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Ricciardo storms to win when Verstappen hits Vettel

Daniel Ricciardo overtook Valtteri Bottas to score an amazing first win of the 2018 Formula One season when Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel collided in a wild Chinese Grand Prix.

Bottas and Vettel engaged in their own battle for victory until Ricciardo and Verstappen re-compete for fresh and soft tires during a period of safety after half of their rivals.

Ricciardo then overtook teammate Lewis Hamilton and Vettel in quick succession before executing an impressive pass on Bottas in the tight right of lap 6 for the victory.

Bottas battled recovered Kimi Raikkonen to claim third place, after Verstappen tipped the fork with 14 laps remaining.

Vettel led from pole in the first stage and built a lead of just over three seconds over Bottas, and Mercedes moved first in strategy when facing Bottas on lap 19.

Ferrari ] reacted a ter lap, but a large middle sector of Bottas helped him to move to turn 1 when Vettel left the pits.

Bottas consolidated that advantage for the next twelve laps until Vettel had a brief opportunity to attack when they caught Raikkonen, who was running a much longer opening streak.

Raikkonen kept Bottas back in the hairpin at the end of the lap, but could not stop an aggressive attack from his Finnish teammate around Turn 1 immediately afterwards.

Vettel imitated him quickly and pressed Bottas in turn 6, but was rejected, and Bottas withdrew from the DRS range when the two Toro Rossos collided with the fork.

Pierre Gasly miscalculated a movement about Brendon Hartley and spun them both, fouling the track with broken carbon fiber and glass mirrors that required a safety car to clean it.

Verstappen and Ricciardo, who were on the third and fifth side of Hamilton after a good first stage in ultrasoft s with the others in soft, immediately dived for the pits and joined the fourth and sixth.

Ricciardo did a brief job with Raikkonen, who had just changed mediums before the safety car and also stayed out, before catching the close-knit Hamilton and Verstappen.

He passed his teammate when Verstappen went off the track trying to get Hamilton through the outside of Turn 7, and then nailed Hamilton to the fork.

At this point, Ricciardo was 2.8 seconds from the lead, but he hacked into that gap and swiftly passed through Vettel on the backstroke using DRS.

Bottas had a small blockade shortly after Ricciardo came in second, and with 12 laps left he went from nose to tail.

Ricciardo acted Quickly in turn 4, getting into Bottas even though his opponent defended himself and forced him to grant the place.

From then on, he shot out to win by 8.8s as Bottas stopped Raikkonen, who received a free pass to the third when Verstappen strikes Vettel.

Verstapp had caught Vettel on lap 43 and attempted an opportunistic movement inside the fork while Vettel ran deep.

But the two collided when Vettel entered and both turned in unison, delaying Hamilton in the process.

They rejoined but Verstappen picked up a time penalty of 10 seconds, so even though he recovered the fourth on the road, he fell in fifth place, behind Hamilton, in the results.

That was not a consolation for Vettel, who dropped to eighth in the flag after fighting after the contact and was approved by Renault's Nico Hulkenberg and McLaren by Fernando Alonso .

Behind Vettel, furious at Alonso's aggressive step through the complex of Turn 1-2, Carlos Sainz and Kevin Magnussen completed the finishing points.


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