Chinese Grand Prix: Rip-roaring Daniel Ricciardo celebrates win with 'shoey'
A superlative drive from Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo led to the now-traditional champagne 'shoey' on the podium.
WHERE THE RACE WAS WON
It was a virtuoso display of overtaking from Daniel Ricciardo in China. He started on the third row of the grid and with his beautiful mastery of late braking he scythed through the frontrunners. This is a driver, remember, who nearly didn't get out on the track at all in qualifying, and it took a magnificent effort from his team to prepare the car at all.
He benefited from the timing of a safety car spell, whereas Mercedes and Ferrari suffered horribly in comparison. Valtteri Bottas came in second, with Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari finishing off the podium places. It made for a funny cooldown room, as the beaming Australian sat in silence with the two rather more reserved Finns.
Fourth-placed Max Verstappen’s effort to get past Sebastian Vettel with 12 laps to go sent both cars into a spin, got the Red Bull a ten-second penalty, and opened the door for Nico Hulkenberg and Renault to move up the points.
Two stars out of five. A really muted race from the Brit, keeping back in the pack and staying out of trouble as best he could. He never really threatened to get the win, but he drove quietly and defensively to fend off the challenge of the Red Bulls as best he could, who benefited from their better tyre grip and were ultimately successful.
Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP looks onGetty Images
MOVE OF THE RACE
Vettel's move across to the right to block his team-mate Raikkonen at the start kept the German in the lead, probably irritated the Ferrari team something chronic, and mixed up the frontrunners as soon as the lights went out.
Bottas's clever slide past Raikkonen around the outside of Turns 1 and 2 on Lap 27 was a thing of beauty, as was Daniel Ricciardo’s effort to move into P5 past the Finn on Lap 38.
But the Australian’s move past Hamilton with 15 laps to go was brave and extraordinary, triggering a rowdy round of applause from his team back in the garage.
PIT RADIO EXCHANGE OF THE DAY
“Right, the next one is Vettel. Let’s get him.” Red Bull wanted vengeance on their former employee, exacted by an in-form Ricciardo who’d just got past Hamilton. (He did it as well – moving past on Lap 42 with grace and ease.)
TACTICAL MASTERSTROKE OF THE DAY
Mercedes had an interesting tactical call for Lewis Hamilton, starting back on the second row – he was advised to do the opposite to Raikkonen at all times, which paid off. Lacking any real aggression, protecting his position was pretty much the best he could ever really hope to do.
McLaren's Fernando Alonso moved past Vettel with a lap and a half to go - the German claimed he'd been pushed off the road, but the Spaniard was simply pursuing the racing line. Lovely driving.
FACEPALM OF THE WEEKEND
Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly had such a great weekend in Bahrain, but he had a dismal time of it in China. A poor qualifying was followed by a mediocre race, which included ramming his team-mate Brendon Hartley, necessitating a safety car stint – and a subsequent ten-second penalty.
Nothing too celebrity-laden - it was Martin Brundle doing the podium interviews, after all.