Ricciardo storms to Chinese GP win
Hamilton misses out on podium for first time in season
Published: Apr 15, 2018 10:28 PM

Race winner Daniel Ricciardo celebrates on the podium with a "shoey" during the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday in Shanghai. Photo: VCG

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo celebrated with a trademark champagne "shoey" after winning a thrilling Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday, just a day after engine trouble nearly cost him a shot at qualifying.

The Australian carved his way through the field from sixth place, after taking on fresh tires under a safety car, to storm to the sixth Grand Prix victory of his career.

"I don't seem to win boring races. They're all pretty fun," said an elated Ricciardo, who filled one of his shoes with champagne on the podium and chugged it in a signature "shoey" victory celebration.

Ricciardo was quick to praise his ­mechanics for their work on Saturday. He only made it into qualifying with about a minute to spare after a blown engine in final free practice.

"Twenty-four hours ago I thought we might be starting at the back of the grid. So, firstly thanks to the boys yesterday. Today is the real reward for that work," he said.

Ricciardo took the lead with just 10 laps to go when he charged past then-leader Valtteri Bottas, who ended up ­second in his Mercedes. Kimi Raikkonen was third for Ferrari.

Championship leader Sebastian Vettel, who led from the pole until the first set of tire stops, dropped back to finish eighth after a collision with Max Verstappen, who was penalized 10 seconds for hitting the German.

Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton missed out on the podium for the first time this season, crossing the line fifth behind Verstappen. He was promoted to fourth after the Dutchman's penalty was applied.

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 in Australia and Bahrain.

Mercedes have edged in front in the constructors' championship by a single point from the Italian team, which saw Vettel's lead at the top of the drivers' standings cut to nine points by Hamilton.

Ricciardo finally had something to celebrate after he just missed a podium spot at home in Australia following a grid penalty, and had to retire in Bahrain due to mechanical problems.

He faced more heartache in Shanghai after his Renault engine went up in smoke halfway through the final practice session on Saturday.

Team boss Christian Horner had said they would need a "miracle" to get ready again before qualifying began.

They barely made it, with mechanics seen snapping pieces of the car's body back into place with about a minute to spare.

"This sport's crazy," Ricciardo said.