Sebastian Vettel anticipated Max Verstappen's overtaking strategy in China

Sebastian Vettel anticipated Max Verstappen's overtaking strategy in China

Mercedes-AMG driver Lewis Hamilton won Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix, the milestone 1,000th championship race held under Formula 1 regulations.

The crash for the Formula One rookie driver came in the final minutes of practice with Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes clocking the fastest time - 1 minute, 32.830 seconds. China was the third consecutive race Ferrari had told Leclerc to either not overtake Vettel or to let him pass - in Australia he did as he was told, but in Bahrain he ignored the order and passed Vettel anyway.

He acknowledged there's been some luck involved, particularly two weeks ago in Bahrain when Ferrari's Charles Leclerc should have won, but was undone by late engine trouble.

"To have a one-two together is really special in the 1,000th GP".

But Leclerc nearly won in Bahrain, and Binotto said the priority is always for Ferrari to win. Red Bull driver Max Verstappen did attempt to best the Ferraris as he pit to switch to hard tyres on Lap 18.

The general consensus was that Ferrari have an edge over Mercedes, especially on the straights. Even when it became clear the silver cars had the edge around the 5.4-km long Shanghai circuit, it was Bottas who was leading the charge by taking pole ahead of Hamilton.


"I think I lost it in the start".

He said, "It was not an easy race but as a Team we did a really good job today". But in the first stint, in the dirty air, I couldn't follow.

"I got some wheelspin when I went over the white line at the start-finish line which is immediately after my box so I lost it there".

The 21-year-old couldn't quite outqualify team leader Sebastian Vettel this time, but he sure was hot out of the blocks into Turn 1.

The fastest lap of the day was made by fellow Red Bull driver Pierre Gasly, who finished sixth and thus claimed a bonus point.

'The first priority will not be to handle this situation, ' he said.


"I'm so sorry guys, I'm ok, but sorry", a shaken Albon was heard saying over his vehicle radio.

"If Charles is upset then he is right to be upset", said Mattia Binotto, boss of the Ferrari F1 team, after team orders cost Charles Leclerc again, this time in Sunday's F1.

Nico Hulkenberg, who qualified eighth for Renault, saw his race come to an early conclusion after the team retired his faltering auto. On lap 11, he was ordered to let Vettel through and that wasted crucial time and yielded hardly any team benefit.

"But it clearly is an area that I've struggled with and it's not like it's only this year: it's been something I've struggled with over the years - 2016, you could say, was one of the worst".

"Happy to be on the podium, but tough, because we tried to stick with them, but we just couldn't". But we just couldn't. It's been a dream start to 2019 for Mercedes, and it's happened despite them not always having the best package. "Not completely how I want it", he told Sky Sports F1. "I was struggling with the auto throughout the weekend". "I was asked if I can go faster".


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