F1 2018 results: Chinese Grand Prix updates, highlights and reaction

F1 2018 results: Chinese Grand Prix updates, highlights and reaction

Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull has won the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix after an incredible race that saw a ton of overtaking and more than its fair share of action. Ricciardo started sixth on the grid, but after the final round of pit stops and a safety car, managed to carve his way up the field for a comfortable win.

Ricciardo finished ahead of Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes, who started third and led for a portion of the race before Ricciardo, on the fresher and softer tires, overtook him in the final 10 laps. The third podium spot went to Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari, who started second behind Sebastian Vettel, his teammate who had pole position for the race.

Max Verstappen finished in fourth, but a 10-second penalty put him down in fifth, behind Lewis Hamilton in fourth.

The story of Sunday’s race was the brilliant pit strategy and execution of the pit stops from Red Bull, and of course the great driving to back that up. Starting on the ultrasofts, the Red Bulls were double-stacked on the first pit stop, fitting the softs with no loss of time. Just as a mid-race safety car was called, they double-stacked the Red Bulls again, and they rejoined just behind the Mercedes and Ferrari cars — but on tires roughly 7 laps fresher.

What happened from there was beautiful, and ugly. Verstappen made a move on Raikkonen, but went wide, letting Ricciardo ahead of him. Ricciardo then chased down Hamilton, passed him brilliantly. Then he chased down Vettel, and passed him. Finally, he made a brilliant move to pass Bottas for the lead, while Verstappen and Vettel collided, resulting in both dropping positions and a top three of Ricciardo, Bottas and Raikkonen.

At the race start, Bottas and Verstappen made it past Raikkonen, who started second, around the first two turns on the opening lap. Hamilton didn’t have a great start, and remained behind Raikkonen. Vettel kept his lead though, until Mercedes executed the undercut, which put Bottas in front of Vettel, who pit the next lap.

Ferrari kept Raikkonen out there for a very long first stint, effectively killing his chances of competing for the lead despite his P2 start. He did manage to slow Bottas for a few laps, allowing Vettel to keep close — but that’s really not his objective. Ferrari were caught napping on the first round of pit stops, for certain. Things changed a whole lot with the safety car, though.

Going into the race, Vettel had won the first two grands prix of the season, with Hamilton finishing second in the first one and Bottas finishing second the last time out.

Below, you can find the full finishing order for Sunday’s race. For full updated Drivers and Constructors Championship standings, as well as a full schedule and results for the entire season, go here. You can also see our live blog from during the race below that!

F1 Chinese Grand Prix Finishing Order

Position Driver Team
Position Driver Team
1 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes
3 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull
6 Nico Hülkenberg Renault
7 Fernando Alonso McLaren
8 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari
9 Carlos Sainz Jr. Renault
10 Kevin Magnussen Haas
11 Esteban Ocon Force India
12 Sergio Pérez Force India
13 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren
14 Lance Stroll Williams
15 Sergey Sirotkin Williams
16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber
17 Romain Grosjean Haas
18 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso
19 Charles Leclerc Sauber
20 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso

Lap 56/56 FINAL

Alonso overtakes Vettel around the hairpin on Lap 55. Vettel had to go off track slightly from Alonso being aggressive on the overtake, but it doesn’t seem egregious. Alonso takes seventh place going into the final lap! Ricciardo sets a purple lap on Lap 55.

It looks like Bottas has Raikkonen covered, it’s awfully close, but Raikkonen doesn’t have much more left in the tires than Bottas does. Verstappen is pushing, but he can’t make another pass near the end. Ricciardo takes the victory! Bottas finishes in second, with Raikkonen in third! Sainz has a look on Vettel down the final turn, but can’t get it. Vettel finished in eighth place! Hamilton finishes fourth with Verstappen’s penalty!

Lap 54/56

Raikkonen is about .4 seconds back of Bottas at the end of Lap 52. Ricciardo is well in front and has this one locked down. Verstappen is chasing Raikkonen, but has that penalty. Hartley has to stop, and is the first driver to retire from the race. Alonso is fairly close to Vettel … that sure would be a satisfying overtake for the McLaren driver, but they’re running out of time.

Lap 50/56

Ricciardo clears Bottas by 4 seconds, and Verstappen makes it past Hamilton on Lap 49. But Verstappen still has the 10-second penalty to deal with. Hamilton is struggling for grip, and Vettel is instructed by his team to overtake Hulkenberg in sixth. Raikkonen is back about a second on Bottas, and it will be interesting to see if he can push for second with six laps to go.

Lap 46/56

Ricciardo’s team comes over the radio and tells him to take Vettel next. A lap later, Verstappen, with a whole lot more grip, makes the move on Hamilton and is now chasing down his teammate again! Or … maybe Vettel? Ricciardo, from way back again, screams past Vettel around the hairpin to take second place!

