Daniel Ricciardo: 'I thought I was starting the race in 20th'

Forced to retire after a single lap at the Bahrain Grand Prix, a disconsolate Daniel Ricciardo was left "heartbroken....

Posted: Apr 16, 2018 2:43 PM
Updated: Apr 16, 2018 2:43 PM

Forced to retire after a single lap at the Bahrain Grand Prix, a disconsolate Daniel Ricciardo was left "heartbroken."

What a difference a week makes.

Daniel Ricciardo speaks to CNN's The Circuit

Red Bull driver credits mechanics for making Chinese GP win possible

Australian "would like to think" he's back in title race

The Red Bull driver claimed a thrilling victory in Shanghai on Sunday, reaffirming his reputation as the most accomplished overtaker in Formula One.

"Oh, it's starting to kind of sink in now, but just a crazy, crazy afternoon," Ricciardo told CNN's The Circuit after the sixth race win of his career and his first of 2018.

"A week ago, I genuinely just felt heartbroken. The sport does that. I obviously try not to let it get to me. But it can get you up and down and I was pretty emotional about it.

"Then today, having that high... It kind of takes you back to all the sacrifices and the little things over time. You think about your family ... I nearly broke down on the podium. It was fun nonetheless!"

'Everyone did their bit'

The Australian's smile was a mile wide as he celebrated by drinking champagne from one of his shoes -- his trademark "shoey" -- but it could so easily have been another difficult day.

A major engine failure during final practice meant Ricciardo came within minutes of starting from the back of the grid.

It took a Herculean effort by the Red Bull team just to get his car ready for qualifying, with Ricciardo eventually starting in sixth position.

"Lunchtime Saturday, I thought I was starting the race in 20th," Ricciardo admitted, after flames had erupted from the back of his RB14 car. "That's really where I was."

"The mechanics got the car out and allowed us to start further up the grid. They made the win possible."

The 28-year-old also had the team's strategy to thank, as Red Bull took full advantage of the safety car on lap 33 of 56, deploying fresh "soft" tires at the optimum time.

"It meant we could attack at the end, and that was a fast car those last 20 or so laps," Ricciardo explained, having utilized his added race pace to sweep past the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas to seize the lead.

"Everyone put in their bit. I did the overtakes, they made the other calls. Everyone really can be so proud today. It's awesome."

READ: "I don't win boring races" -- Ricciardo

READ: Red Bull looking to "close the gap" on rivals

Title contender?

Ricciardo's win leaves the championship wide open, with fewer than 25 points separating the top five drivers after three races.

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel took maximum points in Melbourne and Bahrain, but had to be content with eighth place Sunday following a collision with Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

It means Ricciardo could conceivably leapfrog Bottas, Hamilton and Vettel should results go his way in Azerbaijan later this month -- a grand prix he won last season.

Visit CNN.com/motosport for more news and features

Is he now right back in the title race?

"We'll see!" grinned Ricciardo. "After a day like today, you'd like to think so, but we need a few more days like this. Might have to get a few more shoes..."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 67857

Reported Deaths: 2975
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion14710719
Lake7037269
Elkhart458276
Allen3611157
St. Joseph311479
Hamilton2489104
Cass17509
Hendricks1742105
Vanderburgh170012
Johnson1648118
Porter117439
Tippecanoe109411
Clark107545
Madison84265
LaPorte82929
Kosciusko81612
Howard80464
Marshall74222
Bartholomew73847
Floyd68444
Monroe68430
Noble63528
Delaware63352
Boone63246
Dubois62412
Hancock61637
Jackson5514
LaGrange54210
Shelby50926
Warrick50230
Grant49629
Vigo46810
Dearborn46128
Morgan41832
Henry36118
Clinton3523
White34510
Montgomery33821
Lawrence32627
Wayne3159
Decatur31332
Harrison28922
Miami2582
Scott24710
Daviess24319
Greene23834
DeKalb2214
Putnam2218
Jennings20712
Franklin20510
Jasper2032
Steuben1993
Gibson1984
Ripley1887
Perry17112
Starke1647
Orange16324
Wabash1583
Posey1570
Fayette1547
Jefferson1492
Whitley1486
Fulton1442
Carroll1422
Wells1312
Knox1290
Huntington1183
Washington1151
Spencer1133
Newton10910
Tipton1065
Randolph1024
Clay975
Jay820
Adams812
Rush794
Owen781
Sullivan751
Pulaski711
Brown701
Fountain632
Benton600
Blackford532
Ohio504
Parke451
Pike450
Switzerland430
Crawford420
Martin420
Vermillion380
Union320
Warren191
Unassigned0200

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 93031

Reported Deaths: 3529
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin17107514
Cuyahoga12646477
Hamilton9110247
Lucas4852318
Montgomery402477
Summit3248217
Marion287544
Butler268359
Mahoning2393253
Pickaway235242
Stark1679132
Lorain162076
Warren160035
Columbiana157060
Trumbull1421103
Fairfield123825
Delaware119418
Licking111642
Clark107613
Lake103435
Wood91058
Clermont83510
Medina83133
Miami76837
Tuscarawas74613
Portage71160
Allen64642
Greene61911
Belmont58926
Ashtabula53845
Richland53610
Geauga52843
Mercer52213
Erie51627
Wayne49258
Ross3874
Huron3714
Ottawa35225
Athens3441
Madison32910
Sandusky32917
Holmes3206
Darke31627
Hancock3152
Lawrence2160
Union2141
Auglaize2135
Jefferson2043
Washington19722
Putnam19317
Coshocton1856
Scioto1851
Muskingum1781
Knox1652
Crawford1645
Preble1642
Morrow1582
Shelby1574
Seneca1533
Hardin15012
Clinton1466
Fulton1391
Ashland1303
Defiance1294
Highland1271
Williams1233
Logan1201
Wyandot1195
Brown1121
Guernsey1106
Hocking1089
Carroll1075
Henry1061
Champaign1051
Perry1052
Fayette940
Monroe9018
Van Wert681
Pike660
Jackson650
Paulding590
Gallia571
Adams532
Vinton302
Meigs240
Morgan200
Harrison191
Noble160
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Broken Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 75°
Angola
Few Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 79°
Huntington
Broken Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 79°
Decatur
Broken Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 79°
Van Wert
Scattered Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 81°
More scattered rain & storms on Monday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events