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Lewis Hamilton: "Ferrari will probably win in China"

16 April, 2018, 01:41 | Author: Rachael Silva
  • Chinese GP: Race notes - Renault

Sebastian Vettel claimed pole for the Chinese Grand Prix, completing an all-Ferrari front row with his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen in second.

Raikkonen was quicker than Vettel in Q2, on provisional pole after the first runs in Q3 and posted the fastest first and second sectors of the session on his final lap.

Verstappen's errors in China were the latest in a series of mistakes in the first three races of this season.

Although Verstappen recovered to finish fourth on track, a 10-second time penalty for his clash with Vettel dropped him to fifth in the final standings behind the second Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton, who had a subdued afternoon.

The German beat his teammate by just 0.087 seconds to score his second pole positions in succession. The 33-year-old, like Vettel a four-times champion, has taken an unprecedented five wins in Shanghai.

The allowed Red Bull to pit both its drivers for fresh tyres, triggering a phenomenal charge through the field by Ricciardo, who caught and passed Bottas lap 45 despite being squeezed on the inside of the corner by the Finn.

Ricciardo then qualified sixth which will come of some relief to both the Australian and his Red Bull team following their under-performing start to the new season.

The Dutch youngster later apologised in person to Vettel and to his Red Bull team on social media.


Vettel had led the race's first stint before losing out to Valtteri Bottas in the pitstop sequence.

"We are only two races in, but I arrived here thinking I want to win the next 19", Hamilton said. I don't think so.

"It's good for the team and Daniel did a great job and I just made life a lot more hard for myself".

But on ultrasofts, Ferrari possessed a distinct advantage with Vettel and Raikkonen seemingly able to "switch on" the faster tyres in a way which Bottas and an out-of-sorts Hamilton couldn't. Actually, I started to appreciate the hard days so much more because they make us progress and understand our vehicle better and the team has gone from strength to strength by learning from these days.

Red Bull had pulled off a masterstroke in pitting under the safety auto, giving their drivers the advantage of fresh tyres in a newly bunched-up field.

"I left a little bit of room as well".

He damaged his auto running wide in the early laps in the opening race in Australia and then spun, losing several places and finishing sixth. The McLarens of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne were in 13th and 14th, with Brendon Hartley's Toro Rosso in 15th.

The Haas of Kevin Magnussen was in 11th, ahead of Esteban Ocon's Force India.

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