi Raikkonen feels he’s proved people wrong with US GP F1 win
United States Grand Prix winner Kimi Raikkonen believes he has "proved some people wrong" after claiming his first Formula 1 victory in five and a half years.
Raikkonen had not won a race since the 2013 Australian GP with Lotus and having lost his Ferrari drive to Charles Leclerc for 2019 he was at risk of ending his second stint with the team without a win.
He jumped poleman Lewis Hamilton at the start of Sunday’s grand prix and then withstood late pressure from Max Verstappen and the Mercedes driver to end his victory drought.
"It hasn’t really been a big deal for me," he said "It’s been a much bigger deal for other people.
"If it comes it comes, if it doesn’t it doesn’t change my life one bit.
"I’m happy because we are here purely to try to win. The biggest difference is how people look at you.
"Obviously, I’m happy. [I] just proved some people wrong."
Raikkonen said he was also pleased for his team having had "a pretty rough few races".
Hamilton and Mercedes had won the previous four grands prix and six of the last seven races, with Ferrari only enjoying Sebastian Vettel’s Belgian GP success during that run.
Ferrari told Raikkonen he would not be driving for the team next season ahead of the Italian GP, and the Finn went on to claim his first pole of the year that weekend before signing a two-year deal with Sauber.
He made it clear his comments about proving people wrong were not aimed at the decision to drop him.
"I didn’t mean in that sense," he said. "People don’t understand I’m actually very happy with where I’m going.
"I have had my time with Ferrari, I won the championship with them and many races with them.
"For me, as a driver, I want different challenges. I want different things.
"I wasn’t really at any point disappointed with the decision. The only thing I was interested in was to know what would happen.
"The rest, I’ve been in F1 long enough to know it doesn’t matter if you have a contract or not, things happen for different reasons."
Q: Kimi Räikkönen, congratulations, you’ve made a lot of Formula 1 fans around the world very, very happy today, maybe not quite as happy as you are.
Kimi Raikkonen: Who knows, maybe they are happier even. No, honestly, it’s been a good weekend. I think the car has been pretty good all the time. I got a good start. I needed to push hard. It was tight a few times and in the end the tyres were not in the best shape but I think it was a bit similar for Max, obviously Lewis had more tyres left for the end. I had enough speed; we kept it consistent and just tried to keep the tyres alive until the end, so a long time, you know, but here we are.
Q: Your first victory since Australia 2013. It’s been a long time coming. You must be more pumped up than that?
KR: Obviously I’m much happier than finishing second. I’m happy but let’s see… later on. But great job.
Q: Three critical points: the start, then when you were running a very wide car… the second one actually was when you were pretending you coming into the pit lane and Lewis had to come in instead; he was going to do the opposite to you, and then obviously holding him up for about eight seconds. Everything put together, that’s what made you the victory.
KR: I think it was obviously coming in at the right time and having enough tyres both times. It was a bit of a balancing act but we did it pretty well, well enough to win it, so it was OK, and a good battle and I think that’s what we all want as drivers and also the people here.
Q: (Luis Vasconcelos – Formula Press) Two questions for Kimi. How difficult was that balancing you were talking to Martin about, of pushing very hard at the start of your second stint to catch Lewis and to have enough of a gap to be in front and saving those tyres until the end of the race for the last 10 laps with the two guys behind?
KR: Yeah, I think it was already during the first stint, maybe one lap, two laps, and then you try to take of tyres, fuel, things like that, but it’s more guessing, obviously you kind of go by feeling. At a certain point the tyres are going to fall off and there is not a lot you can do. We had a pretty good battle. I tried to stay as far as I could. I could hold him back. And then once we did the pit stops obviously I just needed to keep the gap. I caught up a little bit and then keep the gap and aiming for certain lap times and looking after the tyres, because it will be an issue in the end. So you never know how it’s going to play out, especially after a Friday like we had. I was pretty confident after the first stint that it will be OK, but like we saw it got pretty close and 10 laps I was a bit probably not the most happiest guy in the world. But the closer we got to the end, the closer they got to me, it’s more dfificult for them and then it was OK.
