First up for Ricciardo was a brilliant overtake on Lewis Hamilton, with the Mercedes driver then losing his position to Verstappen, after the Dutchman had gone off earlier at Turn 4 trying to overtake.
Ricciardo got quicker and quicker and took the lead on the 45th lap of the 56-lap race, overtaking Valtteri Bottas with a dive on the inside past the Mercedes driver.
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.
But Ricciardo was super aggressive in his efforts.
Red Bull's win adds a fresh wrinkle to a season in which Ferrari had surged out in front, with Vettel stunning Hamilton and Mercedes by taking the first two races of the season.
"Given where we were 24 hours ago, thanks to the boys", he said from the podium.
With Ricciardo spraying the champagne, Max Verstappen was left licking his wounds after throwing away his own chance of victory with a pair of rash moves on Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel - a 10-second penalty for the second incident dropped him to fifth place.
The Red Bull man was unsurprisingly handed a ten-second penalty but that was of absolutely no concern to team-mate Ricciardo as he found an impossible gap to take Bottas and the race lead.
Red Bull's pitwall and tacticians are levels above any other team on the grid and this was highlighted in the late call to pit when the safety vehicle was deployed on lap 31.
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The Australian than powered off into the distance to secure his first victory since last year's Azerbaijan Grand Prix, with Bottas second for the second successive race.
"I guess the plan was to still hold off a little bit [on negotiations]", he said. I feel every win I have had has been in similar circumstances. "I just haven't had the pace since yesterday (Saturday), and I struggled with the auto".
"We are the second-or third-fastest team at the moment, so we have some improving to do, but that's not impossible". "We were giving everything we had and it kind of felt like we deserved victory".
"I saw him defend so I wanted to go shallower but I thought about pulling out..."
Still, Gasly's Red Bull paymasters won't be too upset, since the safety vehicle period to clean up the debris helped the senior team somewhat.
"In the end we would have needed the soft tyres to really go for it".
"We were going pretty well and we were looking strong until the safety auto", he said.
"It is disappointing. We gave it everything we had", said Bottas.
"Sometimes I question why I chose this sport because there's so many other things out of your control and it does get you down a lot".