Sebastian Vettel on pole for Chinese Grand Prix

Verstappen had already run wide having failed to pass Lewis Hamilton but had dispatched the world champion and closing in on Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

The third row will be made up of the two Red Bull cars, showing the dominance over the last several seasons of Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull.

The win for Ricciardo is made all the more remarkable by the fact he very almost missed qualifying due to a turbo issue on Saturday, and only took to the track after a swift fix job from his own mechanics and those in Verstappen's garage.

Nico Hulkenberg was sixth for Renault, ahead of Fernando Alonso's McLaren and an upset Vettel, whose championship lead has been cut to nine points.

Kevin Magnussen was seventh for the US-owned Haas team ahead of the other Renault of Spaniard Carlos Sainz. He will be hoping to make it three wins from three in Shanghai after finishing first in both Australia and Bahrain.

However, Vettel - starting on pole - found himself behind Bottas after the teams pitted around the 20th lap. However, neither Mercedes nor Ferrari reacted to the safety vehicle with their second drivers, leaving Lewis Hamiton, who was running third, and Kimi Raikkonen - fifth after the safety auto pitted - to struggle to the end on used rubber.

The Scuderia left Raikkonen out to hold up the now second-placed Bottas, but it was the safety auto that would truly change the face of this race.

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Ricciardo had been running fifth mid-race when the safety auto was brought out to clear up debris following a clash between the Toro Rosso drivers Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley.

Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel were involved in a dramatic collision at the Chinese GP - with the Red Bull driver penalised for his actions.

Ricciardo's progress from that point was masterful.

"It (the track) is in the top three of the easier ones to overtake. but the Ferraris are too fast on the straight so it will be interesting", he said. "I just need to analyse everything and try to come back stronger for the next race".

The contrast between Ricciardo and Verstappen was stark. The Finn duly picked up the baton to set the third quickest time but was 0.743 seconds off Vettel's pace.

Meanwhile, Valtteri Bottas acknowledged that Mercedes were surprised to be so far behind Ferrari. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) +9.637 4.

Sergey Sirotkin missed out on the first Q2 appearance of his career by 0.049s and will start 16th on the grid after setting a time 0.039s faster than Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly, who will start 17th in China after finishing the Bahrain Grand Prix fourth two weeks ago. On that day it was Vettel's Red Bull, and here the German - now dressed in Ferrari red - could not hide his enthusiasm.

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