Formula 1: Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo Wins The Chinese Grand Prix

| April 16 , 2018 , 15:33 IST

Australia driver Daniel Ricciardo crossed the finish at the first position in a chaotic Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday. Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas took the second position while Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen came third.

Driver’s championship leader and Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel who started from the pole position had a terrible outing on Sunday as he finished home eighth after being in thick of the drama after Red Bull’s Max Verstappen crashed into him.

The start to the race was however different, as Vettel got off the line brilliantly cutting off his teammate Raikkonen from overtaking him. In doing so, he left the Finnish little space to defend from surging Bottas who overtook his countryman at the first turn.

ALSO READ: Formula 1: Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel Takes Pole Position At Chinese GP Ahead Of Mercedes

The Dutchman Verstappen also had a flying start as he jumped both Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton to take third place.

Vettel, who has won both the GPs this season, looked to make a hattrick of wins and display how dominant Ferrari is this year. He was cruising for yet another win till Mercedes called Bottas in to change his tyres. This was a strategic news as Vettel didn’t anticipate an undercut this early on and had to react.

He stayed out for one too many laps and when his pitstop ended, Bottas had taken the lead of the Chinese GP and Vettel had to follow the Mercedes driver now for the rest of the race to try and wrestle back the first position.

This battle was about to commence but it got interrupted as the two Toro Rosso Hondas collided with each other. This crash caused a lot of debris to be spilled on the track and safety car was deployed so the marshalls could make the track clean again.

With only a few laps to go, Red Bull gambled and called in both of their drivers, who were third and fifth respectively at the time with everybody on the same tyre as well, to change their tyres from mediums to softs.

With the safety car deployed everybody had to maintain a pace and as the leading pack was far ahead of the chasing pack, it was a no-brainer that the Red Bull’s would be the quickest of the top six racers on the track with this pit-stop.

As the race resumed, both Ricciardo and Verstappen pounced with their fresher softer tyres as they picked off the leading pack one after the other to gain positions.

Verstappen was ahead of was fighting way too hard and not picking his battles correctly, and this resulted in him going off the track as he tried to overtake Hamilton.

Ricciardo surged past him after this mistake and exhibited a show of overtaking prowess that thrilled F1 fans and experts around the world. His precision and audacity were coupled with patience and timing as he blew past the cars in front to take the lead of the Chinese Grand Prix and win the sixth race in his career.

This feat is astounding in itself, as on Saturday he had suffered an engine blowout and if not for his mechanics who worked overtime to get the car back on track for qualifying, he would’ve started at the back.

Vettel’s title lead which was 17 points got cut to nine points and with 19 more races to go, this season has already started off with more fireworks than any in recent memory.

Next stop is Baku Grand Prix in Azerbaijan from April 27-29.