Daniel Ricciardo pulled off an unlikely win in China, keeping his slim championship hopes alive in a race that proved F1 still has plenty to offer in the modern era.
- Daniel Ricciardo has a knack for being in the right spot at the right time, and loves nothing more than the chance to “lick the stamp and send it”. Helped by the late safety car (and specifically the timing of it), Ricciardo showed just what a well-rounded driver with a cool head can achieve.
- Valtteri Bottas looked sullen after the race, mostly because he’d performed on a weekend when his teammate was all at sea, undercut Vettel to wrestle the lead of the grand prix and was licking his lips anticipating a victory in his 100th race, to silence the naysayers. Poor guy did almost everything right.
- Red Bull’s mechanics not only got Daniel’s car patched up in the nick of time for him to qualify and avoid starting from the back of the grid, but pulled off multiple double-stacked pitstops to put their drivers into a race winning position. Bravo!
- Max Verstappen threw away not just a podium finish but a likely race victory. On fresh, Soft tyres and reeling in the front-runners, his failed efforts against Hamilton and particularly Vettel showed that anyone can keep their foot planted, but being the better driver takes more restraint, race-craft and nouse.
- Pierre Gasly made a meal of his planned overtake of his teammate, with the resulting debris triggering the safety car. Whether there was a miscommunication between the drivers and the team, Gasly put his car in exactly the wrong spot and smothered the residual glory of his Bahrain heroics.
- Sergio Perez qualified 8th, making it the first time a Force India driver reached Q3 this year. From there he fell down the grid, and a pitstop late in the SC period saw him again tumble down the field where he finished behind his teammate.