News ID: 213270
Published: 0232 GMT April 15, 2018

Pass master Ricciardo wins China GP

Pass master Ricciardo wins China GP
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo passes the checkered flag to win the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai International Circuit on April 15, 2018.
AFP

Daniel Ricciardo made a string of thrilling overtaking moves to snatch a surprise Chinese Grand Prix victory on Sunday after a safety car strategy gamble by his Red Bull team paid off handsomely.

The Australian, who started sixth after almost missing qualifying, made the most of fresher tires to finish 8.8 seconds ahead of Valtteri Bottas in a Mercedes, Reuters reported.

“I don’t seem to win boring races,” he grinned from the podium.

“They are all pretty fun but that was unexpected.”

Kimi Raikkonen took third place for Ferrari but title contenders Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel both endured trying afternoons, the four times world champions ending up fourth and eighth respectively.

“I was in no-man’s land today,” said Hamilton. “I had no pace.”

Vettel, who won the first two races of the season for Ferrari, saw his lead over Hamilton slashed from 17 points to nine.

The German’s race unraveled spectacularly, a collision with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen dropping him down the order, after the prerace favorite had initially made a good start from pole and held the early lead.

Verstappen had a 10 seconds penalty applied postrace for causing the collision, dropping the Dutch youngster from fourth to fifth.

Vettel was also passed by the McLaren of Fernando Alonso two laps from the end.

 

Minor miracle

 

Ricciardo’s mechanics had performed a minor miracle to change a blown engine after practice on Saturday, getting him out just in time during the first phase of qualifying.

“Putting ourselves 24 hours ago, I thought we might be starting at the back of the grid,” said the Australian. “Today is the real reward for that work.”

Sunday’s win was Ricciardo’s first since a chaotic Azerbaijan Grand Prix last June and it also broke Mercedes’ Shanghai stranglehold, with the champions having won the last six races there.

Mercedes is yet to win this year, the first time since the turbo hybrid era started in 2014 that it has been beaten for three races in a row.

 

   
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