It looked like Ricciardo had been put after a blown engine in Saturday & rsquo too for another unsatisfactory weekend in China;s final practice session induced him to overlook qualifying.
Raikkonen's teammate and championship leader Sebastian Vettel finished a lowly eighth following a collision with Red Bull's Max Verstappen, which earned the Dutch driver a 10-second penalty.
A Red Bull strategy gamble sent Daniel Ricciardo on his way to victory in Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix as the Australian Formula 1 driver charged from sixth place with 20 laps to go to grab the race win.
However, when a mid-race Safety Car was deployed, Ricciardo dived back into the pits to fit a new set of soft tyres, returned to the track and began picking his way through the field, taking the lead from Valtteri Bottas on lap 45 and never looking back.
Ricciardo didn't have to battle his team-mate, passing him when his move on Hamilton failed, then fought through the front runners easily, completing a brilliant move on Valtteri Bottas for the lead into Turn 6, cruising to victory in the end by almost 10 seconds.
"I don't seem to win boring races", he grinned from the podium before chugging the champagne from his racing boot in a trademark "shoey".
But that shouldn't eschew Bottas' magnificent effort in, first, passing third-placed Kimi Raikkonen in the opening lap, and then defending an attack from his fellow Finn in the final corners.
Ricciardo said he knew he had a great chance with the fresh rubber.
"That was obviously giving us a good little bit of grip on the restart", Ricciardo said.
"We didn't assume we went to escape only in qualifying and over twenty four hours later, now to be here.this game'so insane".
Shocker: While it was celebrations for one Red Bull it was disappointment for the other.
Kimi showed signs of abrasiveness when he was squeezed aggressively by Vettel into Turn One and then passed by Bottas. He finished fourth instead.
Ricciardo dived in for new soft tyres with 23 laps remaining, while erstwhile leader Bottas and his main challenger Sebastian Vettel stayed out on mediums having passed the pitlane entry before the safety auto was deployed. Bottas has 40 points in third place and Ricciardo is fourth with 37. I'm so damn, super grateful which they assisted me pull off this today. With 12 laps to go, Ricciardo made a courageous pass on Bottas heading into Turn 6, forcing the Mercedes driver to yield the position. The German had been leading from pole-position but he and Ferrari were blindsided during their tyre stop on lap 21 when Bottas managed to produce a fast out-lap after pitting a lap earlier. The team opted to sacrifice Raikkonen's race to try and get back ahead, keeping Vettel's teammate out in a bid to back Bottas up. I could tell that obviously we had the advantage coming in at the safety auto and having those softs.
The Australian, who started sixth after nearly missing qualifying, made the most of fresher tires to finish 8.8 seconds ahead of Valtteri Bottas in a Mercedes.
What a difference a week makes. With nothing to lose, Red Bull's pit-wall crew immediately called in their drivers Max Verstappen and Ricciardo in to change their tyres from the harder medium compound Pirellis to the soft compound tyres.
"This sport's insane", he said.
"This sport's insane, a week ago I was with my head down after two weeks and frustrated at the sport, frustrated at all the variables that are involved in the sport". Sometimes I question why I chose this sport.