Vettel sets the pace in first Chinese GP practice

Vettel sets the pace in first Chinese GP practice

Vettel sets the pace in first Chinese GP practice

Lewis Hamilton sounded a warning ahead of the 1,000th grand prix on Sunday, saying he was focused only on victory, adding: "I'm not one for special days like this". Its origins can be traced back to Grand Prix motor racing in the 1920s and 1930s.

What time does it start?

"If they are able to maintain those power levels.on a power sensitive circuit like Shanghai, they are the favorites, clearly", said Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff. I'm still struggling with the vehicle so there's some work to do.

"I'm not happy about it but it will swing around and it will come back to others as well".

"I think he did a great race, he did a great qualifying a great race, but more than that, I think he has been fantastic on the post-race comments, showing that he's really a mature driver", Binotto said.

When and where is the race?

Bottas, who is championship leader, recorded 1 minute 31.547 seconds around the 5.451-kilometre Shanghai International Circuit on Saturday for his first pole of the season and seventh overall.

Jake Michaels is a multi-sport journalist but his heart belongs truly to motorsport, particularly Formula 1. However, Hamilton knows that this season the threat from Ferrari is real.

The race begins at 7.10am BST on Sunday.

The race will also be available on ESPN+ and via WatchESPN.com, while Sling TV, Hulu, YouTube TV and PlayStation Vue will all offer a live stream.

Moreover, Bottas will fall to the pressure of Ferrari's undercut and under heavy track temperatures will most likely suffer a blip in speed and traction, the situation of the Finn ultimately playing well into the hands of Ferrari.

The more experienced of the two Ferrari drivers shall make a move inside the opening lap on Lewis, with the Briton (already under pressure in front of Bottas' superior pace) appearing as a somewhat easy target.

But Vettel insisted: "I feel on top of my game".

Charles Leclerc, who was denied a maiden win by engine trouble some 10 laps from the end at the last race in Bahrain, was third, 0.256 seconds off his Ferrari team-mate's pace.

There was even an issue for Vettel right at the end of the session, as he missed a call to the weigh bridge and stopped in the pit lane, with his Ferrari team having to run up to push him back to the FIA's garage. The team have said they would favour Vettel under certain circumstances but Leclerc clearly has no intention of being sidelined.

The Finn was on course for victory in Shanghai a year ago until a virtual safety auto handed it to then-Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo, who has yet to score a point this season for Renault, instead.

What do the bookmakers say?

According to Oddschecker, Vettel is a 5/4 favorite to win in China, while Leclerc's odds fluctuate between 2/1 and 15/8.

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