Race, not the party, is Lewis Hamilton's focus

15 April, 2019, 05:09 | Author: Ginger Lawrence
  • Jolyon Palmer calls Vettel an amateur who panics in the heat of battle

Sebastian Vettel was a distant third in his Ferrari.

There were concerns for all three teams, but Ferrari had by far the greatest when it came to Leclerc's auto.

"I'm just focusing on trying to figure out what the hell is going on with my vehicle", the Formula One website quoted him as saying.

After two races of the 21-round season, Bottas is still ahead of Hamilton - albeit by only a point.

Hamilton completed a second successive Mercedes 1-2 after claimed victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, with the victor in Australia on the opening weekend of the campaign called with Valtteri Bottas. The brakes on Alex Albon's Toro Rosso also caught fire at the end of the session with Ferrari mechanics standing close by and helping to douse it.

It was a disappointing day for Ferrari as they proved to be no match for Mercedes.

"Something we agreed with both drivers is, in a few races' time, things may change for whatever reason - bad luck or whatever could be the situation - we may change our position, no doubt".

"But we know the others are going to work hard on their cars as well, so we're going to have to wait and see how much we can improve in relation to them".

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Being able to say they triumphed in the 1,000th race is added incentive for all drivers and teams.

Damon Hill, the 1996 F1 champion, drove into the circuit on Friday in a 1968 Lotus, which his father Graham Hill drove in winning the Monaco Grand Prix in 1968. It briefly looked like the pair could come to blows during the move, with Verstappen forced to put two wheels on the grass as Vettel squeezed him on exit.

The Briton is the most successful driver by far around the 5.4-kilometer long Shanghai International Circuit. "I expect it to be very close tomorrow and also on Sunday, so it will be key to keep working to improve the feeling with the auto".

Hungarian driver Ferenc Szisz is generally regarded as the first victor of a Grand Prix, at Le Mans in 1906, while the Monaco Grand Prix, the glamour race of the current calendar, dates back to 1929.

This proposes everybody could be in for an extraordinary race on Sunday as there seems, by all accounts, to be equivalent performance between the Mercedes and Ferrari cars and Verstappen at Red Bull could possibly be up the top also.

"The truth is that we weren't as quick as our direct competitors throughout qualifying and the race in Bahrain", he said.

Vettel's £36m-a-year contract with the Prancing Horse expires at the end of next season. "You saw last weekend that we don't stand on each other's feet when one vehicle is faster than the other". For Mark Webber, whom Vettel himself upset as a young upstart at Red Bull, this will feel like karma.

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