Ricciardo battles back after opening lap chaos

HECTIC START: Daniel Ricciardo defends from Sebastian Vettel into Turn 1 at Hockenheim, as drama unfolds ahead. 498745257
HECTIC START: Daniel Ricciardo defends from Sebastian Vettel into Turn 1 at Hockenheim, as drama unfolds ahead. 498745257

Daniel Ricciardo was inches away from being eliminated in the frightening first corner crash at Hockenheim during Sunday’s German Grand Prix.

The Australian narrowly avoided Felipe Massa’s toppling Williams, after the Brazilian turned into Kevin Magnussen’s McLaren on the opening lap.

Ricciardo, who himself was defending from team-mate Sebastian Vettel took to the run-off area, just avoiding Massa’s car, but dropping him down the field.

While Vettel battled for most of the afternoon in fourth place with Fernando Alonso, Ricciardo fought his way back through the pack.

As Vettel consolidated his fourth place in the final stages, Alonso first overtook, but then had to vehemently defend from the hard charging Ricciardo late in the race as the pair diced for fifth place.

The pair were separated by less than a tenth of a second at the chequered flag.

The result sees Ricciardo remain third in the driver’s championship, while world champion Vettel slipped to sixth.

Red Bull Racing are still comfortably second in the constructor’s standings.