Two Feel-Good Moments That Will Live Long After The 2018 Formula 1 Season
The 2018 F1 season saw many changes and action aplenty but, aside from Lewis Hamilton’s fifth world title, what other abiding memories will we take from the past year’s Formula 1 action?
Here are two genuine feel-good moments that had the fans on their feet as some of the legends of the sport produced a pair of magic moments that will live on beyond the 2018 season.
Raikkonen hits the top step again
It’s tough to maintain your spot in Formula 1, so when a winner starts to fall down the order and doesn’t appear to always have the car to get himself back to where he once was, it can be a pretty depressing sight – which is why Kimi Raikkonen’s incredible victory at the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas was such a brilliant feel-good moment in the 2018 Formula 1 season.
The Finn went against the grain by running softer rubber at the start of the race in a bid to earn favourable track position, and when he hit the front he did a superb job of managing his tyres to hold off the hard-charging Lewis Hamilton in the closing stages.
Raikkonen, who won six races for Ferrari en route to the World Drivers’ Championship back in 2007, hadn’t won for the Prancing Horse after re-signing for the team in 2014, but his victory at the Circuit of the Americas saw him break the records for the longest gap between Grand Prix wins (113 races) and the biggest gap between the first and last wins in a career (5,691 days).
Raikkonen is set to join Sauber for the 2019 season and said that his departure from Ferrari is not a negative move, stating he wasn’t at any point disappointed to be leaving the team, with Sauber’s HQ based less than an hour from his home.
The Abu Dhabi donut-fest
With the cars winding down on their lap of honour following the final Grand Prix of the season in Abu Dhabi, Lewis Hamilton’s pit crew got on the radio and had a short conversation with the 2018 World Champion, telling him that the fans on the start-finish straight hadn’t been treated to any celebratory donuts, and that he might fancy giving them something to cheer.
Hamilton’s response was as cool as you’d expect: “You read my mind!”
What happened next was just brilliant.
Led by Hamilton, the trio of the Brit, Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel performed a formation donut session, burning up the tyres for one final time on the Yas Marina pit straight as the huge crowd roared their approval.
It was like the last day of school, when everyone turns up in party mode and gets everyone else to sign their shirts before everyone heads off for pastures new.
For Hamilton, it was the culmination of another stellar season that ended with a fifth world title. The latest F1 odds already have Hamilton as the odds-on favourite to win the title again next season, with 8/11.
It was also a perfect way for F1 fans and drivers to bid farewell to Alonso, who was making his final appearance in a Formula 1 race.
Alonso said his time racing in F1 made him “feel very privileged,” before thanking Formula 1, saying: “I will forever be a fan of this show.”