Think F1 Is Boring? Watch Kimi Raikkonen Overtake 11 Cars in a Single Lap

Some F1 races, typically the French Grand Prix, are pretty boring. There’s barely any passing, finishing order is determined by pit strategy, and the closest thing we get to an overtake is Lewis Hamilton lapping everybody except his teammate. However, not all races go this way, as shown by Sunday’s Portuguese Grand Prix.

Taking place this year for the first time at Algarve International Circuit, AKA Portimao, Sunday’s race was highlighted not only by Lewis Hamilton becoming the winningest F1 driver ever, but also elder statesman Kimi Raikkonen going from 17th place to 6th within the first lap of the race. Finding gaps where no one else could, his driving is an impressive sight to behold from his onboard camera.

Qualifying only 16th on account of his Alfa Romeo’s worst-on-the-grid Ferrari engine, Raikkonen slipped back behind his teammate Antonio Giovanazzi briefly down around the first corner after the Italian driver had a superior start. After taking back a place by passing the Williams of George Russell, he continued to overtake car after car as the first lap went on. First the Alpha Tauri of Daniel Kvyat, then his aforementioned teammate Giovanazzi, and nine more after that, finishing with the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc. 

Raikonnen, 41, is the oldest and most experienced driver on the grid with 327 total race entries in the sport. He left Ferrari in 2018, taking the seat of Leclerc at Alfa Romeo after the rookie was promoted to his former spot. Alfa Romeo, formerly the Sauber team, is happy to have him, as he has delivered finishes superior to the theoretically better-funded and more capable Ferrari team. It’s moves like the one we watched this weekend that likely reinforced the decision to extend his contract at the team into 2021.

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