Q: (Luis Vasconcelos – Formula Press) And the second question is what’s more satisfying: getting the win and, as you said, shutting your critics out; or knowing for now that for a long time none of us is going to ask you when is the next time you are going to win a race?
KR: (Laughs) it might be next weekend already! I don’t know. I’m happy with how it went. I’m happy for the team. Obviously we had a pretty rough two races and I’m proving people certain things. I might be getting older but it’s not too bad still. Maybe I’m OK to be [here] a few years more. I enjoy it, so we are here to try to win. I always try to do it, but obviously it’s not easy, otherwise anybody could do it. So, I think this weekend we have been pretty solid in many ways. I just had a good feeling with the car. We’ll see what happens in the next race, but so far it’s been OK. I don’t complain a lot. We’ll have for sure some fun tonight and we go next week to the next one.
Q: (Joey Barnes – Motorsports Tribune) Kimi, your last win, five years ago, you weren’t quite known as the family man. So, now that have this one, how special is this, that you get to share it with your family?
KR: They’ve been asking for a while, so more interested in the Pirelli cap than probably the win itself. I know that we can buy it also but I know it’s not fair play to bring them if I had to buy it. So yeah. I have a lovely wife and kids and I’m sure they’re happy. I’m not sure if the kids… they probably fall asleep during the race but the wife probably looked at it. I’m more than happy for all of us. It’s nice. Yeah… I don’t know. It’s nice to win again – but like I said, it doesn’t change my life or they don’t look at me differently. My son asked the previous race that he wants a new Pirelli – the same tyre from the qualifying – because he wants to play with it. Again, I’m sure they’re happy and I’m happy to help them, more than happy. We’ll have a nice talk when we get home.
Q: And similarly Kimi, with you, when you were defending from Lewis, I think you said on team radio about not doing anything silly.
KR: Yeah, for sure my purpose is not to be any more aggressive against him than anybody else. I don’t believe in doing crazy things. I want to do my race and do the best that I can do. If that impacts the championship then that’s how it is but I will not do any crazy stuff to be a part of it. My job is purely to try to do win, I’m here for that and I will play as fair as is possible and that’s how it’s going to be and how it’s always going to be. We know what is fair and what is not and I got a bit close once because I lost a bit of grip but there was nothing crazy going on.
Q: (Peter Windsor – Peterwindsor.com) The first question, Kimi, I’m asking on behalf of Heikki Kulta who I’ve just spoken to. He can barely talk he was so excited but he wanted me to ask you what you were thinking and what it felt like to be the listening to the Finnish national anthem?
KR: Obviously I wanted to win, that’s for sure. I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen or not because sometimes it’s been close and something maybe happened. With five laps to go it was going to be OK because I knew my tyres were still OK and once they get close enough, it’s so difficult to follow. It’s nice to hear it, for sure, especially if you’ve won. Obviously that is what you always want, at any race we come to, all of us want to win, but like I said, I’m happy for that, it was a great day to prove some people wrong and having a good race but it doesn’t really change anything for me. It’s just a number. Life goes on.
Q: (Scott Mitchell – Autosport) Lewis, given you were told by the team that Seb had spun on the opening lap and you were in a good position, were you surprised that the title hasn’t been clinched in this race? And to Kimi, you mentioned about proving people wrong; do you think you’ve proved that you should still be in a Ferrari next season?
LH: I’m not surprised, I finished third. My job… I had to win the race today. I’m not really sure what happened in the race behind but obviously he did a good job to come back but as a team, we clearly struggled. Valtteri struggled to keep Seb behind, even when Seb was obviously… must have been quite far behind, so performance-wise we were definitely off this weekend but I think Kimi’s given me a lot of confidence, so that I can keep getting better. He’s 38? 39?
KR: 39. Next year 40, so… I’ll invite you to the party.
LH: Hope I get an invite for the 40th.
KR: We can call.
Q: And Kimi, do you think this result shows that you should still be in a Ferrari next year?
