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F1: Top 5 races of Kimi Raikkonen

Dev Tyagi
Top 5 / Top 10
4.69K   //    04 Jun 2018, 01:10 IST

Finland's Kimi Raikkonen drives his McLa
Raikkonen came back from the back of the field to win the race at Suzuka

His last career-win might have come as many as five seasons ago, but the Kimi Raikkonen enigma endures pretty much unscathed.

Often called laggard, and on other occasions, labelled 'past his best', Raikkonen is still considered among the quickest drivers on the grid and is admired as the Iceman of F1.

Few drivers in the realm of motor-racing are as admired as they are liked for both their persona and on-track achievements.

Raikkonen, holder of the second-highest number of fastest laps enjoys a phenomenal fan-base around the world and ever since securing his only world title in 2007, continues to be Ferrari's last world champion.

But which have been his greatest career wins? Let's revisit five memorable Grands Prix of Raikkonen.

#1 Japanese Grand Prix, 2005

If there was ever a win that could be dubbed as arguably the greatest Grand Prix victory of the enigmatic Finn's career, one that birthed the 'Iceman' enigma then it would be Raikkonen's win at Japan, 2005.

A young Kimi, emboldened by the challenge to prove his mettle in F1 and driven by sheer speed aced a closing-stages thriller coming in from way behind the grid to pass Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella to crown himself the victor at Japan.

But describing Raikkonen's thrilling closing-lap heroics would be never possible without touching on how far he'd been in the starting grid to even mount any realistic challenge at the legendary Suzuka.

A race that contained more opening lap drama than a martial arts thriller saw Takuma Sato veering off the track, only to be followed by Barrichello while the track position fell to Toyota's Ralf Schumacher, who pulled away successfully from Fisichella.

For several laps from the start of the Grand Prix, Raikkonen, who began P17, tried and missed passing Villeneuve failing the move at the chicane and running into the astroturf.

Later, upon deployment of a VSF, on account of Montoya coming in contact with Villeneuve, one saw Raikkonen charging through to the midfield, including making a scintillating move on Michael Schumacher on Lap 28 to move into the points up into the grid.

The equation with Raikkonen approaching the duo of Webber and Button, who gained earlier as the traffic settled post the pull-out of the safety car, seemed interesting.

On Lap 41, Raikkonen would be the biggest gainer as Webber and Button would pit, subsequently making the Finn seem confident to take charge of the proceedings.

Around lap 43, Alonso, charging ahead with marauding pace, would pass Button, as his teammate Fisichella would begin to appear weak in defending from Raikkonen who had expertly pitted to keep Webber and Button at bay. 

Then, finally, on the final lap, Raikkonen, who had begun his drive from P17 had now upped his speed to come up within fighting seconds of the race-leader Fisichella.

On the main straight, Raikkonen got a view of the lead and instantly dived into the outside of the Italian driver, making an amazing final lap move to gain control of the race from which he would never lose.

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Dev Tyagi
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