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Formula One (F1)

Daniel Ricciardo celebrates with ‘shoey’ after coming from sixth for shock F1 Chinese Grand Prix win in Shanghai

‘Sometimes you’ve got to lick the stamp and send it’ says Australian of race where his Red Bull team got their tactics right to take the points

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 April, 2018, 5:04pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 April, 2018, 5:04pm

Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull claimed a shock win in the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix after Sebastien Vettel suffered a dramatic collision with Max Verstappen.

This was the Australian’s first ever win at the Shanghai International Circuit, coming from sixth on the grid to top the podium ahead of of the Finnish pair Valterri Bottas of Mercedes and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.

And Ricciardo marked the occasion with his signature “shoey” celebration – drinking the winner’s champagne from his racing shoe.

He overtook Bottas on the 45th lap by sneaking inside him, and by the chequered flag he was almost seven seconds ahead of the Mercedes in second.

On Saturday, Ricciardo had almost failed to qualify but ran a tactically astute race to win his first grand prix since Azerbaijan last year and the sixth of his career.

Lewis Hamilton finished fourth – after apologising to his team for losing a place at the start – and current driver’s championship leader Sebastian Vettel was eighth despite starting on pole.

Vettel had been on his way to a third win from three races this season until Red Bull’s Max Verstappen collided with the German while trying to pass him on lap 43, and the Ferrari driver had to contend with damaged tyres for the rest of the race.

Verstappen was handed a 10-second penalty which saw him drop behind Mercedes Hamilton into fifth.

“I guess he [Verstappen] misjudged it and compromised both our races,” said Vettel, who remains top of the driver’s championship with 54 points ahead of defending world champion Hamilton on 45 and Bottas on 40.

Ricciardo’s charge to the front started when the safety car came out after the two Toro Rosso cars of Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley crashed into one another on lap 30.

“I don’t know what it is – I don’t seem to win boring races,” said 28-year-old Ricciardo, who described this one as “fun”.

He thanked his crew, particularly the mechanics, and praised the team’s “very decisive move” to bring in both Red Bulls when the safety car was out.

When asked about overtaking Hamilton on lap 40 Ricciardo said “sometimes you’ve just got to lick the stamp and send it”.

As for overtaking Bottas, who had briefly taken the lead after Vettel and Verstappen collided, Ricciardo said” I thought about pulling out – I’m just kidding” of his move.

Bottas was disappointed on the podium and rued the safety cars coming on, claiming the race “felt like it was under control” until that point.

Crowd favourite Raikkonen, whose presence on the podium was greeted by the waving of many Finnish flags and cheers in the stands, claimed he had a “little bit of luck with safety car” to get among the points.