RACE: Ricciardo wins wild Chinese Grand Prix for Red Bull

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton

But the Australian began the race by calmly moving up the grid and taking an advantage from the event's only safety vehicle period to pass Valtteri Bottas on the 45th lap to win his career sixth race by 9.1 seconds over the Finn.

It was a decision that would cost early leaders Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel their chance to win, with a spectacular charge from Ricciardo allowing him to take victory for Red Bull, bouncing back from a tough Saturday that saw him nearly start last on the grid. Max Verstappen has already come under fire this season for his over-aggressive driving style and once again it was on full display. Had the safety auto not been called, or had Bottas pitted at the same time as the Red Bulls, he would have likely have won. Raikkonen was left to settle for third, finishing just ahead of Verstappen on-track, with the Dutchman dropping to fifth after his time penalty was applied.

Vettel managed to pull out of DRS range and hold his lead at around three seconds through the opening stint of the race ahead of Bottas on the Soft compound tyre.

Frustrating results for the Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly who took 18th position and Bredan Hartley who DNF after the teammates had a mild collision. Bottas was able to make light work of Raikkonen with a slick pass around the outside of Turn 1, with Vettel soon following through, albeit still unable to get back ahead of the Mercedes driver.

"Opportunity be knocking! That's what I would say". Verstappen meanwhile was given a 10s penalty for causing that collision.

Vettel dropped back to seventh - a position he then lost to McLaren's Fernando Alonso with two laps to go when the Spaniard passed him around the outside of Turn One and into Turn Two.

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Kevin Magnussen finished in the points for the second straight week as he brought his Haas F1 vehicle home 10th a week after finishing fifth in Bahrain.

Daniel Ricciardo at the post-race press conference: "Once I was aware we had the pace I wasn't going to let it slip". "I'm thankful for a couple of incidents that kept us kind of in the battle".

"At the rate we were going through the field, and I could feel the tyres were holding on well, I was obviously fully set on the win".

"I could see him struggling on the tyres and tried to brake late into the corner and locked the rears a bit and hit him, so that was of course my fault", the 20-year-old said. I didn't want to compromise my race.

The Australian had appeared set for a pretty boring drive to fifth in the first half of the race, without the pace to challenge those ahead and a solid margin to Kimi Raikkonen behind. "Once you get close it is so hard to follow people".

Perhaps the most remarkable of his four overtakes was a lunge on Lewis Hamilton into the hairpin, which saw Ricciardo fly down the inside from around 40m behind. "That is racing. These things happen".

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