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“It’s Been a Long Time.” Raikkonen Returns to Winning Ways After 5 Years

Kimi Raikkonen has finally won a Formula 1 Grand Prix after a very, very long time.

The 39-year-old Ferrari driver shocked everyone, maybe even his usually stoic self, after he won the recently concluded Pirelli 2018 United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas.

That win was Raikkonen’s first in over five years of Formula 1 racing, the last coming from 2013 Australian GP 113 races ago. The one-time Drivers’ Champion has raced 291 times in his entire F1 career.

Racing fans described Raikkonen’s current Ferrari stint as great but short of being superb. In his second spell at the Prancing Horse, the Finn secured only nine podium finishes in more than four seasons without a win before his USGP victory.

That was why many were surprised when Raikkonen managed to break his curse and to hold off both the Red Bull of Max Verstappen and the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton at the dying moments of the race.

Raikkonen stated:

“It’s been a great weekend, the car has been good all weekend. I got a good start and at the end, I needed to push. It’s been a long time but here we are again. I’m much happier than finishing second, I’m happy but let’s see later on.”

Even online sportsbooks gave Raikkonen a slim chance of winning this Grand Prix. For one, BetDSI had Raikkonen at +1350 to finish first, longer compared with Hamilton’s -170 and Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel’s +300.

But can Raikkonen add another W to his tally in the following seasons? Barring a miracle, most probably not.

His recent win, while spectacular in itself, was helped in part by poor decision-making by Hamilton’s strategists. Not only did the Mercedes team waited for long before pitting Hamilton, but they also chose to equip him with arguably the wrong tire compound.

Hamilton said:

“Ultimately I came out and the pit window was very, very close, but then after I did my stop it was 12 seconds and it was way, way too far to catch up. I’m not really quite sure how the strategy ended up like that. It’s always difficult.”

Moreover, Raikkonen is also set to leave Ferrari after the end of the season to his former Sauber team. While equipped with Ferrari engines, the Sauber is still inferior overall compared with the Ferrari. In fact, Sauber is ninth in the Constructors’ Championship with only 28 points, way far below second-place Ferrari’s 497 points.

Raikkonen still has three chances to repeat this shocker as a Ferrari driver, starting at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City for the Mexican Grand Prix.

Bettors can place their wagers on who would win the 19th race of the season, together with a number of betting specials, on several online sportsbooks, including BetDSi, William Hill, and bet365, among others.

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