- Daniel Ricciardo takes DHL Fastest Lap in Chinese Grand Prix
- Red Bull driver posts the fastest race lap for eleventh time in his career
- Ricciardo takes lead in DHL Fastest Lap Award
Daniel Ricciardo takes DHL Fastest Lap in Shanghai
Finally, another shoey on the Formula 1 podium! Thanks to a masterly feat of strategy by Red Bull Racing, Daniel Riccardo was able to win the Chinese Grand Prix and secure his sixth F1 victory and first since the Azerbaijan GP back in 2017.
The Australian’s position on the grid did not look too promising. Ricciardo was in sixth place after a difficult qualifying session, but the race went his way when the race director sent the safety car out onto the track following a collision between Toro Rosso drivers Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly on Lap 30, prompting the Red Bull’s pit wall crew to respond with lightning speed.
The crew brought Ricciardo and teammate Max Verstappen into the pits immediately after one another, bolting on fresh soft tires. While all the other drivers stayed out, Red Bull gained a decisive advantage for the final phase of the race, which Ricciardo used to secure the win.
While Verstappen clashed with both Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel and was not a contender in the battle for the lead, Ricciardo produced a whole series of overtaking maneuvers before finally passing Valtteri Bottas to take P1 on Lap 45.
The Australian subsequently drew away from his opponents, outpacing Bottas by just under nine seconds and burning the DHL Fastest Lap into the tarmac on the penultimate lap with a time of 1:35.785 to round off an outstanding performance.
"At the start of the race I thought we could fight for a podium but I didn’t really expect a win; then after the safety car and when I could see the way the race was going I knew we had a chance. Once I had a sniff of victory I wasn’t going to let it go", Ricciardo summarized the race.
Fastest laps: FORMULA 1 2018 HEINEKEN CHINESE GRAND PRIX
- 01 Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull): 1:35.785 - on Lap 55
- 02 Max Verstappen (Red Bull): 1:36.206 - on Lap 50
- 03 Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari): 1:36.456 - on Lap 48
- 04 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): 1:36.878 - on Lap 20
- 05 Nico Hülkenberg (Renault): 1:36.881 - on Lap 56
- 06 Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes): 1:36.987 - on Lap 50
- 07 Fernando Alonso (McLaren): 1:37.234 - on Lap 56
- 08 Romain Grosjean (Haas): 1:37.410 - on Lap 51
- 09 Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari): 1:37.479 - on Lap 24
- 10 Sergio Pérez (Force India): 1:37.673 - on Lap 54
History: DHL Fastest Laps in the FORMULA 1 CHINESE GRAND PRIX
Michael Schumacher still holds the lap record for the Shanghai International Circuit. The seven-time world champion covered the 5.4-kilometer track in 2004 on the debut of the Chinese GP in 1:32.238, about 2.5 seconds faster than Ricciardo.
However, Sebastian Vettel set a new track record in qualifying. The Ferrari driver stormed into pole position in 1:31.095, beating Lewis Hamilton’s previous record from qualifying last season by just under six tenths.
Ricciardo takes lead in DHL Fastest Lap Award
This was Daniel Ricciardo’s second DHL Fastest Lap of the season following his home race in Australia, giving him the overall lead in the DHL Fastest Lap Award. Valtteri Bottas, who was the fastest man in Bahrain, is in second place.
Ricciardo has now achieved a total of eleven fastest race laps during his career, putting him in 31st place on the list of all-time greats.