Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Shanghai International Circuit, 2018

Ricciardo grabs Shanghai win after strategic gamble

2018 Chinese Grand Prix summary

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Daniel Ricciardo scored a surprise victory in the Chinese Grand Prix after Red Bull took advantage of a late Safety Car period to make a strategic gamble.

He passed Valtteri Bottas for the lead on lap 45 after switching to a fresh set of soft tyres when the Safety Car was deployed mid-way through the race.

Bottas had taken the lead from Sebastian Vettel thanks to a superb out-lap following his pit stop earlier in the race. Vettel had led from pole position at the start while Bottas moved up into second ahead of Kimi Raikkonen.

When Bottas jumped Vettel, Ferrari left Raikkonen out on his first set of tyres, helping Vettel back within range of the Mercedes. But Bottas took Raikkonen around the outside of turn one and rebuffed Vettel’s attack to hold his lead.

He was unable to resist a fresh-tyred Ricciardo, however, who had already put moves on Vettel and Lewis Hamilton. Ricciardo was also handed a position by team mate Max Verstappen, who went off while trying to pass Hamilton.

Verstappen then clattered into Vettel while trying to take third place off the Ferrari. He was given a 10-second time penalty for the move, which also delayed Hamilton, opening the door for Raikkonen.

Nico Hulkenberg also took advantage of the opportunity to pass Vettel, and a few laps later Fernando Alonso barged his way through as well, leaving the world championship leader eighth at the chequered flag. Carlos Sainz Jnr took a look at the Ferrari on the final lap but settled for ninth ahead of Kevin Magnussen.

2017 Chinese Grand Prix reaction

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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158 comments on “Ricciardo grabs Shanghai win after strategic gamble”

  1. Wow. What a race. Can’t remember the last time I saw a race with more drama, overtakes and thrill created from strategy. Can’t remember a race where a team has has been more spot on in terms of it’s execution than Red Bull today. Hats off to Ricciardo for driving that race to perfection.

    1. And a dry one, in these cars. Just shows again…. you just need to cap extremes in terms of budget. Ferrari is using 100k a day for white smoke at this point while no knows what the hell it honestly is.
      Nobody cares about the lap times and Sauber doesn’t have to be able to get podiums, but this is how F1 should get regularly.

      1. @xiasitlo ”Nobody cares about the lap times”
        – You aren’t speaking for everyone, though. I, for example, do care about the lap times as well as the quality of racing.

    2. Dannyric in the cool down room with 2 stony faced finns was priceless, Dan just wanted to chat with someone anyone lol

      1. The first totally silent cool down room since…….. ???

    3. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      15th April 2018, 17:12

      @todfod you can start by thanking Lewis, aka the real race director :-) No Lewis, no race…

  2. A masterclass in overtaking once again by Ricciardo. Unlike his team-mate, he knows exactly when to throw his car alongside a competitor. As Vettel said, let’s stop saying Verstappen is “young and hungry”… he’s got three seasons worth of experience now, which is more than Vandoorne, Ocon and many others who aren’t making these kind of mistakes any more. He’s a stunning talent and is quicker than Ricciardo on raw pace, but Daniel has shown time and again that you need more than that on days like this.

    1. +1 It is just a matter of time before max gets others hurt. He’s been very lucky that the guys he had incidents with at the top of the field are wise old heads like ham and kimi. This ignorant brat would have been flipping cars over if he was in a midfield team.

      1. He was in a midfield team

        And you’re overreacting

        He made a mistake but he also made clean moves.

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      15th April 2018, 20:27

      @ben-n

      Max has to clean up his act – this victory had his name all over it. Lewis wasn’t going to hold him back but he also didn’t like the pass that Max tried to make.

      I wish he had gotten a stiffer penalty so he can learn from this mistake. This is a situation where the stewards were ultra-lenient once again.

      If he loses the point game to Daniel, Max may not be able to claim that it was reliability or bad luck. It’s good for Daniel, of course and if I were Daniel I’d tell Max to triple his overtaking maneuvers and take them on the 1st corner especially against the Merc and Ferraris :-)

      1. DobbertRoornbos
        15th April 2018, 21:02

        Well, they couldn’t give him a stiffer penalty, since they penalised gasly for a similar incident. Race control has been pretty consistent this season in their judgement. Let’s hope they can keep it up.

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          15th April 2018, 23:48

          Gasly’s penalty was for a Toro Rosso vs Toro Rosso – teams are usually much more lenient with intra team penalties since they penalize them twice.

          Max’s mistake was following another incident in Bahrain and it affected Vettel’s points.

          So should they have been the same? Probably not.

    3. @ben-n

      Vettel was on his 4th (3rd full) season of F1 when he was nicknamed crash kid.

      Hamilton was on his 5th full season when he had his horrible 2011 season.

      Both had way more feeder series experience. Verstappen is a great talent, he’s just rough around the edges.

      1. Good point.

      2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        16th April 2018, 0:30

        @philipgb I don’t think that 2011 was Lewis’ fault. But I think it did teach him that you can’t stop another bad to horrible driver from making mistakes so it’s his responsibility as the better driver to avoid them.

        That’s why he tried to avoid Nico so much while Nico was trying to hit Lewis’ car every chance he had.

        Lewis has gotten incredible at close quarters racing – his move on Max today was the stuff of legend – you’ll never see a move like that ever again and if Max goes on to become a champion, he will go back to this move and point out how Lewis was the best of all time.

        1. It is funny how different people see different things. Lewis was constantly putting his car into position where nico had to take evasive action or both cars would crash.