KR: No. For sure I didn’t mean on that side. I think people don’t understand I’m actually very happy where I’m going. I had my time with Ferrari, I won the championship with them. I won many races with them and for me, as a driver, I want different challenges, I want different things and 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. I think it’s probably the best thing. I wasn’t really disappointed with the decision at any point. The only thing that I was interested in was to know what was going to happen and that’s the only thing. The rest, I’ve been long enough in F1 to know that things… it doesn’t matter if you have contracts or not, things happen for different reasons but I think the end result is that I’m very excited about it.
Q: (Luis Vasconcelos – Formula Press) Kimi, you’re now up to third in the championship and Ferrari closed the gap to Mercedes. The Constructors championship is far more open than the Drivers’ championship. Are these two important goals for you, one more important than the other or do you just want to win more races until the end of the year?
KR: I can only do my best. Whatever the end result is, that’s how it’s going to play out. For sure, if we have a chance to fight for a championship I will do my job and that would be absolutely perfect for all of us but we can only do our best, I said that before the race and before many races and you know, whatever the end result is, that was our best and if today we would be second or third, it wouldn’t really feel too bad because I knew that I did the best I could and today was like this so I’m happy about it. We’ll go next weekend and try to do the best that we can. We keep fighting until the last race and then we see what happens after that.
Kimi Raikkonen wins thrilling F1 United States Grand Prix
Kimi Raikkonen claimed his first Formula 1 win in five years in the United States Grand Prix, as Lewis Hamilton’s 2018 title celebrations were delayed despite a Sebastian Vettel spin.
Raikkonen overcame poleman Hamilton at the start and withstood late pressure from Max Verstappen, who started 18th, and the Mercedes driver to finally win in his second spell with Ferrari and clinch his first success since the 2013 Australian GP with Lotus.
Second place would have given Hamilton the title and he went wheel-to-wheel with Verstappen with three laps to go, but could not make it stick, eventually running off-track at Turn 18.
Vettel’s fourth place, having passed Valtteri Bottas late on in his recovery drive, means Hamilton leads by 70 points with 75 on offer in the final three grands prix.
Hamilton went into the Austin race needing to outscore Vettel by eight points to clinch a fifth championship.
He erred at the start as Raikkonen muscled past on the inside into Turn 1, but half a lap later the pendulum swung in Hamilton’s favour when Vettel spun to 15th.
Vettel breezed past Daniel Ricciardo down the back straight but made a small mistake under braking for the next corner and Ricciardo cut back on the exit of the tight left-hander.
That gave Vettel the inside for the next right-hander, but the German had a small wobble, bumped into the Red Bull and ended up facing the wrong way.
Raikkonen kept Hamilton at bay until an early virtual safety car led to Ferrari and Mercedes adopting different strategies.
With the race neutralised as marshals tended to Ricciardo’s stricken Red Bull, which had stopped on the exit of the Turn 11 hairpin, Mercedes told Hamilton to do the opposite to Raikkonen under the VSC and so he dived into the pits, committing to a two-stop strategy.
Hamilton resumed in third place, just nine seconds behind the Finn, and within three laps had taken second from team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who slowed down on the start-finish straight to let him by.
By lap 18 of 56 Hamilton was already on the back of Raikkonen again but Raikkonen somehow resisted three laps of relentless Hamilton pressure before pitting – which proved crucial later on.
Vettel stayed out until lap 26, ceding places to Raikkonen and Verstappen – who had charged through the field in a stunning first stint on softs – as he struggled with fading tyres.
Raikkonen’s task was to stay within one pitstop – roughly 20s – of Hamilton, while Vettel began to catch Bottas for fourth.
Hamilton’s 18-second lead was gradually eroded by Raikkonen and as the Mercedes’ ageing softs worsened, third-place man Verstappen and Bottas comfortably got inside Hamilton’s pitstop window.
He stopped on lap 37, which handed Raikkonen a 2.5-second lead over Verstappen, with Bottas 6.5s further back and Hamilton fourth, 12s behind the lead Ferrari and 4.1s clear of Vettel.
Armed with fresh softs, Hamilton raced onto the back of his team-mate and was let through within two laps.
That put Hamilton third, 8.8s off the lead, but with Vettel stuck in fifth Hamilton only needed to pass Verstappen – 6.7s ahead with 15 laps to go – to secure the title.
