Daniel Ricciardo Stuns Grid, Wins Formula One Race in China

Daniel Ricciardo

BC-CAR-F1-Chinese Grand Prix, 3rd Ld-Writethru, 638 Red Bull's Ricciardo wins Chinese Grand Prix; 6th career winAP Photo CHF132, CHF126, CHF108, CHF159, CHF124, CHF123Eds: Updates with race details, quotes.

There is a two-week break before the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, where the long, long straight is likely to leave Red Bull breathless and make Ferrari favourites.

Daniel Ricciardo yesterday made a string of thrilling overtaking moves to snatch a surprise Chinese Grand Prix victory after a safety vehicle strategy gamble by his Red Bull team paid off handsomely.

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.

"At the start of the race I thought we could fight for a podium but I didn't really expect a win; then after the safety auto and when I could see the way the race was going I knew we had a chance. They are all pretty fun but that was unexpected". The double-stack allowed Hamilton to move back up to third and Raikkonen to take fifth from Ricciardo, but as all of the other leaders stayed out, the Red Bulls looked in good shape for the restart. "Frustrated at the sport, frustrated at all the variables involved in the sport", Ricciardo said.

"We didn't think we were going to get out in qualifying and, just over 24 hours later, now to be here.this sport's insane". 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. And Verstappen passed Hamilton too, taking fourth.

The opening stint of the Chinese Grand Prix was largely free of drama, with Vettel on course for his third win in as many races this season. He led for the first 20 laps but fell back, first due to a pit stop and then after a collision with Red Bull's Max Verstappen on the 43rd lap.

Verstappen, though, dropped to fifth behind Hamilton.

Ferrari's Vettel still leads the season standings with 54 points after three races.

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Ricciardo had been at it departure 4 times world champion Lewis Hamilton along with the Briton&rsquo Mercedes crew mate with feature flair and also compared to workforce mate Max Verstappen's botched efforts. Bottas has 40 points in third place and Ricciardo is fourth with 37.

"I've got to try and get myself back into normal performance mode or more valuable points will be lost", said Hamilton. With 12 laps to go, Ricciardo made a fearless pass on Bottas heading into Turn 6, forcing the Mercedes driver to yield the position.

"Initial feeling is disappointment because the win has slipped away". I could tell that obviously we had the advantage coming in at the safety vehicle and having those softs. "That is racing. These things happen".

Nico Hulkenberg was sixth ahead of Fernando Alonso, who clashed with Vettel in the closing stages to barge past and take a position off the Ferrari driver. Vettel, Carlos Sainz of Renault and Haas' Kevin Magnussen rounded out the top 10.

The Australian, who started sixth after nearly missing qualifying, made the most of fresher tires to finish 8.8 seconds ahead of Valtteri Bottas in a Mercedes.

Thinking quickly, Red Bull immediately called both their drivers in for new tires.

"This sport's insane", he said.

"A week ago I was with my head down after two laps". Sometimes I question why I chose this sport.

"I've only got six - it's not a whole lot but the wins always seem to come under some circumstances".

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