Formula 1 was at its enthralling best as the Chinese Grand Prix delivered box office action and an unexpected winner to blow the championship battle wide open.
Daniel Ricciardo demonstrated his supreme race craft after Red Bull rolled the dice by making a second pitstop during a mid-race safety car. While Ferrari and Mercedes had committed to the one-stop approach, Ricciardo and team-mate Max Verstappen were equipped with fresh soft tyres at the restart.
Delivering “wicked pace” in the 10 laps that immediately followed, Ricciardo scythed his way through the field. Textbook overtakes at the Turn 14 hairpin on Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton were followed by a DRS cruise to dispatch Sebastian Vettel. A grand finale was then delivered in the form of a decisive lunge to the inside of race-leader Valtteri Bottas at Turn 6.
Ricciardo’s sixth career victory was his finest yet. He was followed home by Bottas in second place and Raikkonen in third. Championship leader Vettel limped across the line in eighth after a clash with an over-ambitious Verstappen at the apex of Turn 14.
The 2018 Chinese GP will live long in the memory of F1 fans. Here’s how we rate the 20 drivers who played a part in this modern classic.