Daniel Ricciardo thanked his Red Bull mechanics for their down-to-the-wire repair job on his car during qualifying after he took victory in the Chinese Grand Prix.
The team had only 30 seconds to spare when they finished installing a new power unit in his car in time for him to take part in qualifying yesterday.
Ricciardo got his breakthrough in the race when the team used a Safety Car period to put both drivers on an attacking strategy.
“It was hectic. I heard ‘Safety Car in turn 14’ and they said ‘we’re going to double-stop, come, come’.”
With fresher tyres, Ricciardo was able to attack the cars ahead. Team mate Max Verstappen went off while trying to pass Lewis Hamilton, handing Ricciardo his first position.
Ricciardo then successfully passed the Mercedes. “Sometimes you’ve just got to lick the stamp and send it,” he said. “I enjoyed it very much.”
“Obviously we had the soft tyres, I knew we could get a little bit more out of the braking than them. A lot of the time you get one chance to try. I made the most of every opportunity.”
After taking Sebastian Vettel, Ricciardo’s pass on Valtteri Bottas won him the race.
“It was close,” he said. “I think it was hard but fair.”
“I knew there would always be enough room and the tyres had pretty good grip so worst case, I went wide and I had another crack somehow.”
2018 F1 season
- Honda’s jet division helped F1 engineers solve power unit problem
- McLaren Racing losses rise after Honda split
- Ricciardo: Baku “s***show” was Red Bull’s fault
- “Drive to Survive Episode 1: All to Play For” reviewed
- F1’s television and social media audiences rose last year