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Thirty-eight-year-old pole position man Kimi Räikkönen was between a rock and a hard place, on the track and off, poised for victory in a Ferrari at Monza. It was lap 21, he’d been brought in from a few metres ahead of a closely pursuing Lewis Hamilton who, in response, had stayed out for hammer time. Räikkönen, on his fresh tyres, had to prevent Hamilton getting that gap out to over 24sec (the pitstop time loss).
“Kimi push, this is critical,” he was told. So he pushed, reducing the gap to 22.5sec on next lap. His new softs were sufficiently faster than Hamilton’s old super-softs. He looked to have it under control.