  3. So this time Mr Horner did not call it luck like he did with Ferrari in Melbourne. :-)
    Anyway, they took the opportunity and made it stick, good on them.

  4. Also, no idea what Ferrari were doing pre-Safety Car, leaving the cars out for so long, losing Vettel position to Bottas and then potentially trashing Kimi’s race for no particular reason.

    1. They trashed Kimi’s race to give Vettel a second, that’s the Ferrari way.

      1. Yeah it was blindingly obvious what they were doing with kimi. And it almost worked too. Vettel got very close to bottas but in the end it did not go vettel’s way.

    2. Vettel, to lose track position and gain nothing of it, that’s just a mistake a typical tactical error for Ferrari. Mercedes clearly instructed Bottas to pit, and he was sure to do it as he would’ve lost a position on track otherwise. Considering the degradation Kimi might’ve gotten something out of this race with his strategy, that said it kind of felt like a desperate attempt at rescuing a wasted race. Shanghai last year Ferrari made a mistake on strategy, again! they made a mistake, a fluke and 2 strategy errors out of 3 races.

    3. @ben-n @sleepywill – yes, it definitely looked like they were using Kimi to back Bottas into Vettel. If so, it is very poor of them this early in the championship.

      Vettel staying out – it probably felt like they left it a lap or two too late.

    4. @ben-n

      Wouldn’t say they were trashing Kimi’s race for no reason. It was apparent that Kimi was just being used as a pawn to help Vettel get a position back. That’s how Ferrari have always done things. I’m not surprised at all when Kimi is constantly shouting at his race engineer on the radio, as Kimi’s job is not just to protect his position on track from other drivers, he has to also protect his own race from Ferrari.

      1. Kimi is a second driver, and I would be surprised if it wasn’t contractually. I believe there is a very good reason Alonso isn’t driving for Ferrari any more and that’s because Alonso would never be a second driver, Vettel wouldn’t move unless he had one, so Alonso found himself without a contract offer.

        1. @sleepywill
          So you’re implying Fer wanted to have Alo and Vet at the same time and that Vet is the better one? Both statements sound ridiculous to me.

          1. No, that’s not what I said KRXX. We all know Ferrari fully embrace the second driver mentality, we all know Ferrari wanted Vettel. They didn’t want Vettel to be Alonso’s second, they wanted Vettel to win them championships. Ergo, Alonso had to go.

            If you find it ridiculous that Alonso is not as good a driver as Vettel, that’s fine, I don’t necessarily disagree, but remember, the job is far more than just driving, it’s car development, it’s getting on with your colleagues, it’s being trusted, it’s working the way your team like to work. Sometimes it’s even just that a team needs to change to inject some energy.

          2. @sleepywill
            Well, it may not have been what you meant, but I’ve re-read your comment and still come to the same implication: If Alo wanted to play second fiddle to Vet, he could have been with Fer post 2014. He didn’t, so he “found himself without a contract offer.”
            The second implication is a bit more ambiguous I admit. Bc you’re right about those additional skills and circumstances. But having said that, while we know how Fer preferably approaches racing with a clear number one, I can’t recall Fer has ever or imagine that Fer would ever, realistically, give the number one status to a driver who isn’t the clear number one from the get go. They would rather hedge it and wait for the season to unfold, before deciding which of the two would be getting the number one status, like they did with Rai and Mas. So combining this with the first implication, would imply that Vet would be the natural number one if teamed up with Alo, something I just don’t see, even more so back in 2015.

        2. Old Mate Mick
          15th April 2018, 13:51

          It’s common knowledge that Ferrari spent much of 2014 trying to work out how to get rid of Alonso before his contract was up, in the event Vettel’s get out clause was activated. There’s an interview somewhere with Montezemolo where he outlines how they did this. They knew that if Vettel didn’t wind up in a position to get out of RBR, they would need Alonso for 2015, but they also knew that Alonso was not helping the team, and they wanted to replace him with Vettel for some time by this point. Vettel had been meeting with Ferrari management to discuss the move well before it eventually happened.

          1. Here is one such interview:
            https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/opinion/f1/why-luca-preferred-vettel-over-alonso

            It also raises another interesting tinfoil theory. Because red bull was pretty poor in 2014 and the renault engines were also pretty poor maybe vettel drove poorly just to trigger the performance clause in his contract that set him free from red bull and let him move to ferrari? It is a bit funny but not the craziest thing we have seen in f1 :D.

    5. For real, did they even have a strategy for Kimi? Vettel costs his teammate 2 positions at the start with the same swipe we saw in singapore last year. Then they kept Kimi out waaay too long. He would’ve been 6th or 7th probably without the safety car and his teammate’s misfortune. It’s a sad way to treat a driver who’s been largely matching Vettel’s pace this year.

  5. Danny Ric was clinnical today, and showed once again that when a chaotic race is under way he finds a way to win.

    1. @gechichan – it is interesting, isn’t it? When there’s an amount of uncertainity, Ricciardo’s often one to capitalize to the maximum on it. I recall his 3 victories in 2014 as well.

  6. Daniel was aggressive but measured, still sometimes Daniel is thinking too much in the long game, had Max kept his cool, Daniel wouldn’t have gotten past Max and no victory today, maybe Max wouldn’t have won this anyway but Max failed at the first hurdle.
    I really like something Vettel said amidst his zen speech. Journalist points out Max’s youth and he quips, Max has done enough races, and he has, last year I got in all sorts of discussions for pointing out that Max brings victories out of pure aggression but it was his fault that he ended the WCH behind Daniel, Daniel had more failures.

