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F1: Ricciardo Wins Chinese GP after Swift Red Bull Strategy

16 April, 2018, 02:08 | Author: Greg Wolfe
  • Daniel Ricciardo

Shock: There weren't too many people expecting a Red Bull win in China after Ferrari had dominated Saturday with a decisive front row lockout but Daniel Ricciardo put on an overtaking clinic during the race to claim a shock victory over Formula One's frontrunners.

The result tightens up the drivers' championship, with Vettel's lead narrowed to nine points over Hamilton, 54 to 45, with Bottas just five back on 40 and Ricciardo - who also set the fastest lap and picked up the Driver of the Day Award - leaping up to fourth on 37.

Before the start of the 15th edition of the Chinese Grand Prix, you could be forgiven for thinking the Red Bulls weren't in Shanghai for a win, let alone a podium finish.

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As the safety vehicle period ended on lap 36, Bottas was able to avoid any attacks from Vettel but all eyes were now on Verstappen in fourth place. Running on Ultrasofts, Verstappen was unable to keep up with the leading duo, with Red Bull trying to find the undercut by pitting the Dutchman first at the end of Lap 17. Lewis Hamilton dropped back to fifth, as the first portion of the race passed without much incident.

Here are five more Chinese Grand Prix takeaways.

It was introduced so marshals could clear debris from the hairpin after a collision between Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly and Brendon Harley. And so, having sparked a brief spat with Hamilton at the previous race in Bahrain, this week Verstappen found himself needing a chat with Vettel.

It was Bottas' win until Ricciardo - rightfully hailed as the master of late braking - stormed past the Finn in an inch flawless move on lap 46, in what will surely go down as one of the classic F1 drives.

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"I don't think I need to say anything here", said a disgruntled Vettel.

As the Red Bulls charged, Hamilton pointed out to his team in the pits that they had been caught out by not stopping to change what was the slowest tyre which already had significant life on it.

Verstappen was too far back to try a realistic move but he threw his vehicle down the inside at the apex, locked his rear wheels and slid into Vettel, earning a 10-second penalty from the stewards for causing a collision. Vettel was followed by Carlos Sainz and Kevin Magnussen.

Verstappen also tried to overtake the Ferrari driver but hit him, pitching both into a spin, letting Hamilton and Raikkonen through. "We were giving everything we had and it kind of felt like we deserved victory".

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo battles with Nico Hulkenberg.

Kevin Magnussen finished in the points for the second straight week as he brought his Haas F1 vehicle home 10th a week after finishing fifth in Bahrain. He finished fourth instead.

And the 28-year-old warned the pair that they should not give him such an opportunity again or else he will continue to make them pay.

"I saw him defend so I wanted to go shallower but I thought about pulling out..."

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