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2018 F1

Ricciardo wins dramatic Chinese GP, Vettel and Verstappen collide

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Daniel Ricciardo takes stunning victory in dramatic Chinese Grand Prix after overtaking Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas.

Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen collide, with Red Bull driver hit with ten-second penalty; Vettel managed to finish eighth place after being passed by Fernando Alonso.

Ricciardo started from the third row, but took advantage when the safety car came out on the 31st lap — of 56 laps __ to allow him to get fresh tires. He took the lead on the 45th lap, overtaking Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes.

Ricciardo: “I don’t seem to win boring races. That was unexpected.

“24 hours ago I thought we may be starting at the back of the grid. Thanks to the boys, today is the real reward for that. The mechanics worked their butts off.

“I heard Safety Car in Turn 14 and was told to box. It was very quick but very decisive, winning moves from the team.

“Sometimes you just have to lick the stamp and send it. I enjoyed it very much. I knew on the soft tyres I could get more out of the braking.

“A lot of the time you get one chance to try so I make the most of every opportunity.”

Bottas tells SkyF1: “The race was going pretty well for us and we were looking strong all the way until the guys stopped during the Safety Car. Then we were in trouble with Daniel and nearly with Kimi

“It is disappointing, we were giving everything we had and felt like we deserved the victory.

“It felt like everything was under control and I had no major drop off so I think I could have held off Sebastian [without the Safety Car]”

Ferrari tried to use Kimi Raikkonen, who had yet to stop, as a bollard to hold up Bottas. But, the Mercedes driver was not blocked for long, passing Raikkonen down the inside at Turn 3, before Vettel also shot past his team-mate.

Raikkonen: “We made a good start and then blocked a bit and passed in the first corners.

“We stayed out very long but had a bit of luck with the Safety Car. In the end we needed the soft tyres to really go for it.

“I got close to Valtteri but it is so difficult to follow people.”

Toro Rosso duo Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly changed the game, duo made collision at the end of main strait – Toro Rosso bodywork spewed all over the track, the Safety Car came out.

Following Red Bull the only leading team reacted, double change Max Verstappen and Ricciardo fitted soft-compound.

When the race restarted on lap 36, Bottas made a perfect launch ahead of Vettel and Hamilton, but, the benefit was all Red Bull’s with their fresh soft tyres.

Verstappen tried to overtake Hamilton around the outside but instead almost bumped wheels and went off the track. Ricciardo showed him how it is done, coming from absolutely nowhere to cleanly pass Hamilton.

Following Ricciardo overtook Vettel. Verstappen also tried to overtake the Ferrari driver but hit him, pitching both into a spin, letting Hamilton and Raikkonen through.

“I don’t think I need to say anything here,” said a disgruntled Vettel. Verstappen was slapped with a 10-second time penalty.

Verstappen, dropped to fifth behind Hamilton following the 10 sec penalty. Nico Hulkenberg was sixth ahead of Fernando Alonso, who clashed with Vettel in the closing stages to barge past and take a position off the Ferrari driver, Vettel, Carlos Sainz and Kevin Magnussen.

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