Ricciardo savours 'shoey' after storming to sensational Chinese GP win
- Author: Jill Young Apr 16, 2018,
Apr 16, 2018, 11:10
"I don't seem to win boring races, they're all pretty fun", he had said on the podium.
"The team told me I needed the best out-lap of my life", Bottas said, and I knew it was possible to get the undercut if we got everything flawless, the entry to the pits, the stop, which was the best I've ever had with the team, and then switching the medium tyres on quickly. At that point I knew that we had a vehicle to win and I wasn't going to be satisfied until I was in the lead. Kimi Raikkonen was third for Ferrari. "It is disappointing. We gave it everything we had", said Hamilton's teammate Bottas. 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. Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton missed out on the podium for the first time this season, crossing the line fifth behind Verstappen.
Vettel led the race in the opening stages but was jumped by Bottas at the first round of pitstops. The German quickly built up a lead of 2.5 seconds over Bottas, with Max Verstappen close behind in third, the Dutchman having made up two places thanks to the extra grip of his softer compound tires.
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"Two minutes later yesterday and we would have started the race today from the back.I'm super, super thankful that they helped me pull this off today". It seemed the German would be within DRS range and able to challenge Bottas, but the Mercedes driver seemed to have enough to hold Vettel at bay, despite appearing to suffer from a blistered right-rear tire.
Only a minor miracle by his hard-pressed mechanics allowed him to qualify sixth, putting Ricciardo in the right place at the right time to capitalise on the safety vehicle that swung the race Red Bull's way. "It's very close depending on the conditions". "I felt like we had everything under control, and I think we could have done it".
Bottas said the race "slipped away". "When we heard about the Safety Car I was in Turn 14 and they said, 'Come, come, in the box, we are double stopping again.' It was very decisive, the winning move from the team. That is racing. These things happen". Vettel, Carlos Sainz of Renault and Haas' Kevin Magnussen rounded out the top 10.
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Ultimately, though, the day belonged to Ricciardo, and while his sixth Grand Prix win may have been aided by a favorable safety auto period, his consummate drive to victory was littered with a series of clinical overtaking moves, and was all the more satisfying after an engine failure on Saturday limited his running earlier in the weekend.
What a difference a week makes. "This sport's insane. A week ago I had my head down after two laps". "A week ago I was with my head down after two laps; frustrated at the sport, frustrated at all the variables that are involved in the sport".
In Bahrain the previous week, Ricciardo and Verstappen were out after the first several laps on a frustrating weekend for Red Bull.
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"Sometimes you've just got to lick the stamp and send it", he added of the lunge on Hamilton for third place. "But then when you have a day like this and it's worth 50 of those bad ones".