    1. @peartree Right, Red Bull 1-2 was on the cards with Max on the top step.

      1. Verstappen is a bit reckless, today proved that…..again. And again Ricciardo proved he is the more mature more skilled driver. If the WDC was given to the person with the most spectacular (erratic) driving style Verstappen would win. But luckily for us it’s the most constant driver that wins.

        1. Just a humble tought

    2. Ricciardo: “I don’t seem to win boring races!”
      I’m glad Verstappen didn’t change. He became the unpredictability factor F1 could always count on.

      1. He’s an unwanted unpredictability factor, not needed in racing in general… worse than any other potential artificial unpredictability factor like rain, snow, night, sun, degrading tyres, DRS, reliability etc. If he crashes in every driver from the grid… I’m fine too. Not the case. If you like the champs to be tainted the way 2012 champ was, for example, you must be a fan. I’m not a fan at all of champs decided by 3rd parties, so I’m really hoping this ends. All he proved so far if that he’s a sore loser with a big mouth too, so I’m sure he’ll change opinions completely when things will reverse.

        1. I’m not a fan of champs decided by 3rd parties either. But with closing performance of Red Bull to the best two teams, Max interference on that results is unavoidable factor this year.

  7. Disgusted by this tactic by Ferrari. Do they want to win the constructors championship or the drivers championship? If they want to win both, they are not going to win both of them if they continue to play like this. Without the safety car, Kimi would have finished 6th. 2nd to 6th just because of a crazy strategy is just a disgust. Ferrari clearly saw that Hamilton did a 36.8, the fastest lap until Ricciardo’s and almost 3 seconds quicker than Seb and Kimi.

    If Ferrari want Seb to win the drivers championship, then fine with this. But if they want to win the constructors, THEY ARE NOT WINNING LIKE THIS. Lewis had an off weekend, but the Red Bulls were no joke in this race. And it’s not like Lewis is going to contiune like this.

    1. @krichelle – more importantly, would a driver like Ricciardo seriously entertain the notion of signing up for Ferrari alongside Vettel if the team have this notion of backing a horse this early in the championship.

      I also don’t understand Ferrari’s drive to push for a WDC, when it is the WCC that is linked to the payout.

      1. Well they get more money than the 1st place team anyway, so… Be interesting to see if their ideology changes in 2021.

      2. Likely team for Ric next year: 1.RBR, 2.Merc, 3.Ferrari. No way he’s going there with Vettel there.

        1. @john-h – I agree, although I’d wager Merc over RBR. Saturday showed that RBR’s engine options are still quite poor with either Renault or Honda.

          1. Sonsofbeaches
            15th April 2018, 11:32

            Up to yesterday I thought it was probably M,F,R. Today I think R,M,F.
            If the engine development trend continues – Merc might not have a dominant PU next year. They had by far the lowest year-on year-gain here across all teams… hmm Nico couldn’t stand the other guy.
            Ferrari seem to have the package coming nicely together, at least until the pope smoke gets banned… Mark couldn’t stand the other guy… Ric beat him that one year so probably didn’t care too much. Then there’s threats of leaving F1 and the awful race strategy.
            He likes RBR and they like him, particularly after today. Renault & Honda PUs are both problematic. Max can be both too quick and an ass on track and Marko likes his wunderkinders.
            If I was Ric I’d wait as deep as possible into the season for clarity and if it doesn’t come, let the checkbook decide.

    2. @krichelle Kimi should have forced the start crash. Vettel STILL has not learned not to drive into his teammate like this. It’s not like his pitcrew won’t get him passed again anyway.
      That is what originally killed Kimis race. And of course, if kimi stays out stupid long the safety car comes out just *after* his stop. Just his luck. Well, at least verstappen on his Side if his team can’t be bothered

      1. But then Kimi should qualify on pole then.
        I don’t approve of Vettel moving over, but he has every right to do so as a racing driver.
        Note how Rosberg started to fight with Hamilton in 2016. Kimi needs to do the same or else continue to be subservient.

        1. Isn’t that what i said? But i’m also disappointed that a 4 time WDC fails to see that these Moves cost him and his team dear in the past and keeps doing this. He should be wiser imho

    3. @krichelle

      Ferrari care more about the WDC than the WCC. What they fail to realise is that if they constantly keep sabotaging their Kimi’s race, he’ll just lose motivation and eventually take less points of Vettel’s rivals.

      What they did today was exceptionally daft because Kimi was in front of Hamilton, so in theory, he actually took 3 points off Hamilton to help Vettel’s championship. But they decided to drop him down below Hamilton, Verstappen and even Ricciardo. So not only did they overturn a 3 point advantage for Vettel, they also gave more points to Verstappen and Ricciardo, who could emerge as championship contenders as well.

      I think Ferrari need to hire a better team strategist or maybe hire someone better than Maurizio at leading the team to championships.

    4. Unnecessary stupid strategy, yes. I can’t found any logic explanation to let Kimi lap after lap on 2 seconds slower. It doesn’t really help Vettel either.

      1. Old Mate Mick
        15th April 2018, 13:54

        Mercedes did the same to Bottas in Spain last year to benefit Hamilton. Cost Bottas a full pitstop to his team mate. Didn’t see so much crying from you lot about that one. Interesting it’s only evil when Ferrari do it lol.

        1. Well, i can only speak for myself but i just don’t care about Mercedes, Bottas or Hamilton. Everything about the team radiates boredom. And i’m not talking about the domination eventhough it didn’t help. Its just like the personification of the corporate world, everything is calcualted and measured, the car is built by a comitee instead of a crazy genius like newey, and even when they lose its because they failed to correctly calculate the VSC gap. Way to excite. Same sort of goes for Bottas, at least for me. Hamilton, well, i’ve grown to dislike him, but i have to concede the attribute ‘boring’ doesn’t describe him.

