Kimi Raikkonen was in contention for a podium finish at the Circuit of the Americas but saw his race come to a shuddering halt just after his final pit stop when the team told him to pull over after his right rear wheel nut was incorrectly fitted.
Sparks could be seen coming from the wheel as he exited his Scuderia Ferrari pit box, and after driving down the pit lane, he stopped just passed the exit line, before rolling back into the pit lane and getting out of his car.
Raikkonen had driving strongly up until then, and had been fighting both Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Rosberg ahead of him after jumping Max Verstappen at the start, and was one of a few drivers to get good purchase out of the Supersoft Pirelli tyres.
“Obviously the end result of this race is far from ideal,” said Raikkonen. “It’s a pity because the performance of the car today was good.
“When we changed for Soft tyres, for whatever reason I seemed to struggle. The balance was ok but I never really had the grip I was expecting. Once we went back to Supersofts the car was good again.
“When I left the pits after the third pit stop I slowed down a bit and asked if everything was ok because I saw some sparks coming out. At the end of the pitlane the team told me to stop. Now we have to understand what happened, the rear wheel nut had not fitted properly.”