Here are five more Chinese Grand Prix takeaways.
It’s never dull when Ricciardo wins
“I don’t seem to win boring races,” said Ricciardo on the podium – and he’s right. The Australian has now won six grands prix, and has started fourth on the grid or lower in all of them.
Ricciardo’s charge included a late but clean lunge down the inside of Hamilton at the hairpin. “Sometimes you’ve just got to lick the stamp and send it,” explained the Australian.
Ricciardo actually had his biggest drama on Saturday, when his TAG-branded Renault power unit failed in final practice (below). His mechanics finished changing the unit with minutes to spare in the first part of qualifying.
“The mechanics worked their butts off,” said Ricciardo. “The win was the real reward for all their hard work.”
Verstappen under fire again
While Ricciardo enhanced his reputation as one of F1’s best overtakers, his team-mate Verstappen enhanced his reputation for impetuosity.
After his near-miss with Hamilton cost him a shot at victory, Verstappen recovered well – until he attempted to pass Vettel for third place. The two collided, with both spinning.
Verstappen carried on, but picked up a ten-second penalty that dropped him to fifth. Vettel limped on, falling down the order to eighth. And so, having sparked a brief spat with Hamilton at the previous race in Bahrain, this week Verstappen found himself needing a chat with Vettel.
“I locked the rears and hit him. It was my fault,” said Verstappen. “It’s easy to say after that I should have waited, and that probably would have been the best idea.”
Vettel said: “He realised that he did a mistake. I said to him ‘the races are long, and you threw your podium away’. He realised he messed up, and I appreciate he came up to me straight away.”
Hamilton closes in despite ‘disaster’
Hamilton leaves China second in the championship, and just nine points behind Vettel, but he wasn’t happy after what he called “a disaster” of a weekend.
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The Brit was soundly beaten by Bottas in qualifying, and couldn’t match his team-mate or Vettel for pace in the race. He was also left to rue the fact he stayed out on old tyres when the Red Bull drivers behind him ducked into the pits.