        2. Just to be clear, this is meant to explain why i might not have complained about merc tactics.

          1. @mrboerns

            And you find Ferrari exciting? A team that constantly threatens to quit the sport because it can’t win…like a sore loser who takes the ball with him and leaves?
            A team that pulls every ounce of political strength in its favour to forge rules that favour them, and still end up losing. Maybe you find them exciting because they don’t let their drivers race and that their team orders are a thrill to viewers? Maybe it’s the exciting personality of their number 1 driver?

          2. Yeah they are completely mad! But exciting. Or at least more exciting.
            But i always had a Soft Spot for Bernie as well. What a madman!

    5. @krichelle Ferrari always prioritized WDC over WCC since long time ago. That’s why they easily sacrifice their second driver by picking less optimum strategy, blatantly destroying Kimi race like today and even breaking a gearbox seal for nothing just to have a penalty that move their first driver to preferred position on starting grid. I think part of the reason is with all their bonuses, they still got more prize money than anybody at the end of the season so winning WCC (where prize money comes from) is lesser importance that winning WDC (where common people recognition comes from)

      1. So that is why McLaren always won the WCC- oh wait
        :D

        1. @mrboerns

          They’ve still won a wdc more recently than Ferrari xD

  8. Verstappen has absolutely lost it. It was disgraceful. He needs to calm down. He just wasted a win here. This nonsense has to stop. That penalty was the most atrocious of all = he and Gasly (yes I’m not blinded) needed at least a drive-through penalty. After 4 years, you should know where the space is. People should not use the Senna excuses as Senna used that btw to justify driving someone of the track. Senna knew where to pick his moments. He is stagnating. Even the move on Lewis was very poor judgement. He could’ve easily blasted past 15s later. He will never be WDC if he keeps driving like it’s a Nintendo game.

    He’s becoming Marquez. Soon you’ll have people just booing him. Jos needs to step in. Don’t give me that ”ah, WDC is done anyway”, no, you don’t know what happens in 18 other races, updates, 3 PUs, it’s ludicrous. Even as I Dutchie…. I’m just disappointed in the kid, not even mad.

    Danny Ric’s overtaking was marvellous. Lewis needs to talk with Bono as you can sense the disagreement in pure strategy. Ferrari is so focused of screwing Kimi, they just waste races… Alonso did good, has to be said. Honda failed, poor me. I’m starting to think btw Massa would still have put that Williams around 9/10th place. That feed on watching Stroll and Sirotkin looks like you’ve tuned in the wrong channel.

    1. Your sentiment is very recognisable. I think Verstappen needs to buck up and fast.

    2. Except Marquez has the 4 WDC’s to back it up… I think if Max was in a Merc or a Ferrari, he’d be quicker outright that Vettel and Hamilton, but would get destroyed in the WDC due to his own stupidity. And it’s no longer inexperience, he’s in his 4th season, it’s stupidity. As you said, he’d have got Hamilton down into the hairpin, there was no need to try a hero move round the outside, and he’d have probably had Vettel on the next lap as well.

    3. If you want driving standards to go up reintroduce Aluminum monocoques. If you actually have to take risks You Need to be a sportsman.

    4. Verstappen has absolutely lost it. It was disgraceful.

      Unfortunately I can’t see Verstappen changing. His father was interviewed while in Melbourne and he made it absolutely clear that his son was taught one thing and one thing only about motor racing . Go as hard as you can ALL OF THE TIME, take no prisoners no excuses.
      His attempted overtake on Vettel today was a case in point, Verstappen just expected Vettel to some how just move. To where who knows but just get out of the way, Verstappen seems to think he owns the entire track.

      1. Indeed. There’s a reason that F1 is not a ‘junior’ category. Time to grow up a bit. Reminds me a little of Hamilton’s 2011 ‘worst’ season (whilst still winning quite a few races).

        One thing about Verstappen though, he does make life more interesting.

        1. One thing about Verstappen though, he does make life more interesting.

          Agreed and I hope he learns and matures as Hamilton has, after Ricciardo wins a WDC of course :).

      2. @johnrkh

        Or Max locked up and overshoot just like he said.

        1. True in the Vettel collision, but it’s a good quote about Verstappen being trained to be relentless. He never willingly gives up pace, which means he sacrifices caution. He tried to pass Hamilton on the outside of a fast corner just because he had the pace at that point to do so, irrespective of the risk factor. His later mistake with Vettel smacked of lack of concentration or a bit of desperation after going off and losing places. So it’s a chain reaction. Still, hope he continues the same!

  9. So Ferrari, what was up with your racestrategy today? Both drivers losing places with pitstops. And why keep Raikkonen out? Don’t they care about the constructor championship?

    1. No. Ferrari have never cared about the constructors because they get royalty payments for being the only team to have competed in F1 since its inception. Thus whether they finish 1st or last in the constructors is irrelevant, so long as they win the WDC. Maybe with the new concorde agreement Liberty are trying to draft that might change but for now- Ferrari care only about the WDC.

  10. Ferrari are not good on strategy…they tend to follow other teams rather than lead….and they do not cope well with pressure……This will probably lead to missing out on another World Championship this season

  11. Does he want to play bumpercars or something?

    1. Small children bumbercar, small children, arghh!

      1. Well Mr Kimoa pushed Vettel out of the track with no need for it, so your comment is much more relevant than you might have thought

        1. No, i indeed kinda had that in mind, eventhough it wasn’t exactly what you were going on about.

          Oh well, great minds and all

    2. @johnmilk

      Hahaha +1

      Man.. I wish Vettel had said that on the radio. It would be a face palm moment of epic proportions for Max.

