Daniel Ricciardo wins Chinese GP after series of overtakes

Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo's stunning overtaking ability, coupled with fresh tyres and a well-timed safety auto, saw him land the sixth win of his career.

But the race took a second dramatic twist when the safety vehicle was deployed following a coming-together between the Toro Rosso pair of Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly on lap 31.

It was a decision that would cost early leaders Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel their chance to win, with a spectacular charge from Ricciardo allowing him to take victory for Red Bull, bouncing back from a tough Saturday that saw him nearly start last on the grid.

He then picked of Vettel easily and then seized the lead from Bottas with a similarly bold move.

They may have lost a place apiece, but when the safety vehicle was recalled, their pace advantage over the Ferraris of Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen and Mercedes' Bottas and Lewis Hamilton became clear.

Even with the fresh rubber offering an advantage of more than one second per lap, Ferrari did not react immediately with Vettel at the front, instead waiting until Lap 20 to bring the race leader in.

Ricciardo's move over Bottas for the lead was particularly impressive, coming from way back to pass him on a tight corner.

Daniel Ricciardo
GETTYDaniel Ricciardo celebrated his win by drinking champagne from his shoe

The Red Bull star started the race in sixth-position in what had been a week to forget for the Milton Keynes outfit.

Verstappen thus held the advantage but an opportunistic attempt on Lewis Hamilton for third through Turn 7 left him wide, and Ricciardo, having already overhauled Raikkonen, grabbed the spot from his team-mate.

"I'll never give up hope but for sure the window of optimism reduces over time", said the 28-year-old, who retired from the previous race in Bahrain with an energy store problem in the power unit. Verstappen finished fourth on the road but received a ten-second penalty for his collision with Vettel on 43, dropping him to fifth in the final standings. However, the Mercedes driver wasn't blocked for long, passing Raikkonen down the inside at Turn 3, before Vettel also shot past his team-mate.

Daniel Ricciardo was the surprise victor of the Chinese Grand Prix as inspired tactics by his Red Bull Racing team and some ruthless overtaking gave the Australian victory in Shanghai.

There will be a post-mortem at Ferrari as to how they let that happen, given Vettel was leading by more than three seconds before Bottas' stop on lap 19 on 56, with Vettel stopping a lap later. Ricciardo managed to pass Raikkonen on lap 38 to take fifth.

Given that he missed the first 15 minutes of qualifying, Ricciardo only had time for one lap in Q1. Verstappen was too far back to try a realistic move but he threw his auto down the inside at the apex and slid into Vettel, earning a 10-second penalty from the stewards for causing a collision.

Renault's Carlos Sainz and Haas's Kevin Magnussen completed the top 10 in a race that will live very long in the memory.

Related:

Comments


Other news