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Buoyant Kimi Räikkönen relieved finally to win again with perfect drive | Giles Richards

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Former world champion’s typically forthright reaction after US Grand Prix reveals frustration of five-year wait for victory

Kimi Räikkönen is clearly a popular winner and there was a sense of relief that in his fifth year since rejoining Ferrari he returned his first win for the team in his second stint. It was a long time coming, 2,044 days since his last victory, for Lotus at the 2013 Australian Grand Prix. “Fucking finally” was the Finn’s typically forthright reaction. He had earned it, with a perfectly executed drive begun by beating Lewis Hamilton through turn one. Ferrari may have dispensed with his services next season but the US Grand Prix proved that Sauber will have a driver still able to bring the team on. He was buoyant afterwards but pleasingly refused to bow to any form of hyperbole. On the time it had taken finally to win again Kimi stayed assuredly Kimi. “It hasn’t really been a big deal for me,” he said. “It’s been a much bigger deal for other people. If it comes, it comes; if it doesn’t, it doesn’t change my life one bit.”

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