He closed onto the back of Verstappen with seven laps to go, but was not able to make a pass as their battle culminated in an epic run of four corners side-by-side.
Hamilton ran wide as he finally attempted to pass Verstappen on the outside of the fast double-right near the end of the lap.
Moments later, Vettel passed Bottas at the hairpin to lose only two points to Hamilton as the title fight continues.
Behind the leaders, Renault received a late boost in its quest for fourth in the constructors’ championship as Nico Hulkenberg led home team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr for a best-of-the-rest one-two.
Esteban Ocon, Kevin Magnussen and Ocon’s team-mate Sergio Perez completed the points finishers.
There were four retirees from the grand prix.
Long before Ricciardo ground to a halt in his Red Bull, Fernando Alonso and Romain Grosjean had their races ruined on the opening lap.
Alonso stopped in the pits after being wiped out by Lance Stroll on the entry to the esses, while Grosjean locked up and clattered into Charles Leclerc’s Sauber at the tight left-hander at the end of the back straight.
Stroll was given a drivethrough penalty for spinning Alonso, while Grosjean’s incident – which sent Leclerc, who eventually retired much later, to the back of the pack – will be investigated after the race.
Grosjean faces an automatic one-race ban if the stewards award him three licence penalty points, having already picked up nine in the last 12 months.
Result – 56 laps
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1.281s|
|8||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m39.288s|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m41.080s|
|11||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1 Lap|
|12||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||1 Lap|
|13||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren/Renault||1 Lap|
|14||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||1 Lap|
|15||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams/Mercedes||1 Lap|
|16||Lance Stroll||Williams/Mercedes||2 Laps|
|–||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||Retirement|
Ferrari: Claims Monza defeat caused by Raikkonen exit ‘disrespectful’
Ferrari says suggestions its crucial defeat at the Italian Grand Prix was triggered by it telling Kimi Raikkonen he was being dropped are ‘disrespectful.’
The Monza weekend has been viewed as a defining one in the title battle, as Lewis Hamilton pulled off a shock win despite Ferrari having locked out the front row.
Vettel’s annoyance at Raikkonen taking pole having benefited from a tow, and then the two Ferrari drivers helping Hamilton by battling between themselves on the first lap, pointed to it being an uneasy weekend for the Maranello-based team.
When it emerged after the race weekend that Raikkonen had been told on the eve of the event he was not being retained for 2019, it prompted theories that he may have been extra motivated to gun for glory himself rather than automatically help his team-mate.
But Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene says suggestions that the team got it wrong in telling Raikkonen of the bad news at Monza were wrong.
Arrivabene is clear that the impact of the decision made no difference to how either Raikkonen or Vettel behaved.
"Both Kimi and Sebastian are two great professionals with years of experience on their shoulders," he told Autosport.
"They are not two kart drivers who have just started hanging out at the track.
"What has been said about the timing of this situation are assessments which I find disrespectful against drivers who are great professionals.
"Then, let me say, if every time that Kimi receives news of this nature he responds with a pole position, then it would be worth doing it every weekend."
Asked to explain the decision to inform Raikkonen specifically in Monza of the news, Arrivabene added: "I think it is important to clarify two things. Kimi has always gone well at Spa and Monza, and so Kimi was anxious to get from us an answer about his future.
"I think that communicating a decision like that is more appropriate on the eve of a race weekend on a ‘friendly’ track, rather than at a weekend that promises to be more fraught.
"Ideally it would have been better to communicate during the summer break, but we were not yet ready to do so. And after Monza meant it would still be on the eve of the Singapore weekend."
Q: Kimi, happy 39th birthday during the week, still plenty of speed there isn’t there?
Kimi Raikkonen: Yeah, a little bit too slow, but I can deal with it. No, it’s been a pretty positive day and for sure I think we got pretty close. It’s far from ideal but I feel good with the car. We’ll try tomorrow; it’s going to be a long race, and nobody really knows how the tyre will survive, because of yesterday’s rain, so it will be interesting.
