F1: Ricciardo Wins Chinese GP after Swift Red Bull Strategy

F1: Ricciardo Wins Chinese GP after Swift Red Bull Strategy

F1: Ricciardo Wins Chinese GP after Swift Red Bull Strategy

Finishing on the podium with Ricciardo was Valttieri Bottas of Mercedes and Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari.

Ferrari's first back-to-back front-row lockouts in 12 years was one thing, but the margin back to the best Mercedes (Valtteri Bottas in third was half a second slower) was alarming for the Silver Arrows.

Bottas admitted feeling a bit hard done by in his 100th grand prix, particularly since the timing of the safety car's deployment didn't allow him to stop for tyres when the Red Bulls did. Max Verstappen has already come under fire this season for his over-aggressive driving style and once again it was on full display. I could tell that obviously we had the advantage coming in at the safety vehicle and having those softs.

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Mercedes' Hamilton missed out on the podium for the first time this season, crossing the line fifth behind Verstappen.

The Briton rejoined just ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, who had been the first of the top six drivers to make a tire change.

Vettel still leads the season standings with 54 points in three races. But around the 33rd lap, back markers Pierre Gasly and his Toro Rosso teammate, Brendon Hartley, collided at turn 14, throwing debris all over the hairpin. 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.

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But, on the fresher and faster rubber, Ricciardo carved his way sweetly past his rivals to clinch his first win since Baku previous year.

"It is disappointing. We gave it everything we had", said Hamilton's teammate Bottas. The Red Bull team could not hide their delight, imploring the Australian to now challenge Vettelfor second spot. But he later gained from the safety vehicle which left him in fifth on fresh tyres, and then from Vettel being clipped by Verstappen during the closing stages.

Spaniards Fernando Alonso for McClaren and Renault's Carlos Sainz finished seventh and ninth respectively.

Daniel Ricciardo at the post-race press conference: "Once I was aware we had the pace I wasn't going to let it slip. (We were) thankful for a few incidents ahead that kept us in the battle".

"Two minutes after yesterday and we'd have begun the race today from the back..." "I was defending, obviously saw him very close in Turns 1/2/3". His race had ultimately been compromised by strategy.

Chinese fans have taken to Hamilton in recent years - the Briton has five career wins in ShanghaiSeasoned F1 fans have seen an terrible lot over the years in the paddock.

The Australian had appeared set for a pretty tiresome drive to fifth in the first half of the race, without the pace to challenge those ahead and a solid margin to Kimi Raikkonen behind. "Sometimes you've just got to lick the stamp and send it", explained the Australian.

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