SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo won a sensational Chinese Grand Prix in thrilling style on Sunday (April 15), when he stormed through the field from sixth place after taking on fresh tyres under a safety car.
The Australian, who only made it into qualifying with seconds to spare after his blown engine had to be rebuilt, took the lead with just 10 laps to go in Shanghai when he charged past race leader Valtteri Bottas, who finished second in a Mercedes. Kimi Raikkonen was third for Ferrari.
The Italian giants' championship leader Sebastian Vettel, who led from pole until the first set of tyre stops, dropped back to finish eighth after colliding with Max Verstappen, who was penalised 10 seconds for hitting the German.
Defending world champion Lewis Hamilton crossed the line fifth behind Verstappen but was promoted to fourth after the Dutchman's penalty was applied. That allowed him to cut Vettel's overall lead from 17 points to nine.
The Briton set a Formula One record of 28 successive scoring finishes but was in no mood for celebrating.
"I was in no man's land today. I had no pace so I was just trying to hold on for whatever I had," the Mercedes driver told reporters. "I had the older tyre on and I was running out of it."
Mercedes have now been beaten three races in a row for the first time in the V6 turbo hybrid era that started in 2014.
Verstappen accepted blame for the collision with Vettel but rejected a suggestion that he might need to calm down his driving style.
"I could see him struggling on the tyres and tried to brake late into the corner and locked the rears a bit and hit him, so that was of course my fault," he told Sky Sports television.
"It's easy to say afterwards I should have waited, it probably would have been the best idea but unfortunately it happened."
The pair were seen talking things through afterwards.
The Red Bull driver has damaged his chances already this season, retiring in Bahrain last weekend after a clash with Hamilton. He lost out again on Sunday when he tried to pass Hamilton, who has already spoken of Verstappen's inexperience costing Red Bull precious points.