Q: And of course you will start on the ultrasofts, unlike people around you?
KR: Yeah, not much to lose, so we’ll try to make a good start and go from there and see what we can do. I think it should be OK.
Q: Kimi, similar question to Sebastian really, with the gaps so close. Were you happy with your run, or do you feel you left anything out there?
KR: I think if you do a few more tries then for sure that amount you can improve. It’s just a very small difference somewhere, and you could be suddenly that much quicker – but this is what we got today. I think the last run was pretty good but the previous had very little grip, so then I was surprised how much on the last run I had, so obviously, when you have a bit more consistent grip it’s more easy to know how much you can actually push – but yeah, it was OK.
Q: And Kimi, you’ll be starting on the ultrasoft. Do you think the supersoft holds an advantage or are you confident?
KR: I have what I have and I’m happy about it so we will see how it works out tomorrow. It’s a bit impossible to say.
US Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton on pole, Sebastian Vettel fifth
Lewis Hamilton claimed his ninth Formula 1 pole position of the season in qualifying for the United States Grand Prix, while title rival Sebastian Vettel will start fifth.
Vettel was Hamilton’s closest challenger on pace in Austin qualifying, but has a three-place grid penalty for speeding under the safety car during Friday practice.
Hamilton had the advantage after the first runs in Q3, but came under attack from both Ferraris on his second run.
Kimi Raikkonen, who will start alongside Hamilton on the front row, briefly took top spot with a lap of 1m32.307s, only for Hamilton to retake it by 0.061 seconds.
Vettel then completed his lap, a 1m32.298s, to split the pair, subsequently saying over the radio that he tried everything he could to beat Hamilton.
Valtteri Bottas was 0.379s off Hamilton in the second Mercedes and ended the session fourth fastest ahead of the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.
Both Mercedes drivers, Vettel and Ricciardo will start the race on the supersoft Pirellis having used that compound to set their Q2 times – although Raikkonen used ultrasofts.
Esteban Ocon was best of the rest in sixth place for the Racing Point Force India team, just ahead of Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg.
Romain Grosjean was eighth ahead of Sauber driver Charles Leclerc, with Sergio Perez 10th in the second Force India.
Renault’s Carlos Sainz Jr was the quickest of those eliminated in Q2 in 11th place after failing to capitalise on team-mate Hulkenberg, who had a lock up into Turn 1, not improving on his second run.
Sainz set his best time of 1m34.566s to close to just two-thousandths from Hulkenberg and complained of "oversteer in the last corner, I don’t know why" costing him.
Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was 12th after also failing to improve on his second run thanks to losing time in the first sector.
Toro Rosso pairing Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley, who will both drop to the back of the grid thanks to Honda power unit change penalties, did not set times during Q2 and ended up 13th and 14th respectively.
Because both did at least take to the track, they were classified ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
The Dutchman could not run in Q2 after a failure in the right-rear corner when running over an exit kerb in the first segment of qualifying.
McLaren driver Fernando Alonso was 16th having been eliminated in Q1 by Hartley’s last gasp improvement.
Alonso was 0.441s up on Hartley after the first sectors of their final laps, but the Toro Rosso driver turned that deficit into a 0.088s advantage over sectors two and three to jump the McLaren.
Alonso will move back ahead of both Toro Rossos on the grid once the penalties are applied.
This put Alonso ahead of Williams pairing Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll in 17th and 18th respectively, with 0.118s separating the two.
Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson briefly elevated himself out of the dropzone in the final flurry of Q1 laps, only to be shuffled back down to 19th by the chequered flag.
Stoffel Vandoorne brought up the rear in the second McLaren, lapping two-tenths slower than Ericsson.
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m33.494s||1.257s|
|6||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m34.145s||1.908s|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m34.594s||2.357s|
|18||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||–||–|
|19||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||–||–|
|20||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||–||–|
Vettel heads Raikkonen in US GP FP3 at Austin, Hamilton takes third
Sebastian Vettel set the pace in the final Formula 1 practice session for the United States Grand Prix as the teams finally got some dry running.
