F1 | Daniel Ricciardo wins the Chinese GP against all odds

by M.C. – photo: F1.com | In Formula 1, as in life, things don’t always turn out how we expect. Before the start of the 2018 season, everything seemed to point to a certain and unrivalled domination by the Mercedes’ silver bullets, with Lewis Hamilton at the head. Three races into the competition and Mercedes has occupied both the lower echelons of the podium but still haven’t had a taste of victory. The Chinese GP went against every forecast once more as just when it seemed that Valtteri Bottas, from the defending team, had the victory in his pocket, something (or someone) unexpected happened: Daniel Ricciardo.

The Red Bull leader exceeded all expectations in Shanghai after his poor performances of the previous GPs in Australia and Bahrain. The friendly Australian driver, who started in sixth position, was on nobodys’ favourite’ list. His fortune changed however, when the safety car turned the race around after the crash of the Toro Rossos. This is not to say that it was an easy victory for the Australian; it wasn’t in fact right until the very end that he was able to overtake Bottas. Before this he performed a series of memorable overtakes on such powerful figures as Raikkonen and Hamilton.

This his the Red Bull’s driver’s first victory of the season and sixth of his career, just at a time when nobody, not even Ricciardo himself, was expecting it. Next to him on the podium were Mercedes’ and Ferrari’s second in command, Bottas and Raikkonen. Fourth place went to Hamilton who has been leaving a trail of mistakes and strategic miscalculations over the last few races.

Verstappen’s desperation starts to show and Alonso gives a strong and skilful performance

There were a few other memorable performances in this very entertaining Chinese GP, and not all of them for good reasons. On the side of the less fortunate is Max Verstappen, Ricciardo’s Dutch team-mate, who seems to be crumbling under the pressure to meet the high expectations placed on him. In China he crashed with Sebastian Vettel, damaging the German car, as he had made in Bahrain with Hamilton. He nonetheless managed to finish in fifth position.

In sixth position, right behind Verstappen and the three leading teams, came Nico Hulkenberg, who continues to exude confidence and dexterity on board his Renault. But perhaps one of the most celebrated performances was once again that of the Spaniard Fernando Alonso. What he lacked in machine power he made up for in driving skill, achieving a very well deserved seventh position after overtaking the German Vettel and his damaged vehicle in the last lap. Amid the Ferrari’s driver’s ongoing protestations, experts insist in praising the courageous manoeuvre of the Spaniard.

Chinese GP results:
  1. Daniel Ricciardo (Aus/Red Bull) 25 pts
  2. Valtteri Bottas (Fin/Mercedes) 18 pts
  3. Kimi Räikkönen (Fin/Ferrari) 15 pts
  4. Lewis Hamilton (Gbr/Mercedes) 12 pts
  5. Max Verstappen (Nel/Red Bull) 10 pts
2018 Driver Standings F1:
  1. Sebastian Vettel (Ger/Ferrari) 54 pts
  2. Lewis Hamilton (Gbr/Mercedes) 45 pts
  3. Valtteri Bottas (Fin/Mercedes) 40 pts
  4. Daniel Ricciardo (Aus/Red Bull) 37 pts
  5. Kimi Räikkönen (Fin/Ferrari) 15 pts


Leave a Reply