Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Sport | By

Daniel Ricciardo fires warning to Vettel and Hamilton after Chinese GP win

Daniel Ricciardo fires warning to Vettel and Hamilton after Chinese GP win

Max Verstappen has already come under fire this season for his over-aggressive driving style and once again it was on full display.

Ferrari's Vettel still leads the season standings with 54 points after three races. The "honey badger", as he refers to himself, was relentless in his pursuit of race leader Bottas and on lap 46 he dived down the inside of the number 77 Mercedes at a right-hand turn and assumed the lead of the race.

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. Verstappen jumped Hamilton to go into third while Hamilton dropped to fifth.

Sebastian Vettel, who won the first two races of the season, fell back to eighth after starting on pole. "I had no pace".

"I don't think I need to say anything here", said a disgruntled Vettel. I didn't want to compromise my race.

Yellow flags then flew at the hairpin after the Toro Rosso cars collided. Debris was sprayed about and the safety vehicle came out on lap 31 of 56. Gasly and Hartley were now under investigation for that collision. It quickly became clear Red Bull had made the right call as both cars were far racier than the Mercedes and Ferraris in the second phase of the race. The team opted to sacrifice Raikkonen's race to try and get back ahead, keeping Vettel's teammate out in a bid to back Bottas up. The top runners were not affected by the restart.

But that shouldn't eschew Bottas' magnificent effort in, first, passing third-placed Kimi Raikkonen in the opening lap, and then defending an attack from his fellow Finn in the final corners.


Verstappen tried to pass Hamilton around the outside but instead nearly bumped wheels and went off the track. And he did it!

It got better for Ricciardo on lap 42, as he made a DRS-assisted move past Vettel to move up to second.

Still, Gasly's Red Bull paymasters won't be too upset, since the safety vehicle period to clean up the debris helped the senior team somewhat. A smooth stop was not enough to retain the advantage on-track, though, as Vettel peeled out of the pit lane just behind Bottas. He even opened a 2.8s gap after that stint.

Due to the incident between Vettel and Verstappen, Renault F1's Nico Hulkenberg was sixth, 21.052 seconds behind race victor Ricciardo with McLaren-Renault's Fernando Alonso a surprise seventh place after Vettel's Ferrari looked vulnerable following Verstappen's collision.

Ricciardo extended his lead to 4s and set a new fastest lap of the race while at it.

Vettel was having real trouble down the road in P7, facing pressure from Alonso, and the McLaren managed to pass him, dropping the Ferrari to P8.

For Ricciardo, he finally had reason to celebrate after he just missed a podium spot at home in Australia following a grid penalty, and had to retire in Bahrain due to mechanical problems.

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