Formula One: Ricciardo savours 'shoey' after storming to sensational Chinese Grand Prix win
16 April, 2018, 04:15
Nevertheless, he still leaves Shanghai with a nine point lead in the drivers' standings.
Sebastian Vettel, who won the first two races of the season, fell back to eighth after starting on pole.
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.
They barely made it, with mechanics seen snapping pieces of the car's body back into place with about a minute to spare.
"The safety auto was so unlucky for us", exclaimed Bottas over the radio. The powerhouse Ferrari and Mercedes teams remained on used mediums.
Bottas was in the lead at that stage ahead of Vettel, having overhauled the German during the pitstops, while Verstappen was fourth and Ricciardo sixth. It quickly became clear Red Bull had made the right call as both cars were far racier than the Mercedes and Ferraris in the second phase of the race.
"I said to him afterwards "look, the race is long and you threw your podium away".
All six of his wins have come after he started from fourth or lower.
He faced more heartache in Shanghai after his Renault engine went up in smoke halfway through the final practice session on Saturday. "The win was the real reward for all their hard work".
"It's a fun way to win for sure", Ricciardo told Sky F1 after taking the lead in less than 20 laps, pulling off overtaking manoeuvres on the likes of reigning champion Lewis Hamilton, Raikkonen and Bottas.
Guardiola: Man Utd can still win the title We handled the pressure between the good and bad moments for the entire season, not just in this period. If we are not able to in the end and United win the league then all we can says is "congratulations".
After his near-miss with Hamilton cost him a shot at victory, Verstappen recovered well - until he attempted to pass Vettel for third place. Late on the brakes, he thudded into the Ferrari and sent them both into a spin.
Verstappen had a 10 seconds penalty applied post-race for causing the collision, dropping the Dutch youngster from fourth to fifth. And - although he got the Brit one lap later - his hairpin lunge on Vettel was desperate.
"I locked the rears and hit him".
"It was completely Max's fault", said Niki Lauda, Mercedes' non-executive chairman and three-time world champion.
"Opportunity be knocking! That's what I would say".
Vettel said: "He realised that he did a mistake".
"Occasionally I wonder why I chose this game simply because there' s therefore lots of activities out of one's control plus it'll get you down lots of".
When asked what differentiates the two Red Bull drivers, Horner added, "They're different ages".
"I've got to try and get myself back into normal performance mode or more valuable points will be lost", said Hamilton. I gave him room, I wasn't planning on resisting, but he had a big lock-up and that is when we crashed.
The Red Bull driver put on an overtaking masterclass in the second half of Sunday's race, after the team's decision to pit their drivers under the safety vehicle paid dividends. "It's disappointing", he said. And he knew he got a bit lucky. "This was not what I expected". "The team made a very quick decision to stop both cars under the safety auto and it was a winning decision".