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Clever Bottas avoided collision with 'brutal' Ricciardo - Wolff

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Mercedes' Toto Wolff believes Daniel Ricciardo's move for the lead over Valtteri Bottas in yesterday's Chinese GP was "brutal", but helped by some clever driving by the Finn.

The Red Bull charger was landed a golden opportunity to go for an outright race win thanks to his team's decision to bring its drivers' in for fresh rubber during the Safety Car period.

Ricciardo made the most of the timely call, following it up with a spectacular charge up to the front spiced with a few daring overtaking moves on Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamitlon and Sebastian Vettel.

Fighting Bottas for the lead however, the Aussie pounced from behind and just managed to squeeze himself through Turn 6 with 12 laps to go.

The move was bold and marginal, and owed its success in part to Bottas himself, according to Wolff.

"Daniel is one of the very good drivers, and he proved it again," said the Mercedes boss.

"He was very efficient, he was able to wait for his opportunity, he was aggressive when it was needed. Overall a very good race for him.

"Maybe the manoeuvre on Valtteri was a bit... brutal. But it proved to work. He had Valtteri helping him with that, to avoid a collision. But that is racing and great."

In the heat of the moment, Bottas instinctively knew that closing the door would either compromise his exit of Turn 6 or delay the inevitable given the Red Bull driver's extra grip and speed at that point, not to mention risk a costly collision.

"He was really closing in quickly and a big pace difference," said the Finn.

"They had a really strong car and on top of that fresh tyres at that point, so seeing the pace he disappeared afterwards, it think it was only a matter of time.

"By that situation I was going to defend into Turn 6, so it was a bit of a compromise how extreme you go with it, you go very extreme, he's definitely going to get you at the exit if he can choose the line behind you.

"He tends to find space from inside even while you defend and it was just a matter of time."

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