Fantastic Daniel Ricciardo takes dramatic China victory
A couple of sensational overtakes from Daniel Ricciardo saw him earn a dramatic victory in China on Sunday for Red Bull’s first win of the season.
The Australian started slowly following a turbo failure earlier in the weekend, that saw him just a few minutes away from not starting the race, but a clever pit strategy on the day saw him and his team-mate Max Verstappen make up ground on the race leaders.
After the safety car 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.
First up for Ricciardo was a brilliant overtake on Lewis Hamilton, with the Mercedes driver then losing his position to Verstappen, after the Dutchman had gone off earlier at Turn 4 trying to overtake.
Chinese Grand Prix - Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China - April 15, 2018 Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo in action during the raceReuters
Whilst that was happening Ricciardo, who also managed to set the fastest lap of the race, was on the hunt, and he easily took Sebastian Vettel, as the Ferrari struggled to cope with the pace of the Red Bull.
However then Verstappen got over-eager again and when he tried to get ahead of Vettel he touched and they both spun, allowing Raikkonen and Hamilton to get ahead.
The Red Bull man was unsurprisingly handed a ten-second penalty but that was of absolutely no concern to team-mate Ricciardo as he found an impossible gap to take Bottas and the race lead.
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.
Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Aston Martin Red Bull Racing RB14 TAG Heuer leads Kimi Raikkonen of Finland driving the (7) Scuderia Ferrari SF71H on track during the Formula One Grand Prix of China at Shanghai International Circuit onGetty Images
Meanwhile Raikkonen's team-mate Vettel was having problems of his own, with Nico Hulkenberg pulling away and Fernando Alonso closing.
And the Spaniard took Vettel in the penultimate lap to cap a terrible day for the championship leader.
It is the first time in the turbo-hybrid era that Mercedes have gone three races in a row without victory.
Earlier frantic opening lap had seen Verstappen to jump up to third, with Lance Stroll also one of the earlier benefactors of the early stages.
The Red Bulls pitted early to put on medium tyres but Ferrari’s stops didn’t go as well as Vettel lost his position to Bottas with Hamilton overtaking Raikkonen.
The collision that saw the safety car deployed was deemed to be Pierre Gasly’s fault, and he was given a ten-second penalty.