      1. @todfod they might be better drivers than us (might, we don’t know for sure!) But we would be able to make much better radio communications

    3. @johnmilk – heh, same thought here

  12. Robert McKay
    15th April 2018, 9:37

    The good thing is that turned into a cracking race.

    The bad thing is that was very much looking like a fairly awful race under normal conditions and only the SC throwing a double 6 and putting the cars back close together with different tyres saved it. Dodged a bullet due to the Toro Rossos.

    I don’t much like DRS but there’s no point to it if in normal running cars struggle to be within 2.5 seconds of each other.

    1. Sonsofbeaches
      15th April 2018, 11:38

      Pirelli need to keep tweaking those tyres – great to see a mixed starting grid again, a handful of strategies and a fair dinkum non DRS high speed overtake between the top 6 just on tyre difference.

  13. If Sainz hadn’t had a difficult start to the season Verstappen would have to be looking nervously over his shoulder I’d say… he’s lucky. Verstappen has been by far the worst driver so far this season, at least one race-wrecking mistake every weekend.

    1. By no means a Verstappen fan (despite him being the only real member of team Kimi) but what a load of bull this is. I mean we got Stroll.

      1. @mrboerns how many race-destroying mistakes has Stroll made? I’m not saying Max is the worst driver on the grid in terms of talent, but his overall performance this season has been the worst and most error-filled. And by a margin.

        1. @tflb
          I belive 23 is the number you seek.

        2. @tflb Well to be fair, he mostly made one (or rather his dad did) but on the other hand it destroyed 23 Races for his team so far :D

  14. Not a bad race pity the Mercs and Ferraris ran out of grip. I still think Ricciardo would have won he was just excellent today, I just would have liked to have seen a bit more resistance more of a fight. I hope this stops the naysayers questioning his skills as one of the best F1 drivers, at least for a little while.
    As for his team mate……oh dear!

  15. Another mess seen in North America while watching the F1 coverage by Sky Sports. My race coverage ended before completion of the victory rostrum, just as the Lengthy Aussie Anthem was played. It just ended. That’s the Saturday night live version.
    Friday nights Q3 ended with 17 seconds left. Imagine that. I pay money for this and It ended before completion.
    Great race for DR. I thought during qualifying that he would leave this team at seasons end because of the rise of Max, but Max is beginning to slip and is showing he is a meer mortal while losing respect.
    Id pay double to get back last years coverage by Leigh Diffey, David Hobbs, Steve Matchet and the best in the business, Will Button. To now have Sky Coverage instead of what we had shows that money is still the problem

    1. They took the “we’ll show you the race without interruptions” too literally, I’m afraid :-)

  16. If I recall correctly, all and sundry were on here telling us all matter of factly, how bad Verstappen was going to beat Ricciardo this year.

    I know it’s only a few races in, but please spare me the total fairy tale nonsense that Verstappen is better than Ricciardo.

    Lol

    1. It’s a long season… bit early for this!

    2. @nick101

      I know it’s only a few races in, but please spare me the total fairy tale nonsense that Hamilton is better than Button.

      There’s a reason not too many would’ve agreed with this 7 years ago.

    3. Verstappens greatest achievment in F1 is making the top driver Ricciardo look bad. Im sure we will see more of that.

  17. Bottas is arguably driver of the day. Pace to Hamilton was superior and he kept 2 of the 3 cars on better tyres behind. Before that, with the undercut to Vettel, he implemented his teams strategy to perfection. Also put firm pressure on Ricciardo and made him work for the overtake.

    Ricciardo did very well but without the SC, Red Bull would have been nowhere near the front. The team strategy calls were great but it’s not team of the day. How can you give driver of the day to someone who is that *lucky* on the day; he won the race but that doesn’t mean he drove his he best. Let’s not forget, his overtakes were against guys on slower and older tyres.

    In the circumstances Bottas did a better job of anyone. I’m impressed with his increased aggression and pace and he didn’t get enough merit for his drive.

    1. I agree, for me Bottas was the driver of the day – good start that opened up the race, kept the pace, great in and out lap to get the undercut on Vettel, kept Vettel behind, overtook Kimi as needed, kept RIC behind as long as he could and held Kimi behind him in the last 10 laps too, I don’t think he could have done better today (or yesterday really, Ferrari just faster).

    2. The team strategy calls were great but it’s not team of the day. How can you give driver of the day to someone who is that *lucky* on the day;

      Extending that same logic, Bottas was just “lucky” to be in a faster car. This is not the car of the day. How can you give driver of the day to someone who is that *lucky* not only on the day but the whole season?

  18. I have said this before and I’ll say it again; there is no one better on the grid that Daniel Ricciardo in capitalising on others’ mistakes and misfortunes. I mean that as a complement.

    Ricciardo is a very mature driver who has speed, great overtaking skills and above all, track sense. His young teammate has speed but is too impulsive to put that into maximum benefit.

    Ricciardo pulled out 3 brilliant overtakes today to go on and win the race. He would not have known about Mad Max’s time penalty until towards the end of the race and so after gaining the lead, he was also covering off any challenge from his teammate. Great driving.

    1. I have said this before and I’ll say it again; there is no one better on the grid that Daniel Ricciardo in capitalising on others’ mistakes and misfortunes. I mean that as a complement.

