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Daniel Ricciardo wins 2018 F1 Chinese Grand Prix

16 April, 2018, 02:05 | Author: Christina Hansen
  • Daniel Ricciardo

Ricciardo attacked the frontrunners after using a safety vehicle period to pit for fresh tyres. While Ricciardo was able to ease past Raikkonen, Verstappen was forced to pull out of a fearless move around the outside of Hamilton through Turn 7, causing him to go off-track and allow his teammate up to fourth.

By lap 9/56 Bottas was 2.4s behind Vettel who had already set a fastest time of the race, Verstappen meanwhile had dropped down and was 7s further back from the lead.

How did Ricciardo do it?

Kimi showed signs of abrasiveness when he was squeezed aggressively by Vettel into Turn One and then passed by Bottas.

He then picked of Vettel easily and then seized the lead from Bottas with a similarly bold move. The 35 points netted by Red Bull in China sees them take third place with 55 points with McLaren fourth on 28 points (22 of those courtesy of Alonso).

Ultimately, though, the day belonged to Ricciardo, and while his sixth Grand Prix win may have been aided by a favorable safety auto period, his consummate drive to victory was littered with a series of clinical overtaking moves, and was all the more satisfying after an engine failure on Saturday limited his running earlier in the weekend.

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After the safety vehicle was deployed on Lap 31 when the two Toro Rossos collided the Red Bulls pitted straight away to go onto the softs, having earlier moved to mediums, and in the latter stages of the race that proved to be the difference.

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. He launched one of his trademark attacks from way back, to dive down the inside of Hamilton at the hairpin. Ricciardo does it repeatedly, but it is something no other driver is consistently able to match. "They're all pretty fun", said an elated Ricciardo, who filled one of his shoes with champagne on the podium and chugged it in a signature "shoey" victory celebration.

It was not the first time Mercedes had been caught out on strategy this season - Hamilton lost the win in the first race in Australia because of a miscalculation in the pits.

Verstappen pushed hard and managed to get ahead of Hamilton and Vettel but he couldn't catch Raikkonen, as the Ferrari went in search of compatriot Bottas.

"It is disappointing. We gave it everything we had", said Hamilton's teammate Bottas.

After his near-miss with Hamilton cost him a shot at victory, Verstappen recovered well - until he attempted to pass Vettel for third place. He apologised to Vettel afterwards.

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With Ricciardo now untouchable, Raikkonen began to pressure Bottas for second, but the younger Finn held on.

Elsewhere, Renault's Nico Hulkenberg finished a fine sixth, with teammate Carlos Sainz ninth and Haas driver Kevin Magnussen rounding out the top ten.

Driver of the dayNo contest this - Ricciardo was stunning in the closing laps.

"That was fun, a lot of fun and I just about believe it now", said Ricciardo.

There is a two-week break before the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, where the long, long straight is likely to leave Red Bull breathless and make Ferrari favourites.

Daniel Ricciardo is the master conjurer who comes from next to nowhere to win races.

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"Daniel has been clinical in the way that he's executed that race".

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