Driver Power Rankings after 2018 Chinese Grand Prix
Apr 16, 2018, 11:09
At that point I knew that we had a vehicle to win and I wasn't going to be satisfied until I was in the lead.
"I don't seem to win boring races", he grinned from the podium, before chugging the champagne from his racing boot in a trademark "shoey".
Three races into the 2018 season, Vettel has two wins, Ricciardo has the most recent win, and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport's Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, Vettel's teammate Kimi Raikkonen and Ricciardo's teammate Max Verstappen have still not yet won a race.
"The team told me I needed the best out-lap of my life", Bottas said, and I knew it was possible to get the undercut if we got everything ideal, the entry to the pits, the stop, which was the best I've ever had with the team, and then switching the medium tyres on quickly. Ferrari responded by keeping Raikkonen out long enough so that he could try and back Bottas into the pursuing Vettel when they came up to overtake him by the 26th lap, but when the older Finn finally pitted for medium tyres on the 27th lap, Bottas was still in control of Vettel even though he was nursing his right rear tyre.
"That was obviously giving us a good little bit of grip on the restart", Ricciardo said. He led for the first 20 laps but fell back, first due to a pit stop and then after a collision with Red Bull's Max Verstappen on the 43rd lap. Hamilton, the four-time and defending champion, improved his season points total to 45.
Bottas was in the lead at that stage ahead of Vettel, having overhauled the German during the pitstops, while Verstappen was fourth and Ricciardo sixth.
"Saturday and Sunday felt like a disaster from my side", Hamilton said. They barely made it, with mechanics seen snapping pieces of the car's body back into place with about a minute to spare.
Bottas acknowledged Mercedes still "has work to do".
While he was given a huge helping hand by Red Bull's decision to pit him behind the Safety Car - putting him on new ultras for the final stint of the race - he still had to pass several drivers, including world champions Vettel, Hamilton and Raikkonen. "Just depending on the conditions and whoever gets the tires and the set up right". "I don't think I have to say anything here", a disgusted Vettel said over his radio in an obvious reference to the Dutchman's aggressive style. Having brought both cars in for medium tyres at the same time earlier in the race, and pulled it off, they boldly did the same thing again this time while the field was running slowly, switching them from mediums to the faster softs.
"The safety auto was so unlucky for us", exclaimed Bottas over the radio.
Elsewhere, Renault's Nico Hulkenberg finished a fine sixth, with teammate Carlos Sainz ninth and Haas driver Kevin Magnussen rounding out the top ten.
What a difference a week makes. "Frustrated at the sport, frustrated at all the variables involved in the sport", Ricciardo said. "This sport's insane. A week ago I had my head down after two laps". Sometimes I question why I chose this sport. "But then when you have a day like this it's worth 50 of those bad ones". It does get you down a lot.
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