      @loup-garou

      Fernando Alonso is maybe as good. Ricciardo actually reminds me a lot of a younger Alonso. They both have fantastic race craft, overtaking skills and are the biggest opportunists on the F1 grid.

      1. Ricciardo actually reminds me a lot of a younger Alonso

        But is a lot more likeable :-)

      2. @todfod didn’t younger alonso tend to crash in chaotic races rather than capitalize? think brazil 2003, USA 2004, Monaco 2004, Japan 2007

        1. Albeit in Brazil 03 he arguably captialized AND crashed

        2. @mrboerns

          A younger Ricciardo has binned it a few times as well. Singapore 2013 comes to mind, along with a few spins at China or Britain I think. He crashed in Q3 at Australia last year as well.

          The point was not to split hairs. Overall, they both have similarities in their racing strengths.

        3. Old Mate Mick
          15th April 2018, 13:59

          Alonso also tended to flat out cheat and play media politics every time things didn’t go his way. Haven’t seen Ricciardo do that either. I think Ricciardo is considerably better than Alonso ever was, but Alonso’s been massively overrated for his entire career.

          1. @Old Mate Mick

            shame you would never be able to show any examples to back up your claims. Alonso is the only driver in the last 12 years to win titles in non dominant cars for the whole season and dominate other world champions in large chunks of a season using slower cars.
            His politics were a drop in the ocean compared to the Mansell Prost Senna era. Since then fans have become babies and sanitised the sport.

            Riccairdo is unlikely to win a title until he speeds up to Verstappen’s level which going to be a lot harder than Verstappen learning to bide his time.

          2. -The F2007 was not dominant
            -the MP4/whatevertheyusedin2008 was not dominant
            -the BGP001 – well yes but only for half a season
            -the RB 2010 – not dominant
            -the RB 2011 – ok i give you that one
            -the rb2012 – not at all dominant
            -the rb2013 – ok but only for half a season. also, not really, look at webber. more a case of vettel being
            dominant for half a season
            -the Merc 2014-2016: yes, indeed, these cars were the most dominant cars since the 50ies probably
            -the mercedes 2017: not dominant
            ….i don’t think your facts check out

          3. @Old mate nick

            Don’t make me laugh. Maybe you turned a blind eye to the 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 seasons before you typed in your post. It’s obvious that you don’t like Alonso, but to deny that he’s not a phenomenal driver shows how much you really know about formula 1.

  19. Crashtappen strikes back, and Ferrari should’ve pitted Kimi under the SC-period.

    1. Was an idea, but do not know if things would have been different for him at the end of the race. He would have ended even more behind after the pit-stop and it’s not a sure thing that with fresh Softs he would done better. It’s what Toto said too. There’s not enough performance gain, track position matters because it’s hard to overtake these days, then RAI is not that fast and “hungry”. He’s no VER, RIC, HAM, VET (anymore), so I’m not buying it anymore that Ferrari is messing up his races completely. I have doubts he would have been able to overtake all the cars who got ahead because of an extra pit-stop.

    2. Sonsofbeaches
      15th April 2018, 11:52

      Maybe – I didn’t catch how much gap he had but he’d probably have had to carve back through some midfield (using up tyre life) just to threaten Hamilton that already he had pretty good tyre advantage over. After that he would have been behind Vettel and that would turn the red pitwall to jelly. They got burnt in Canada diving in too early and in an already shocking strategic race I can’t blame them too much for that call.

  20. Just saying !
    15th April 2018, 10:20

    So Danny Ric ( as he’s called on Sky) to Mercedes next year, Bottas to Ferrari or maybe McLaren, don’t think Sainz is going to RBR so maybe Gasly ??

    1. If Bottas performs like today and last week, there is no need to change him. I am pretty sure Danny Ric goes to Ferrari.

      1. Why would Danny wanna leave Red Bull?

        1. @rethla

          Because if Verstappen learns to be more patient he has no chance.

          1. That’s a big if though.

          2. If Max learns to drive at 90% throttle through 90% throttle corners rather than bin it and stops wedging his car into imaginary gaps… he’s also slower.

  21. I would also have to give a shout-out to Pirelli that for the second race in succession, they brought a set of compounds that added to the racing, instead of detracting from it. For some time it felt like the hardest of the three compounds brought for a race was a bit useless, whereas now it seems to be fitting in quite nicely into strategy.

    Let’s hope this continues in future races as well.

    1. @phylyp i still say it is ridiculous to have a) an ultra soft tyre and b) to have an ultrasoft tyre that enables a one stop strategy.
      How do you explain to a new fan that Soft is the hardest compound available (not today but you get it).

      1. to have an ultrasoft tyre that enables a one stop strategy

        But the US didn’t enable a meaningful one-stopper today, did it? At least not at the head of the field. All the one-stoppers who swapped from a soft to medium were themselves struggling towards the end (remember how Kimi was sliding around when chasing Bottas?). It would have been interesting to see RBRs long-run pace on the mediums if the safety car hadn’t happened.

        Soft is the hardest compound

        I hate the names as much as you. And the colours as well, because, until last year I could associate purple with the fastest tyre (since purple also indicates fastest laps/sectors), but now the fastest would be the pink.

        1. It did last long enough for Ferrari and Merc to immediately follow Red Bull into the pits. Which makes the whole ‘differing strategy, starting on harder compound yada yada yada’ a complete joke.

        2. I’ll make again my ask that the tires have numbers not names. Also, why does the FOM graphic have “s” for all the tire types when only one begins with an s?

