AUSTIN, Texas – Lewis Hamilton was forced to wait for a fifth world title when he finished third at the US Grand Prix on Sunday as Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen took a first victory in over five years.
Title rival Sebastian Vettel in another Ferrari was fourth, meaning the championship race will probably be decided in Mexico next weekend instead.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished second after starting in 18th place.
“Congratulations to Kimi, and great job from Max too. This was the best we could do today, and it was great that we got to do some racing,” said Hamilton, who had started on pole position and was looking for a sixth win at the Circuit of the Americas.
Raikkonen, whose last win was at the 2013 Australian Grand Prix, was deadpan.
“Obviously I’m much happier than finishing second. It’s been a great weekend, and the car has been pretty good all the time,” said the 39-year-old Finn.
Raikkonen, who will leave Ferrari for Sauber at the end of the season, claimed the lead on the opening lap and rode his luck in a strategic and tactical race to claim the 21st victory of his career.
It was his first win in 113 races, the longest period between wins in F1 history, breaking the previous record held by Italian Riccardo Patrese.
Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas was fifth, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and his Renault teammate Carlos Sainz.
Esteban Ocon of Force India came home eighth ahead of Kevin Magnussen of Haas and Sergio Perez in the second Force India.