Party-pooper Hamilton focused only on winning 1000th race

Party-pooper Hamilton focused only on winning 1000th race

Party-pooper Hamilton focused only on winning 1000th race

The 31-year-old German's errors helped hand the title to Hamilton last season and by his high standards Vettel has had an indifferent start to this campaign.

"You're trying to be nice but everybody's just f****** it up".

The Chinese Grand Prix has a habit of throwing up exciting races with mixed strategies, but tyre supplier Pirelli has predicted a one-stop on Sunday.

Verstappen was sentenced to two days of public service by Formula One's governing body after he shoved Esteban Ocon three times following the conclusion of last November's race in Brazil.

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel led Friday's practice sessions ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix.

Leclerc aborted his first quick lap on the qualifying simulation runs and when he did finally try again after a number of slow laps he was not able to approach Vettel's pace.

That said, as Mercedes locked out the front row in a closely fought contest, eventually aced by Valtteri, what might the race bring? I know the things I need to work on, I probably need to change a bit my driving style and with the team working together we can find a direction to make it a bit more suitable to myself.

The afternoon session was quicker overall with Bottas clocking 1 minute, 33.330 seconds on the track located about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from downtown Shanghai. Teammate Pierre Gasly also failed to cross the line in time, as did Haas drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean.

Shanghai has also been a happy hunting ground for current champion Lewis Hamilton, who has won here no fewer than five times, though he may want to forget his first Chinese Grand Prix in 2007. 'It was definitely not a ideal race, very different from Melbourne, but it was nothing to worry about as everything is understood'.

"I calculate that we have won 3.7% of the 1,000 races", Damon Hill said.

Former F1 driver Jolyon Palmer, who left Renault during the 2017 season, called Vettel's spin in Bahrain - where he was duelling with Hamilton - "amateur".

Max Verstappen lifted his Red Bull into fourth with their upgrades. The Finn was on hard tires and immediately spun at Turn 1 when exiting the pits, while Hamilton was on mediums when he got a little further and swapped ends at Turn 2 in a sign of how lower tire blanket temperatures can affect grip.

It was pretty poor from most teams to leave it this late and Mercedes got their strategy right and benefitted.

Due to Newey's brilliance providing Vettel a scintillating auto, this enabled the German to claim four straight championships, highlighting how Newey can engineer title winning cars in many different generations - following his success with Williams and McLaren in the 1990s.

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