Daniel Ricciardo produced an overtaking masterclass on his way to winning the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday, saying that some of his daring moves were akin to licking a letter stamp and sending it.
The Australian benefitted from a well-timed safety car, sticking on a fresh set of the yellow-walled soft tyres, while his rivals stayed out on wearing mediums. After rejoining in sixth place, he worked his way through the field, pulling off two on-the-edge overtakes on the Mercedes pair.
Ricciardo dove up the inside of Lewis Hamilton at the Turn 14, pulling off another one of his famous late lunges. He then took the lead of the race away from Valtteri Bottas, fitting his car through a tight gap created by the Finn at Turn 4.
"It was hectic," said Ricciardo. "I heard ‘Safety Car’ in Turn 14 and they said ‘we’re gonna double stop 'come come in the box’ and yeah, it happened very quickly but yeah, very decisive move, winning moves also from the team so thanks a lot and yeah, fat lip and all I got the win.
"Sometimes you’ve just got to lick the stamp and send it so there we go, I enjoyed it very much. Obviously, we had the soft tyre so I knew I could always get a little bit more out of the braking than them so a lot of the time you get one chance to try so I made the most of the opportunity.”
Ricciardo came very close to making contact with Bottas while executing the move for the lead. Speaking about the overtake, he admitted that it was close but he knew that there was always going to be room to slide his Red Bull into.
"Yeah, it was close you know, I think it was hard but fair but I saw him defend so I wanted to go shallow up but then he came a bit more so I thought about pulling out, no, I’m just kidding! No, I knew there would always be enough room and then the tyres had pretty good grip so… Worst case I went wide and I would have another crack somewhere else."