Vettel satisfied that strategy worked as Raikkonen says contact led to his spin
The misery for the Finn helped the German to score a point.
Sebastian Vettel was pleased to have ended up in points in F1 US GP after starting from the back, as Kimi Raikkonen thought the contact did not help.
The US GP is a classic fan favorite since its first race ran in 2012 and it definitely gave the fans some excitement, not only at the front but also in the midfield. Aston Martin's Vettel in the points, and a vintage battle between Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso was a look back into the prime-day battles.
Vettel scored a point last weekend, a first since the Belgian GP. The German finished P10 after a race start from the back of the grid in P18 because of an engine change. His battles in the race had the likes of Williams’ George Russell, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso, Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen, and the Haas’, to go through.
It brought Vettel into the points, but it was also helped by a spin for Raikkonen and a late tyre change on the German's side after he went long in the first stint. "I was sort of happy with when everybody went fairly early because I knew we have a chance by going longer and it seem to pay off," he said to TV media.
"The only downside is that in the first stint we lost so much time, the Ferraris and McLarens going through, I guess I lost six seconds, that didn't help to catch up later on but we got a point. I think couple of laps more, maybe two, but obviously it was a good recovery from being so far back [after the penalty].
"And in the first corner, I couldn't go anywhere, so I couldn't capitalise on a reasonably good start. Overall, the strategy worked because we had the fresh tyres at the end,” summed up Vettel.
While it worked for the German, it wasn't the same for Raikkonen, whose Austin weekend unfortunately did not end on a positive note. The Finn was able to have a good first stint with his tyres, but contact with the Alpine's Alonso in Turn 1 on Lap 16 damaged the flooring on the Alfa Romeo, then on Lap 51 Raikkonen lost grip in the rears and spun.
He ultimately finished P13 as he felt the lost floor meant his tyres were scrubbing off quicker than expected. "The first part felt pretty nice, the car and then a contact with the Alpine of Alonso, we lost a part of floor inside," said Raikkonen. "It wasn't bad but it just felt that we ran out of the tyres much faster than the first stint. We tried and in the end, we didn't really have much left on the rears [and I spun]."
The story was written by Selena Aburas
Here's Kimi Raikkonen with a spin: www.formula1.com/en/latest/video.2021-united-states-grand-prix-raeikkoenen-loses-p10-with-big-spin-at-cota.1714536422897995323.html
The Spaniard had quite the US GP.
[Image courtesy: Aston Martin] [Note: This story was written on FormulaRapida.net]