Daniel Ricciardo takes stellar win in chaotic Chinese Grand Prix

Red Bull capitalise on mid race Safety Car to take victory

Chinese Grand Prix – Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo has taken victory in Shanghai, ahead of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.

Vettel held the lead off the start, running ahead of Bottas and Verstappen who both managed to get ahead of Kimi Raikkonen on the first lap. However, an aggressive strategy from Red Bull saw them attempt to undercut the Mercedes & Ferraris, with Ferrari slow to respond. By the time Sebastian Vettel did come in, he came back out behind Bottas and engaged the Mercedes driver in battle for the lead.

However, a mid-race Safety Car deployed to clear up debris from a collision between the two Toro Rosso drivers changed the complexion of the race. Red Bull responded to the Safety Car to put both of their drivers on a fresh set of Soft tyres with over twenty laps to run. Mercedes & Ferrari stayed out, committed to their own one stop strategies. When racing resumed, Verstappen started trying to pick his way through past Lewis Hamilton. The Dutch driver attempted to sweep around the outside of the Mercedes through Turn 5 but he ran wide, and this allowed teammate Ricciardo to take the initiative.

Ricciardo proceeded to hunt down and pass Hamilton moments later, before catching P2 Sebastian Vettel and passing the Ferrari into the hairpin. He then set off after Valtteri Bottas and managed to get past in an audacious move with a handful of laps to go.

Vettel, now down to P3, was caught by Verstappen but an optimistic move from the Red Bull resulted in the pair colliding at the hairpin and both spun. This allowed Raikkonen to sneak through into P3, while Verstappen was given a ten second penalty for his collision. Vettel fell down to P6 but was passed by Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg & McLaren’s Fernando Alonso as he struggled with damage to the right sidepod of his car.

Verstappen finished P4 on the track, but P5 behind Lewis Hamilton due to his time penalty. Hulkenberg finished P6 for Renault, with McLaren claiming P7 with Alonso.

Carlos Sainz finished P9 in the other Renault, with Kevin Magnussen claiming the final point for Haas. Esteban Ocon was P11 for Force India, ahead of teammate Sergio Perez. Stoffel Vandoorne was P13 for McLaren, ahead of the two Williams of Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin.

Marcus Ericsson was P16 for Sauber, Romain Grosjean P17 for Haas, Pierre Gasly P18 for Toro Rosso, Charles LeClerc finished P19 for Sauber and Brendon Hartley P20 in the second Toro Rosso.

Red Bull/Getty

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Thomas Maher

Co-owner, Chief Editor and a journalist for FormulaSpy.com - Ireland's only accredited F1 & Formula E website. https://www.patreon.com/thomasmaheronf1

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