Daniel Ricciardo won the Chinese Grand Prix after championship leader Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen collided during a thrilling race.
Ricciardo started from sixth place, taking advantage of an excellent pit stop strategy to chase his rivals, hauling in Lewis Hamilton, Valterri Bottas, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel with amazing manoeuvres under brakes.
Valtteri Bottas aiming for victory after Ferrari made an error which allowed Bottas to move ahead of Vettel during their pit stop.
The race shifted when the safety car was deployed following a collision between the Toro Rosso pair of Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly on the 31st lap.
Ricciardo and Verstappen diverted to the pits to strap on fresh tires which paid off for Ricciardo as he passed Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton, Vettel and finally Bottas for a big win.
Verstappen, who was ahead of Ricciardo, ruined his chance of victory, when he ran off road while attempting to make his way past Hamilton and then later struck Vettel.
The collision caused Vettel to finish in eighth place which allowed Hamilton to reach fourth after Verstappen received a 10-second penalty.
McLaren's Fernando Alonso overtook Vettel for seventh place on the penultimate lap.
"I don't seem to win boring races," Ricciardo said after claiming victory. "That was unexpected. It was hectic. I heard the safety car call a turn 14 and they said we are going to stop. It happened very quickly, but it was a decisive, winning move.”
Daniel Ricciardo has announced himself happy with the first day of running with his new Red Bull-Renault RB11. He ended the day fourth fastest, behind former team-mate Sebastian Vettel, Sauber’s surprise package Marcus Ericsson and Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes. Ricciardo logged 35 laps, but did suffer battery and engine problems during the opening day.
“It seemed OK, we got going pretty well this morning and got a few laps under my belt,” said Ricciardo. “We didn’t do a whole lot of laps, but more than last year! The boys got the car ready overnight, and everything is behaving as it should. “A good day one, and we will keep improving from here. First impressions are good, so far, everything seems pretty encouraging. “There are some positive signs today. We understand what we’re running here, and it’s good. We still need to refine driveability, but generally it’s positive. Too early to say [if it’s a big step forward] but I think it is.”
Ricciardo admitted he felt that Renault had made a step with the engine, but was also impressed with the huge amount of laps that Rosberg ran (157) with the Mercedes. “Its not really a surprise, they had a pretty awesome package last year,” he said. “But that’s a lot of laps for day one, yeah!”