Verstappen tries for Vettel and there’s contact! Both cars spin! Raikkonen goes through, and Hamilton has to go very wide to avoid both of them. Vettel is then overtaken by Hulkenberg of Renault! Verstappen is being investigated.

Bottas locked up a bit before all of that, and going into Lap 45, Ricciardo is .4 seconds back of him. Wow, wow, wow, Ricciardo and Bottas go wheel to wheel and Ricciardo takes first place! He’s leading the Chinese Grand Prix!

Verstappen is given a 10 second time penalty, and it’s probably deserved. At this point in the race, he would be in ninth place if the race ended.

Lap 41/56

From waaaaaaaay back, Ricciardo overtakes Hamilton around the hairpin! It was as perfect an overtake as one can make, and Ricciardo is on the podium! At least for now. He’s about a second back of Vettel, who is about 1.2 seconds back of Bottas in first!

Lap 40/56

Gasly gets a new front wing, and both Toro Rossos get new tires during the safety car. Hamilton asks his team radio “Is it just me or are there a bunch of cars behind me with fresher tires right now?” Yeah, Lewis. That’s what’s happening. The safety car is coming in on Lap 35.

Bottas gets a good jump on Vettel. Alonso and Grosjean are battling it out for ninth position. Grosjean comes very close to taking it, but Alonso hangs on for the spot. Gasly is given a 10-second time penalty for causing a collision with Hartley, his teammate.

Raikkonen is trying to work on Verstappen, while the gap after a lap is Bottas up on Vettel by nearly 2 seconds. Ricciardo wants to attack Raikkonen now. About a lap later, he does it! On the faster soft tires, Ricciardo makes a clean move past Raikkonen for P5. Verstappen is trying hard to overtake Hamilton and … there’s some contact! Verstappen goes wide, off the track, and loses out to his teammate, now into fifth while Ricciardo is in fourth. This was around Turn 4.

Lap 33/56

Raikkonen comes in on Lap 28. He’s allowed Vettel to get close to Bottas, but he rejoins the track well behind Ricciardo, in sixth. What a poor strategy overall from Ferrari, though Vettel still has a shot at besting Bottas. Hamilton, on Lap 29, is 2.1 seconds back of Verstappen, who is 5.6 seconds back of Vettel.

Leclerc spins into the gravel at Turn 1, and is now well and truly at the back of the pack. Gasly tries to overtake his teammate, Hartley, but there was never really an open window there, and he rams into the back of him. Both cars lose pieces from the bodywork and time. Gasly is angry on the radio about Hartley “closing the door” but the door was never open.

A late safety car is deployed, and some of the cars miss out on getting into the pit lane, but both Red Bulls manage to get in, and come out with a fresh set of soft tires! This was just as the safety car was deployed, probably a brilliant move for the Red Bulls! Verstappen came out behind Hamilton, who is now P3, but he’s got the fresher tires.

Lap 27/56

Vandoorne overtaken by Hulkenberg. Vandoorne hasn’t stopped yet. Hamilton is maintaining the gap behind Verstappen, slightly making up some time. Raikkonen stays out on Lap 23. Bottas is eating into Raikkonen’s lead, though that isn’t really the battle at the moment. Is Raikkonen just out there to slow down Bottas? Vettel is about a second down of Bottas on Lap 25.

Raikkonen is definitely holding up Vettel now, and the top three are all within a second of each other. Bottas passes Raikkonen on Lap 27 around Turns 1 and 2, and Raikkonen tries to take it back! He doesn’t get it, and Vettel also makes it past Raikkonen. Vettel is right on the back of Bottas now!

Lap 22/56

Grosjean finally pits on Lap 17, and rejoins the race in 17th. Hulkenberg makes it past Sirotkin.

And now it’s Verstappen and Ricciardo, stacked in the pits! Both fit the white-striped medium tires! Brilliant work from the pit crews to execute it perfectly!

Verstappen comes out in fifth, Ricciardo in seventh, behind Magnussen. It looks like Hamilton is coming in now, with team instructions to “do the opposite of Raikkonen.”

Hamilton comes out behind Verstappen and just INCHES ahead of Magnussen, who has Ricciardo right on his rear! If Magnussen wasn’t there, it’s possible Ricciardo would have been able to stick to the back of Hamilton! Ricciardo passes Magnussen, and begins chasing Hamilton!

On Lap 19, Bottas is coming in to the pits, while Vettel is still out. Bottas comes out just ahead of Verstappen, who might have pulled off the undercut on Bottas if they waited another lap! Verstappen posts the fastest lap of the race.

They bring in Vettel on Lap 21 aaaand … the undercut works! Vettel comes out behind Bottas!

Lap 16/56

Sainz pits on Lap 12 as well, and comes out ahead of Ocon. Perez pits and comes out behind Ocon. Alonso and Grosjean are scrapping back-and-forth for ninth position, with Alonso pretty consistently in DRS range. Next is Hulkenberg, and he comes out in front of Sainz. Both make it past Leclerc easily.

