After securing a 2nd place start on grid, Daniel Ricciardo overcame some bad luck to finish fourth behind Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes in the Chinese Grand Prix to claim the `best performance of his career’.
Ricciardo did exceptionally well to start from second on the grid, then take the lead in corner one from Rosberg who was in pole position, before a left rear tyre puncture took him out on the third lap of the race.
After a pit stop, he re-entered the race in 15th position, however his exceptional driving skills helped him speed past his competition to finish in fourth place.
Unfortunately not good enough for a podium finish which went to teammate Daniil Kvyat, who took third in the other Red Bull, and Sebastian Vettel second in his Ferrari. Rosberg had first place in his Mercedes.
“There were some incidents on the first lap so I saw some debris, but it didn’t seem like I caught a big bit or anything, so (the puncture) was pretty unexpected,” Ricciardo said.
“I guess it was unlucky, and then the safety car put us even further back, so that was a double whammy – it felt like getting punched in the stomach by a heavyweight.
“But from there it was probably the best race of my career.”
“I felt I could have been spraying champagne, but part of me is still smiling because we’ll get other opportunities.”
Rosberg was of course very happy with the weekend as it saw him clock up his third win as well as place him further ahead on points to teammate Louis Hamilton, who did very well himself to finished seventh after starting from last on the grid after engine failure in qualifying.
“It was a great weekend here for me in China. It’s a special place for me – first pole, first win here (in 2012),” Rosberg said.
“I was just pushing to try to get the best gap possible. I’m glad that it worked out so well.”
In the current season, Rosberg leads the drivers’ championship with Hamilton second and Ricciardo in a respectable third.