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Ricciardo puts on masterclass as Verstappen hits Vettel in Shanghai thriller

Red Bulls Daniel Ricciardo

Shanghai, April 15: Daniel Ricciardo put on an overtaking clinic to triumph at the Chinese Grand Prix, while team-mate Max Verstappen's reckless driving thwarted championship leader Sebastian Vettel.

Red Bull had pulled off a masterstroke in pitting under the safety car, giving their drivers the advantage of fresh tyres in a newly bunched-up field.

And Ricciardo made full use of his extra grip, making sensational overtakes on Lewis Hamilton, Vettel and race leader Valtteri Bottas to move to the front, after Verstappen gave up fourth place to the Australian in a scrape with the defending champion.

Verstappen's day was not done there, however.

In a typically boisterous bid for the podium, the Dutchman saw gaps where there were none, and wiped out Vettel at the hairpin on the 43rd lap.

The incident landed Verstappen with a 10-second penalty and left Vettel nursing a damaged sidepod, the pair finishing fifth and eighth respectively.

Ricciardo, meanwhile, built up a cushion over Bottas to claim an ultimately comfortable victory, with Kimi Raikkonen taking third having earlier looked out of podium contention and Hamilton fourth.

The win for Ricciardo is made all the more remarkable by the fact he very nearly missed qualifying due to a turbo issue on Saturday (April 14), and only took to the track after a swift repair job from his own mechanics and those in Verstappen's garage.

Niko Hulkenberg crossed the line sixth ahead of Fernando Alonso, who maintains his run of points finishes to start the 2018 season. Carlos Sainz was ninth, with Kevin Magnussen taking a single point for Haas.

Source: OPTA

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Story first published: Sunday, April 15, 2018, 14:00 [IST]
Other articles published on Apr 15, 2018
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