Bottas is down 3.4 seconds on Vettel for first as of Lap 14, slipping out of the undercut range. Hamlton is 1.4 seconds back of Raikkonen. Verstappen, on the ultrasofts still, is nearly 6 seconds back of Bottas.

Lap 12/56

When will the Red Bulls pit? That’s the big question. Verstappen and Ricciardo aren’t gaining on Bottas or Hamilton despite the ultrasoft tires. Grosjean and Magnussen swap places after the latter complains about the former. Magnussen has the softs, while Grosjean is on used ultrasofts. Grosjean came over the team radio and was very unhappy about the switch.

Down the long straight, Hamilton makes up nearly half a second on Raikkonen on Lap 11. He’ll want to get back into DRS range, though not much is going to change until the Red Bulls come in.

The Toro Rosso of Hartley is the first in the pits, swapping out his ultrasoft tires and rejoining the race on the mediums in 20th position. Grosjean tells his team that he wants off the ultrasofts as soon as possible. Ocon tries the undercut, going in for the pit on Lap 12.

Lap 6/56

Stroll for Williams made it up to 12th from his starting spot of 18th — he benefited greatly from some scrapping among those ahead of him. Bottas is 2.5 seconds back of Vettel as of Lap 5. Hamilton is still behind Raikkonen. Both of them took it a bit safe with Verstappen coming around the outside on the opening lap, looking at the replays. Who said aggressive driving and a reputation is a bad thing?

Lap 3/56

The Force Indias of Ocon and Perez both drop down, while the Haas of Grosjean and Magnussen are both inside the top 10 after the start. By Lap 3, Vettel has 2 seconds on Bottas behind him. Verstappen isn’t far behind.

Lap 1/56

It’s much warmer today, after a very cold qualifying session. The track might be a little bit nicer on the tires as a result, but we still see conflicting strategies all throughout the grid. Formation lap underway, and now they’re lining up for the start. Here. We. Go.

Vettel cut off Raikkonen around the first turn, and Bottas managed to move up past Raikkonen to take second. And it’s Verstappen who is scrapping with Raikkonen, now, and he’s past him! Hamilton is trying a move on Raikkonen as well, and we have … what looks like no crashes around the first couple turns, so that’s a good start!

Vettel is already creating space between him and Bottas behind him!

Before the race

Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari just barely edged out his teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, for pole position going into Sunday’s Formula One Chinese Grand Prix from Shanghai International Circuit. Vettel and Raikkonen have a front-row lockout for Ferrari, ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes on the second row.

While many races on the 2018 calendar were moved back an hour later to accommodate viewers in specific countries, the race from Shanghai is one of the tougher ones: it begins at 2 a.m. ET on Sunday and will be broadcast by ESPN2. F1 announced that their over-the-top streaming service, F1 TV Pro, will launch in time for the Spanish Grand Prix.

But until then, your best options for live streaming the race are through WatchESPN, the ESPN App or fuboTV (along with any other streaming service that carries ESPN2). One positive about coverage in the United States is that ESPN has elected to go the remainder of the season without running advertisements during F1 races, after a lot of backlash following the Australian Grand Prix.

Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull made it onto the track with just seconds to spare in order to put in a lap in the first qualifying session. Ricciardo had a power unit failure in the final practice, and his team in the garage worked right up until the very last moment before releasing him in time for a lap. He managed to make it to the Q3, where he positioned himself sixth on the grid, behind teammate Max Verstappen.

Nico Hulkenberg of Renault, Sergio Perez of Force India, Carlos Sainz Jr. of Renault and Romain Grosjean of the American-owned Haas F1 Team round out the top 10 of the starting grid, in that order. Kevin Magnussen, Grosjean’s Haas teammate, will start 11th.

Pierre Gasly of Toro Rosso will start 17th after a surprisingly strong showing in Bahrain in which he finished in the points — fourth overall — and was voted as the Driver of the Day.

Below you can find all the viewing and streaming information for the race, and under that is the full starting grid and qualifying times. For an updated look at the standings and race results for the full season, go here.

Date: Sunday, April 15
Location: Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai
Time: 2 a.m. ET
Online Streaming: WatchESPN, ESPN App, fuboTV

F1 Chinese Grand Prix Starting Grid

Position Driver Team Time
Position Driver Team Time
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:31.095
2 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:31.182
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:31.625
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:31.675
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:31.796
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:31.948
7 Nico Hülkenberg Renault 1:32.532
8 Sergio Pérez Force India 1:32.758
9 Carlos Sainz Jr. Renault 1:32.819
10 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:32.855
11 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:32.986
12 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:33.057
13 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:33.232
14 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:33.505
15 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1:33.795
16 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 1:34.062
17 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1:34.101
18 Lance Stroll Williams 1:34.285
19 Charles Leclerc Sauber 1:34.454
20 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:34.914

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