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Ricciardo takes unlikely victory in Shanghai at 2018 Chinese Grand Prix

16 April 2018 - Autoblog

Ricciardo takes unlikely victory in Shanghai at 2018 Chinese Grand Prix

The smile was broader than ever as Daniel Ricciardo savored a surprise Chinese Grand Prix victory in his own inimitable fashion on Sunday.

After chugging champagne out of his sweaty boot in a trademark podium 'shoey' celebration as watching mechanics cheered, the beaming and slightly tearful Australian contemplated an astonishing turn of events.

"Holy Testicle Tuesday," the 28-year-old exclaimed when asked what his reaction would have been had someone suggested in winter testing that Red Bull would win a race before champions Mercedes this season. "A week ago I was with my head down after two laps on Sunday. Frustrated at the sport, frustrated at all the variables that are involved in the sport," he added.

"Sometimes I question why I chose this sport because there's so many other things out of your control and it does get you down a lot. But then when you have a day like this it's worth 50 of those bad ones."

Ricciardo was forced out of last weekend's race in Bahrain after just two laps due to a problem with his power unit's control electronics. It was a race the Australian had gone into expecting to challenge for the win. In the season-opener in Melbourne he was slapped with a grid penalty that took away any hope of winning in front of his home crowd. He finished fourth instead. It looked like Ricciardo was set for another disappointing weekend in China too after a blown engine in Saturday's final practice session almost caused him to miss qualifying.

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 car that swung the race Red Bull's way.

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS

"Opportunity be knocking," agreed Ricciardo.

"We didn't think we were going to get out in qualifying and, just over 24 hours later, now to be here ... this sport's crazy.

"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."

Sunday's win was the sixth of Ricciardo's career and all have been characterized by breathtaking and sometimes hairy overtaking maneuvers, with the win taken from under the noses of others. British television commentator and former racer Martin Brundle described him as 'the racing burglar' after Sunday's exploits. Ricciardo was at it again on Sunday, passing four times world champion Lewis Hamilton and the Briton's Mercedes teammate with characteristic flair and in contrast to team mate Max Verstappen's botched efforts.

"I don't seem to win boring races, they're all pretty fun," he had said on the podium. "Sometimes you've just got to lick the stamp and send it," he added of the lunge on Hamilton for third place.

"They are all pretty sweet but to be honest, until I got Valtteri I wasn't getting excited about any of them. At that point I knew that we had a car to win and I wasn't going to be satisfied until I was in the lead.

"After Valtteri, I got on the radio and got a little bit giddy.

FORMULA 1 2018 HEINEKEN CHINESE GRAND PRIX - RACE RESULT

13-15 Apr 2018 Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai

13Daniel RicciardoRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER561:35:36.38025
277Valtteri BottasMERCEDES56+8.894s18
37Kimi RäikkönenFERRARI56+9.637s15
444Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES56+16.985s12
533Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER56+20.436s10
627Nico HulkenbergRENAULT56+21.052s8
714Fernando AlonsoMCLAREN RENAULT56+30.639s6
85Sebastian VettelFERRARI56+35.286s4
955Carlos SainzRENAULT56+35.763s2
1020Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI56+39.594s1
1131Esteban OconFORCE INDIA MERCEDES56+44.050s0
1211Sergio PerezFORCE INDIA MERCEDES56+44.725s0
132Stoffel VandoorneMCLAREN RENAULT56+49.373s0
1418Lance StrollWILLIAMS MERCEDES56+55.490s0
1535Sergey SirotkinWILLIAMS MERCEDES56+58.241s0
169Marcus EricssonSAUBER FERRARI56+62.604s0
178Romain GrosjeanHAAS FERRARI56+65.296s0
1810Pierre GaslySCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA56+66.330s0
1916Charles LeclercSAUBER FERRARI56+82.575s0
2028Brendon HartleySCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA51DNF0

Note - Gasly and Verstappen received 10-second time penalties for causing collisions.

2018 Driver Standings

1Sebastian VettelGERFERRARI54
2Lewis HamiltonGBRMERCEDES45
3Valtteri BottasFINMERCEDES40
4Daniel RicciardoAUSRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER37
5Kimi RäikkönenFINFERRARI30
6Fernando AlonsoESPMCLAREN RENAULT22
7Nico HulkenbergGERRENAULT22
8Max VerstappenNEDRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER18
9Pierre GaslyFRASCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA12
10Kevin MagnussenDENHAAS FERRARI11
11Stoffel VandoorneBELMCLAREN RENAULT6
12Carlos SainzESPRENAULT3
13Marcus EricssonSWESAUBER FERRARI2
14Esteban OconFRAFORCE INDIA MERCEDES1
15Sergio PerezMEXFORCE INDIA MERCEDES0
16Charles LeclercMONSAUBER FERRARI0
17Brendon HartleyNZLSCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA0
18Lance StrollCANWILLIAMS MERCEDES0
19Romain GrosjeanFRAHAAS FERRARI0
20Sergey SirotkinRUSWILLIAMS MERCEDES

2018 Constructor Standings

1MERCEDES85
2FERRARI84
3RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER55
4MCLAREN RENAULT28
5RENAULT25
6SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA12
7HAAS FERRARI11
8SAUBER FERRARI2
9FORCE INDIA MERCEDES1
10WILLIAMS MERCEDES0

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