Vettel outpaced Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen by less than a tenth, while championship leader and Friday pacesetter Lewis Hamilton jumped to third late-on as Ferrari and Mercedes adopted different approaches to an unusually busy Saturday practice.
After both Friday sessions took place in wet conditions, there was a flurry of activity at the start of FP3 with qualifying and the race due to be held in the dry.
The Ferraris were alone in using the ultrasoft tyres at first as others focused on longer runs, with Raikkonen heading Vettel by just 0.04s after their first efforts.
Race preparations meant there was little of note in the first half an hour, although Raikkonen did improve to a 1m34.419s.
Valtteri Bottas and Fernando Alonso engaged in an odd wheel-to-wheel scrap when Alonso dived inside the Mercedes heading into the uphill Turn 1 and Bottas repassed the McLaren around the outside going back down the incline into Turn 2.
Mercedes told Bottas Alonso was "playing games" as it continued to focus on long runs, but that changed in the second half-hour when a flurry of fast lap runs were carried out.
Bottas avoided the ultrasofts but did push on supersofts, setting a 1m34.446s, while Hamilton made a small mistake on his first push lap and then posted a time one tenth slower than his team-mate after a couple of laps at lower speed.
The Ferraris completed their third runs of the session on fresh ultrasofts, and Vettel used this to finally leapfrog Raikkonen into P1 by 0.046s with a 1m33.797s.
That remained the benchmark to the end, although a late effort from Hamilton got him ahead of team-mate Bottas.
Hamilton threatened to go fastest by setting the best middle sector of the session with two minutes to go, but he eventually wound up a tenth off Vettel after losing time at the end of the lap.
He managed to get within a tenth of his title rival and go 0.7s clear of Bottas, who set his best time on supersofts.
The Red Bulls trailed a few tenths behind Bottas, with Max Verstappen leading Daniel Ricciardo, while Charles Leclerc snuck to the front of the best-of-the-rest battle in a whirlwind of last-gasp improvement to take seventh.
Leclerc’s 1m35.365s put him half a tenth clear of Sergio Perez, as Carlos Sainz Jr and Romain Grosjean lapped within and just outside a tenth of the Sauber driver’s effort respectively.
|1||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari||1m33.797s||20|
|2||Kimi Raikkonen||Scuderia Ferrari||0.046s||21|
|3||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport||0.073s||23|
|4||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport||0.759s||21|
|5||Max Verstappen||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||0.906s||21|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||1.113s||20|
|7||Charles Leclerc||Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team||1.568s||21|
|8||Sergio Perez||Racing Point Force India F1 Team||1.614s||21|
|9||Carlos Sainz||Renault Sport Formula One Team||1.653s||21|
|10||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team||1.671s||19|
|11||Esteban Ocon||Racing Point Force India F1 Team||1.765s||22|
|12||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda||1.916s||27|
|13||Kevin Magnussen||Haas F1 Team||1.973s||19|
|14||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault Sport Formula One Team||2.085s||19|
|15||Marcus Ericsson||Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team||2.203s||21|
|16||Lance Stroll||Williams Martini Racing||2.391s||21|
|17||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams Martini Racing||2.396s||20|
|18||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren F1 Team||2.505s||23|
|19||Brendon Hartley||Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda||2.533s||26|
|20||Fernando Alonso||McLaren F1 Team||2.535s||20|
“Oggi non è successo molto; le condizioni erano difficili, ma abbiamo cercato di girare il più possibile. Avevamo un solo set di gomme da utilizzare senza risentirne, perché è quello supplementare che dobbiamo restituire. Quelli che ci rimangono potrebbero servire per le qualifiche e la gara, per cui eravamo limitati nella disponibilità. Non ho fatto molta attenzione ai tempi perché verso la fine della sessione pomeridiana, dopo aver segnato il tempo con le coperture da bagnato, le Intermedie che avevamo erano molto consumate. Nel corso della sessione abbiamo fatto dei progressi e nel complesso è stato OK, ma non è facile avere un’idea chiara della situazione. Avevamo nuove soluzioni da provare ma date le condizioni non è stato possibile capire molto. Ora cercheremo di fare il meglio nelle prossime sessioni”.