RACE: Ricciardo wins wild Chinese Grand Prix for Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo

Hamilton and Vettel, who were expected to be fighting it out for the world championship this term, were left in Ricciardo's wake.

Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas nabbed second place on the podium, despite being neck and neck with Ricciardo throughout the race ahead of Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari, third.

Daniel Ricciardo might have thought he was going to start Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix from the back row following a problem with his engine in qualifying. The team installed a new engine in next to no time, having the appreciative Australian back out on track three minutes before Q1 ended.

Red Bull's win adds a fresh wrinkle to a season in which Ferrari had surged out in front, with Vettel stunning Hamilton and Mercedes by taking the first two races of the season.

"We really thought we were going to start the race from the back, just over 24 hours later to be here now... this sport's insane".

That collision between Vettel and Verstappen saw Vettel struggle to eighth place (overtaken by Alonso's McLaren in the closing laps) and Hamilton in fifth (although Verstappen's penalty for the crash with Vettel moved him up to fourth and Verstappen down to fifth), with Bottas managing to hold onto second and Raikkonen claiming third for Ferrari.

The stewards agreed hitting the Red Bull driver with a 10-second penalty which would demote him to fifth. This was to prove significant, as when Vettel stopped on lap 21, Bottas had done enough to edge ahead of the German, his team congratulating him on a job well done and imploring him to now stay ahead of the Ferrari. "They're all pretty fun", added the 28-year-old, who took on fresh tyres under a safety auto yesterday.

"Saturday and Sunday felt like a disaster from my side", Hamilton said.

But Ricciardo won in a harum-scarum race past year, so anything could happen.

"They're all sweet but until I got Valtteri that I wasn & rsquo; t even, to tell the truth". "I'm thankful for a couple of incidents that kept us kind of in the battle".

It got better for Ricciardo on lap 42, as he made a DRS-assisted move past Vettel to move up to second.

"Without them yesterday and without the strategy today we wouldn't have made it". I have got to rectify that and get back into normal performance mode otherwise more points will be lost. "We just got a bit unlucky - but that happens sometimes". "This was not what I expected".

"In the end we would have needed the soft tyres to really go for it". We were in trouble then really and it is disappointing.

"We were going pretty well and we were looking strong until the safety vehicle", he said. "I said to him 'the races are long, and you threw your podium away.' He realised he messed up, and I appreciate he came up to me straight away".

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