          1. not exactly because you have soft and supersoft, but I get your idea. S is for all the soft tires (hyper, ultra, super, average joe soft), but yeah, they should use H, U, SS, S instead.

  22. This was no gamble by Red Bull. It was pure strategic nous. The two teams who were up front should hang their heads in shame. Especially Mercedes.

    1. I believe both Ferraris and Bottas were already past pit entry when the Safety Car came out. Pitting from behind the safety car would have put them all the way at the back, they simple did not have the option available that the Red Bulls, Hamilton and the others had to make this SC work for them.

      The fact that the actual contact had happened quite a long time ago and combined with this exact timing of calling on the SC makes me question whether the gambling mafia had something to do with that SC call.

  23. Its a pity I don’t see anyone of the Mclaren (fanatic) haters that criticized the team last weekend and praised Toro Rosso so much… You just wait in the corner for the next opportunity . I am not satisfied with Mclaren performance but i have hopes for improvement the next 3-4 races. Its a fact though that its 100 times better than last year…

  24. Great race. Regarding Kimi’s strategy I disagree with people saying they intentionally compromised his position to slow down Bottas and help Vettel. It was a mistake they didn’t cover Ricciardo, but by the time Bottas’s undercut worked (it was a monster out-lap with mega-party mode), he was already consigned to P6. It didn’t make a difference if he finished 2s or 10s behind P5, so tried to use him to help Vettel overtake Bottas.

    1. MB (@muralibhats)
      15th April 2018, 21:04

      Kimi had to pit before Bottas.. right after RIC

  25. There is a funny coincidence between the China and Australian GP.

    In Australia, Vettel won after Ferrari’s junior team (Haas) caused a safety car, causing him to gain a pit stop advantage.

    In China, Ricciardo won after Red Bull’s junior team (Toro Rosso) caused a safety car, causing him to gain a free pit stop and fresh tyres for the rest of the race!

    1. Old Mate Mick
      15th April 2018, 14:01

      Name checks out :P

    2. @theskeptic Now only Force India haven’t had inter-driver problems…..

    3. Ah, but everybody pit at around the same time – each of the top 6 could have stopped to take advantage of the safety car, but only the Red Bulls did. It’s called strategy.

  26. What Ferrari did to Kimi today was truly wicked.
    They threw him under the bus and hoped a train ran over him.
    But he was on the podium and received the best cheers from the crowd.
    Well deserved admiration and to think that he’s an Iceman,
    nah he’s an honest human being.

    Shame on Ferrari!!!!

    1. Kimi was the prodigal son today. Perhaps he will take some private pleasure in seeing the guy he was assigned to help by throwing away his own race finish 8th.

    2. + 100000

  27. Sorry, but I rate Gasly’s 4th place last week higher that Danny Ric’s win.

    What would you expect with a fresh set of softer compounds vs. rivals on older harder rubber, in a lightened car, and, on top of that, gift wrapped with a bow by being bunched up under the safety car!

    What did he do special in this race? Nothing!

    He was on track for P5 until fortune fell in his lap. And yet, it still took him a while to pick his way though the field.

    If praise is to bestowed, it should certainly be for the Red Bull strategists.

    1. +1000
      @72defender

      I like Ricciardo and it was a win but honestly the “greatest overtaker ever” etc etc from all and sundry. Including Rosberg! I mean really?

      The strategists won that – he was on fresh tyres 2sec a lap faster with everyone bunched up.

      He could not help but overtake them!

      Merc and Ferrari were just totally focussed on the lead drivers as usual and clearly did not want Ham and Kimi jumping that latter. Different reasons same effect. Daft frankly. Imagine they had pitted at least then we would have seen a race between a few cars using fast tyres at the end.

      Pirelli F1 again I suspect.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        15th April 2018, 16:49

        I agree Ricciardo’s drive has been over rated, but I do think he is the cleanest overtaker on the grid. The one on Hamilton especially was the stand out today. But the others didn’t look that hard. Ricciardo’s style of overtakes vertually always work out without contact. When most drivers attempt a move like Ricciardo, they often make a mess of it. And I think Verstappen is a good example. Verstappen genrally has more speed than Ricciardo, but I certainly think Ricciardo is a better racer and overall, the more complete driver.

    2. You’re missing the point though.

      It’s not like Ricciardo leads Verstappen to a 1-2 for Red Bull’s strategists. Only THEN would I agree that the hype is too much.

      Ricciardo managed to win while the wunderkind made two mistakes and ruined his guaranteed win. That’s why it was a special performance.

  28. Alonso passing Vettel, ouch. He looked like he enjoyed that.
    Great race in the second half. As soon as Red Bull pitted under the SC, it felt like they’d won it.

  29. Ferrari really messed up here. That was a “nothing” strategy, all they did was cost Vettel the lead, and then ruin Kimi’s race to try and fix the blunder. The SC actually gave Kimi a chance at the result he deserved all along. Great opportunism from Red Bull. I don’t want to take anything away from Ricciardo’s drive and his pass for the lead, but Max messed up. He should have won, but he is pushing too hard this year. You just can’t take out the championship leader like that.

  30. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    15th April 2018, 17:11

    1 word – Lewis!

    Best race I’ve seen in my life and that’s why he’s in a different level compared to any driver.

    It showcased why Lewis is the best tactician of all time and best racer.
    It showcased the difference between Daniel and Max.
    It showcased the difference between Daniel and Valtteri.
    It showcased the difference between Seb and Lewis.

    All done by Lewis in 1 race that he didn’t even win – crushed everyone after his team made a huge mistake…

    1. Great summary of a madman

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        15th April 2018, 19:57

        @rethla Thanks, the word “madman” suggests I’m right.

