Ricciardo savours 'shoey' after storming to sensational Chinese GP win

Daniel Ricciardo

GETTYDaniel Ricciardo thinks Max Verstappen was"greedy

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.

Daniel Ricciardo took advantage of a tactical masterstroke by his Red Bull team to win in Shanghai after championship leader Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen dramatically collided during a thrilling Chinese Grand Prix.

The Australian, who had already passed Kimi Raikkonen, then picked off Hamilton, Vettel and Bottas to clinch a stunning Chinese Grand Prix win.

Ricciardo and Verstappen were not early contenders but the deployment of the safety vehicle on the 32nd of 56 laps, after the Toro Rosso pair Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley collided and left debris on track, swung the race Red Bull's way.

He took the lead on the 45th lap, overtaking Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes - one of several impressive overtakes from the Australian.

"I don't seem to win boring races!", an emotional Ricciardo said on the podium. "They all are pretty fun, but that was unexpected".

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Raikkonen took third - a reward for a strong opening phase, which actually resulted in him falling back, and seemingly being hung out to dry by Ferrari as they appeared to try and use him to help bring Vettel back into play.

Ricciardo said he knew he had a great chance with the fresh rubber.

"After Valtteri, I got on the radio and got a little bit giddy". "We didn't think it would last that long, but the tyres were holding up well and we had a wicked pace on the softs, so that was fun and once I was aware that we had the pace, I wasn't going to let that slip".

"Holy Testicle Tuesday", the 28-year-old exclaimed when asked what his reaction would have been had someone suggested in winter testing that Red Bull would win a race before champions Mercedes this season. Hamilton finished fourth on Sunday and was never a factor.

Sebastian Vettel, who won the first two races of the season, fell back to eighth after starting on pole. He was promoted to fourth after the Red Bull driver's penalty was applied.

Vettel's struggles saw him pick up just four points compared to 12 for Hamilton, seeing the championship lead cut to nine points, while Mercedes also moves one point clear of Ferrari in the constructors' championship.

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Ricciardo dispatched Raikkonen at the Turn 14 hairpin and then inherited fourth when Verstappen ran wide attacking the defending champion. "I feel I can capitalise on opportunities and I guess today was a good example". This was to prove significant, as when Vettel stopped on lap 21, Bottas had done enough to edge ahead of the German, his team congratulating him on a job well done and imploring him to now stay ahead of the Ferrari.

"It's so close between Red Bull, Ferrari and us", he said.

With Raikkonen on eight-lap fresher medium tires than Bottas, he closed on his fellow Finn for P2, with Verstappen joining the fight on track.

But the Perth man looked inspirational in China, going from P6 to first in a matter of laps after benefitting from fresh tyres during the safety vehicle. "It felt like we should have had the victory, but not today". "That is racing. These things happen".

What a difference a week makes.

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