Monday, 24 September, 2018


Daniel Ricciardo surprised to take part in Chinese GP qualifying

Daniel Ricciardo surprised to take part in Chinese GP qualifying Daniel Ricciardo surprised to take part in Chinese GP qualifying
Noah Ferguson | 15 April, 2018, 11:54

Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull Racing team boss Christian Horner were full of praise praise for the team's mechanics after they performed a last-minute power unit change prior to qualifying on Saturday for the F1 Chinese Grand Prix.

Ricciardo had been running fifth mid-race when the safety vehicle was brought out to clear up debris following a clash between the Toro Rosso drivers Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley.

Vettel had retained position off the line and covered off Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, the move allowing Valtteri Bottas to jump into second and Verstappen up to third.

But despite his impressive start, Verstappen ended up getting a 10 second penalty for causing a collision with Sebastian Vettel later in the race.

Horner pumped his fists as Ricciardo accounted for Hamilton, who moaned petulantly that he should have been given the same fresh tyres as the Red Bulls.

Vettel nonetheless holds the advantage in the championship, nine points ahead of a subdued Lewis Hamilton.

Vettel opened a three-second buffer to Bottas, with the picture still unclear as to whether a one- or two-stop strategy would be quicker.

Ricciardo started from the third row, but took advantage when the safety auto came out on the 31st lap - of 56 laps _ to allow him to get fresh tires. He collided with Vettel, spinning the Ferrari man down to seventh.

Ricciardo is out of contract this year, and Red Bull is monitoring sister team Toro Rosso's progress with Honda engines.

Just days after retiring on the opening lap of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo appeared to suffer another major setback when his turbocharger detonated in a cloud of smoke leaving it doubtful whether he would even get to take part in qualifying.

Bottas came under pressure from compatriot Raikkonen during the closing stages but held on to take the runner-up spot.

His teammate Verstappen had a more dramatic time of things.

"We had a bit going on but I'm very happy to have got it done - for the boys as well, they worked their arse off for two hours and if we'd just missed it by a minute it would have been heartbreaking".

Gasly, penalised for causing the contact with Hartley, ultimately took 18th, with Charles Leclerc the final classified runner in 19th, having spun through Turn 1, and was lucky to escape from the gravel.

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