ibusinesslines.com July 23, 2018

Ricciardo wins incredible Chinese Grand Prix

15 April 2018, 12:38 | Charlene Valdez

GETTYDaniel Ricciardo thinks Max Verstappen was"greedy

Daniel Ricciardo

Hamilton dominated Friday's practice, but the Mercedes cars had no answer to Ferrari in Saturday qualifying.

While Ricciardo was clinical in mowing down the Ferraris and Mercedes in front of him, his younger teammate Max Verstappen showed less composure, attempting a unsafe move on Vettel which saw both drivers run off the track and the Dutchman ultimately receive a 10-second penalty.

How did Ricciardo do it?

Ferrari, which was leading the race at the time through Sebastian Vettel, was slower to react and lost the lead to Bottas.

But the safety auto threw in a curve ball and Red Bull grabbed their chance.

The turning point came as the two Toro Rosso's of Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly collided at the hairpin, leaving debris strewn on the outside.

Mechanics had two hours to change the engine on Ricciardo's Red Bull on Saturday, pulling off the feat just in time to give Ricciardo two minutes on the track to set his qualifying time.

Unlike their rivals, Ricciardo and Verstappen dived into the pits to take on fresh rubber, and the gamble worked for Ricciardo as he passed Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton, Vettel and finally Bottas for a quite remarkable win.

Red Bull's decision to start on the Ultrasoft didn't reap too many rewards but it also didn't hamper as both drivers went long enough to pit and switch onto the Medium tyre, matching the one-stop strategy of the Mercedes' and Ferrari's.

The battle for the lead had reached a stalemate by lap 35 after Valtteri Bottas had jumped Sebastian Vettel in the pit stop window, but a clumsy collision between Toro Rosso teammates Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley created enough debris to trigger a safety auto, at which point Red Bull Racing pounced into an emergency pit stop.

Each move was made in his trademark style - making a hugely committed dive down the inside from a long way back, but always in total control on the edge of adhesion.

"Sometimes you have just got to lick the stamp and send it".

"I don't know what it is, I don't seem to win boring races. They are all pretty fun but that was unexpected".

Hamilton apologised to his team for losing places.

He benefited from the timing of a safety auto spell, whereas Mercedes and Ferrari suffered horribly in comparison.

Ferrari's decision bit Vettel particularly badly, even if it was not his fault.

Before the race Verstappen's team had reminded him not to get caught up in any incidents following a series of poor decisions in the first two races of the season.

Worse still for Vettel was that McLaren's Fernando Alonso was building momentum in the final stint, and on the penultimate lap the Spaniard passed him for seventh.

Bottas held off a late surge from Ferrari's Raikkonen to finish second, albeit nine seconds down on a jubilant Ricciardo.

Renault's Nico Hulkenberg finished sixth for Renault, ahead of Alonso whose aggressive overtaking move on Vettel was "noted" by stewards.

Driver of the day: Again, it's hard to go past Ricciardo.

Ricciardo took advantage of some clever Red Bull tactics with a brilliant drive.

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.

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