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Chinese Grand Prix RESULT: Ricciardo WINS for Red Bull

Chinese Grand Prix RESULT: Ricciardo WINS for Red Bull

It enabled Hamilton, himself fortunate to finish fourth after a self-proclaimed disastrous weekend, to reduce the gap in the drivers' championship from 17 to only nine points.

Daniel Ricciardo snatched victory in China from Mercedes and Ferrari on Sunday, after his Aston Martin Red Bull team took advantage of a safety vehicle on lap 31 to put fresh tyres on both their cars.

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 race stewards ruled that it was an overly optimistic move from Verstappen, and hit the Red Bull with a 10-second time penalty.

Ricciardo stormed away, ultimately finishing 8.894 seconds ahead of Bottas but the Finn came under pressure from Raikkonen and Verstappen, both of whom got past Hamilton and got into the fight for second place.

The Australian benefitted from quick thinking from the Red Bull team, which pitted both its drivers at opportune moments in order to wrestle control of the race from Ferrari and Mercedes.

The Australian, who started sixth after nearly missing qualifying, made the most of fresher tires to finish 8.8 seconds ahead of Valtteri Bottas in a Mercedes.

Further down the field, Vettel was obviously suffering with a damaged vehicle, as Fernando Alonso squeezed past the German on lap 55 to take seventh place, with the Ferrari driver complaining of having been pushed off the track.

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Lewis Hamilton, the four-time and defending champion, finished fifth but was promoted to fourth ahead of Max Verstappen. Sebastian had won twice in Australia and once in Bahrain this season.

"We really thought we were going to miss qualifying start the race at the back", he added.

Ricciardo's iconic "Shoey" made a return to the podium as Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team celebrated the victory together. The team were rewarded for getting out in qualy but this is the best reward.

"Saturday and Sunday felt like a disaster from my side", the Briton said, despite setting a record of 28 successive scoring finishes. "I just haven't had the pace since yesterday (Saturday), and I struggled with the auto". We have lost performance since Melbourne and maybe even more so this weekend. "(We were) thankful for a few incidents ahead that kept us in the battle". I knew there would be enough room, the tyres had enough grip.

Valtteri Bottas, who finished second: "The race was going pretty well for us and we were looking strong until the safety vehicle".

"I was in no-man's land today", Hamilton said. I am disappointed with myself that this is the outcome of the race.

Kimi Raikkonen, who finished third: "I think we made a good start, got blocked a bit and got passed in the first corner. Once you get close it is so hard to follow people".