        There’s something you don’t agree with but that’s fine – you can keep it a secret. Talent doesn’t need to know our secrets:-)

        1. Don’t know what you’re on about. If you have a point you should male it. Or else, it sounds like ramblings of a madman

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            15th April 2018, 20:58

            @todfod Okay, quick breakdown:

            1. It showcased why Lewis is the best tactician of all time and best racer.
            Pretty obvious one – we’ve seen Lewis make some crazy calls and question Mercedes from the car. He sent Max off the track with a feint without even pushing him off. No need to defend but he obviously didn’t want Max leading Daniel. By putting Max on tilt, he changed the whole dynamic. Bottomline, Mercedes are leading by 1 point, Lewis could have been ahead of Seb but is 9 pts behind. Also keep in mind that Bottas didn’t win the 1st race of 2018 for Mercedes, a result that any individual racer would not want.

            2. It showcased the difference between Daniel and Max.

            Daniel kept his head cool and rode to victory – Max rode to a penalty and to P5 (should have been lower).

            This is just the break that Daniel needed – we’ll now wait and see Max’s answer and what he picks off. He’s obviously a tremendous talent but can he pull everything together. Daniel had laid down the gauntlet with his drive.

            3. It showcased the difference between Daniel and Valtteri.

            Daniel’s been vocal about Valtteri’s results in Bahrain. He proved that he wouldn’t have hesitated. I don’t think that his pass on Valtteri on lap 45 out of 56 was necessary. He overcommitted there when he needn’t have done so. The car passed a Ferrari without DRS and made quick work of a Mercedes and another Ferrari with DRS so he had a clean pass at the same spot.

            4. It showcased the difference between Seb and Lewis.

            You can see that after doing what he needed to do with Max, Lewis didn’t mount a defense against Daniel and Max. He gave them plenty of space.

            Vettel said he would have let Max through but his driving didn’t really show that. If he driven wide there, Max could have passed him and he would have avoided contact. It was completely obvious the RBs were unstoppable on the soft tyre – why even put Max to the test?

    2. Wow Michael. the way you go on an on about Hamilton is like a broken record. It has become really boring and smacks of utter childishness. It is making you look really ……………. ( I am sure somebody out there will fill in a suitable adjective for you)

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        15th April 2018, 20:03

        @angie Yeah because I couldn’t believe it when Lewis decided to defend against Max – I knew what he was doing but I could never foresee a faint that would push Mercedes ahead of Ferrari and have him close up to Vettel by such a margin
        – Lewis could have been ahead today but got very unlucky that Kimi passed him as he avoided the Vervet-crash.

        Sorry if I sound childish or like a broken record but in all fairness, Daniel didn’t stand chance of winning the race without Lewis’ childish move.

        When someone attacks the author of a comment instead of the comment, I believe we’ll both agree that the argument is very valid and the person attacking is simply resulting to childish tactics. I’m fine with it because I see a lot of those attacks against drivers calling them all kinds of things without any valid argument. At least when I make a comment, it’s usually backed by 100 valid arguments and everyone knows I enjoy a strong opposing argument and will concede defeat in the presence of a stronger argument.

        1. MB (@muralibhats)
          15th April 2018, 21:01

          Ha ha. Lewis really doesnt need to do anything to get your admiration 😂

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            16th April 2018, 0:12

            @muralibhats oh I’m extremely critical of Lewis’ pace this weekend – he was admittedly half a tenth slower than Bottas which is slow.

            BUT when he got the opportunity, he won more points than Bottas who ended in P2.

            Laugh it up but you are the one who missed the most epic move in F1 and in a championship:-) Daniel’s passes were awesome although the pass on Bottas was questionable on Lap 45 out 56 – he would have crashed had Bottas forced the issue so not only did Daniel win because Lewis helped him but Bottas let him to win. Generally, I don’t like Bottas’ lack of aggression but he was right to avoid contact with Daniel.

            Daniel had the pass on the straight which he had proven he could do without DRS on a Ferrari. That makes the passes a little more spectacular in my opinion because they all let him through seeing the incredible pace of his tyres on the corners.

            Nonetheless, he pulled it off and he deserves the smiles. The cynic in me can’t help but wonder what Daniel would have looked like with P2 or P3 had Max won but Max threw away the victory no doubt.

          2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            16th April 2018, 0:17

            @muralibhats
            oops, I meant:

            That makes the passes a little less spectacular in my opinion because they all let him through seeing the incredible pace of his tyres on the corners.

  31. Michael
    Sorry bit you cannot be serious and say Max have all coins in the correct place.
    I he would have a normal working brain it would be a double victory to Redbull today. But it seems his gread is more important then the team.
    If I would be the boss I would fire him due to incompetence at once.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      16th April 2018, 0:16

      Actually, this was the best result for Red Bull. If they want to keep Daniel and I sense they do, it’s perfect that Max didn’t win.

      If they don’t want to keep Daniel then the best result would have been Max P1 and Daniel P2/P3.

  32. Excelent race!
    Dan showing the new crash kid the way to do it.

  33. Hemingway (@)
    15th April 2018, 22:08

    I’m hearing a lot less Illuminati talk about Redbull’s win which was brought on by the teams ‘sister cars’, compared to the Ferrari’s win which was due to the Haas wheel failures in Melbourne…

    Funny that. Silly people.

  34. Ferrari miscalculated the gap needed for the undercut, and thought 2.5 seconds were enough. I’m quite sure Vettel could have opened up the gap further but was just managing the gap.

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