Valtteri Bottas took his fourth career victory today – his first in Australia and first of the 2019 season. Valtteri finished the race over 20 seconds clear of the field, and even claimed a bonus point for the fastest lap of the race to come away from Albert Park with a full 26 points.
Lewis took his 73rd career victory today, his eleventh of the 2018 season and fourth at the Yas Marina Circuit, Sebastian Vettel was forced to play second at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix season finale as the Mercedes driver took his 11th win of the season, enjoying a serene performance that perfectly reflected his majestic run to his fifth title this year.
The sun finally shone on the Circuit of the Americas today, after two days of cold and rain, with the thermometer showing 21 degrees air temperature and 32 on track. Kimi was second on the grid, running Ultrasofts. Seb, with a three place penalty, was fifth on Supersofts.
As the lights went out, Kimi was in brilliant form, getting the better of Hamilton to take the lead. Seb stayed fifth, attacking Ricciardo who immediately fought back. The Ferrari and the Red Bull collided at turn 13 and, on the inside, Vettel spun round, but kept going, although it meant he had to start yet another climb up the order from 15th place. The Stewards decided it was a normal racing incident.
Kimi was suffering from bad oversteer, while the number 5 Ferrari was lapping quickest of all, and Seb was already back in ninth spot.
On lap 10, Ricciardo parked at the hairpin and that required a crane on track, so the Virtual Safety Car was indicated, requiring drivers to slow by 40% compared to the reference point. As expected by those on the Ferrari pit wall, Hamilton pitted and dropped one place. At the restart, Seb dealt with Hulkenberg to move up to fifth.
Raikkonen held off Hamilton on tyres that were now well worn for 21 laps, which was some help to his team-mate’s return up the order. Then he pitted for the yellow-banded tyres, the hardest on offer, to run to the flag with just the single pit stop. Shortly after, he swapped places with Sebastian (setting the fastest race lap on the way) as the German was due to come in for fresh tyres. He too went for the Softs.
On fresher rubber, Kimi closed up to the leader, while Seb, quickest on track, caught up to Bottas. On lap 37, Hamilton pitted for a second stop, which meant Kimi was leading again.
With ten laps to go, a battle ensued for the top three places, with Seb right behind, closing in on Bottas. In the final few kilometres, as Verstappen fought Hamilton, Kimi made the most of it to pull out a bit of a gap. Seb was duelling hard with Bottas who overshot at turn 12 which meant the Ferrari number 5 went up to fourth. Kimi meanwhile was first past the chequered flag to take his first win for five years. He well deserved it and so did Ferrari.
Kimi Raikkonen: ”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.”
Lewis Hamilton’s 71st career victory and his 50th for Mercedes, and sees him extend his title lead over Vettel to 67 points, with the German claiming just eight for P6 after a tough race that saw him spin early on following contact with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Valtteri Bottas came in second to complete the second 1-2 for the team in a row – his first podium at the Japanese Grand Prix and 30th podium finish in Formula One.
Lewis Hamilton scored his 70th career victory today in Formula One – his eighth of the 2018 season and third at the Sochi circuit. Valtteri Bottas finished the race in P2 – taking his 20th podium finish with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport and third for Seb Vettel and fourth for Kimi Raikkonen. Now it’s time to look ahead to the next Grand Prix, which takes place this coming weekend in Suzuka.
Max Verstappen seized his first win of the season, to the delight of the swathes of Dutch fans who had made the pilgrimage to the Red Bull Ring.
Kimi Raikkonen finishing second ahead of Sebastian Vettel was not something that would have been predicted going into the race. The result was down to the drivers of course, but also to a great job from the team, a well planned strategy and an SF71H which seemed particularly good at managing its tyres.
Lewis Hamilton claims his 65th career victory at the return of the French Grand Prix – his third of the 2018 season and 44th with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport. The first French Grand Prix in a decade got off to a spectacular start when Sebastian Vettel collided with Valtteri Bottas in Turn 1. The championship-leading Ferrari driver got a good start and closed up on the back of pole sitter Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes.
Ricciardo completed a brilliant clean sweep that including topping all three practice sessions, plus all three segments of qualifying. The win was the seventh of his career, but his first when starting from within the top three, with Sebastian Vettel back on the podium in second place, Lewis Hamilton in P3, his sixth podium in Monte Carlo and Kimi Raikkonen fending off Bottas in the Mercedes to claim fourth.
Lewis Hamilton took his 64th career victory today – his third at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and second of the 2018 season. Valtteri Bottas finished today’s Spanish Grand Prix in P2 – completing a 1-2 for the team with his 25th career podium.
The story linking Formula 1 and the United States is a long and complex one. A story which, for several years, in two eras and at different tracks, crossed paths with that of Indianapolis, as the 500 Miles was part of the F1 world championship from the 50s to the 60s and also featured a backdrop of street circuits such as Las Vegas, Dallas, Detroit, Long Beach and Phoenix and permanent tracks at Riverside, Sebring, Watkins Glen, Indy again, before finally landing up at the Circuit of the Americas.