Fan Favorite: Why Raikkonen’s US GP Victory Is His Greatest Celebration Ever

Published 10/16/2021, 4:30 PM EDT


In a lengthy F1 career, Kimi Raikkonen established himself as one of the finest drivers to grace the motor sport. While he displayed immaculate skill on track, he also possessed one of the most unique personality traits of any driver who shared the paddock with him.

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Earlier this year, the Finn announced he will retire from F1 at the end of the season. And with the United States Grand Prix coming up next weekend, one of the Finn’s iconic podium celebrations still rings fresh in the minds of many.

Recalling Raikkonen’s brilliant 2018 US Grand Prix win

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After six years and 113 races of waiting, Raikkonen finally broke his winless streak at Austin, Texas in 2018. The Finn held off Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who finished P2 and P3 respectively, to record a famous victory in the red colors of Scuderia Ferrari.

While he has 103 career F1 podiums, this win in Texas could go down as one of his most memorable. A sizeable chunk of that can be attributed to the celebrations on the podium, which unfolded spectacularly.

Raikkonen sported a pair of shades to mark his return to the top step of the podium. Throughout the podium ceremony, the Finn kept them on, marking one of his stylish appearances in the ceremony. When Commander General John Murray of the US Army presented the winner’s trophy, the Iceman took off his cap and engaged in an amazing display of appreciation and respect.

Finally, when the time came for champagne, the Finn indulged in drinking it straightaway instead of spraying it! Despite minimal movement on the podium, Raikkonen made an instant impact on fans with this celebration. Hence, it ranks as his greatest podium celebration ever.

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Can Kimi Raikkonen score a podium before retiring this year?

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Although it would be an excellent way to cap off his F1 career, it seems quite unlikely. Alfa Romeo, the team he races for, have struggled to finish in the points throughout the season, which doesn’t augur well for the Finn’s chances.

Formula One F1 – Dutch Grand Prix – Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands – September 2, 2021 Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen during the FIA Press Conference Pool via REUTERS/Kenzo Tribouillard

However, the 2021 season played host to surprise results. In the Belgian Grand Prix, George Russell scored Williams’ first podium since 2017. In addition, Esteban Ocon claimed an unlikely victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix, capitalising on events around him.

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Although the Finn may not have the fastest car underneath him, he could benefit from chaos ahead of him. Whether or not he scores a podium in the six races that remain, only time will tell.

WATCH STORY: From Drunk Gala to Dry Responses: Kimi Raikkonen’s Funniest Moments

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Sanket Nair

876 articles

Sanket Nair is an F1 & US Sports Author at EssentiallySports. He began following F1 since 2010, which made him an instant Sebastian Vettel fan. His favorite tracks on the calendar include Spa-Francorchamps, Monaco and Monza.

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