Remarkable Ricciardo's recovery to victory in China
- Author: Steve Townsend Apr 16, 2018,
Apr 16, 2018, 2:03
Daniel Ricciardo charged to victory in a dramatic Chinese Grand Prix, while his Red Bull Racing team-mate Max Verstappen was involved in a contentious clash with points leader Sebastian Vettel.
Ricciardo didn't have to battle his team-mate, passing him when his move on Hamilton failed, then fought through the front runners easily, completing a brilliant move on Valtteri Bottas for the lead into Turn 6, cruising to victory in the end by almost 10 seconds.
Daniel Ricciardo yesterday made a string of thrilling overtaking moves to snatch a surprise Chinese Grand Prix victory after a safety vehicle strategy gamble by his Red Bull team paid off handsomely.
Verstappen was handed a ten-second post-race time penalty but all eyes were on the charging Ricciardo. The team made a very quick decision to stop both cars under the safety auto and it was a winning decision.
Shocker: While it was celebrations for one Red Bull it was disappointment for the other.
However then Verstappen got over-eager again and when he tried to get ahead of Vettel he touched and they both spun, allowing Raikkonen and Hamilton to get ahead.
Grand Prix of China.
Ferrari's Vettel still leads the season standings with 54 points after three races.
Verstappen, ahead on the road, was best-placed to make the most of the turn of events, but he ran off track when trying an unrealistic move on Hamilton and then got it all wrong when he hit Vettel at the hairpin while trying to recover.
Ricciardo made the most of fresh tires after a Safety Car period to climb through from sixth to win, with his pass on Valtteri Bottas for the lead particularly close as the pair fought into Turn 6. That's why I sent Chris Gent - the No. 1 mechanic on Daniel's auto - up (to the podium) today because those guys have earned us that result.
Vettel seemed headed for the podium in third on lap 43 when Verstappen clipped him on turn 14, sending them both spinning and several places down the race order. The Red Bull team could not hide their delight, imploring the Australian to now challenge Vettelfor second spot. Nico Hulkenberg was able to take sixth for Renault, while Fernando Alonso barged past Vettel with two laps to go for seventh, frustrating the Ferrari driver who had to settle for P8 at the chequered flag. He managed his tyres well in the opening stint, stayed patient amidst the chaos of the Safety Car period and executed his overtakes perfectly in the second half of the race. "(We were) thankful for a few incidents ahead that kept us in the battle". "It kind of felt like we deserved a victory, but not today". I was expecting him to come earlier. His race had ultimately been compromised by strategy.
In the constructors' stakes, Mercedes now have a one-point advantage over Ferrari, 85 to 84, with Red Bull moving into a clear third place on 55. He finished fourth instead.