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

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.

Compared to the previous Bahrain Grand Prix, the cooler temperatures in China this time of year are much kinder on the cars and the crew, although the weather can be quite changeable and rain is often a feature. Sometimes a driver will be affected so badly that they miss the flag, and this was exactly what happened to Verstappen. "You're just trying to be nice but everybody's just f*cking it up", the youngster fumed. "When the team told me we only had ten seconds margin to cross the line in time to make another attempt, I had to think of something".

Later, speaking to Dutch TV, Verstappen claimed drivers should not overtake one another as they gear up for their speedy laps.

For the 2nd time ever in 1000 races we will have a top 10 on the circuit divided between 5 teams in ideal harmony.

I struggle to put the power down and I fight a lot with the vehicle. "So they f****d up my entire build up, while there is an unwritten rule that you just follow each other".

"It does not matter if it's the 1,000th, 2,000th or 10,000th (race), it's an irrelevant figure for me".

Third-fastest was Red Bull's Max Verstappen with Hamilton, the reigning world champion, a significant 0.707 off the pace. Binotto says Vettel will continue to be preferred in tight battles for now, but insists both drivers are otherwise free to race, and the priority order may change in the future.

Trump says he's not looking to reinstate family separations at border
It was not immediately clear what would happen to those asylum-seekers when they come back to the USA for their court dates. Immigration and Customs Enforcement put more emphasis on tracking down illegal immigrants already ordered deported.

Verstappen holds the record for the youngest-ever F1 grand prix victor, clinching victory at the age of just 18 at the Spanish Grand Prix in 2016.

Charles Leclerc, Vettel's talented young Ferrari team-mate, has failed so far to get to grips with the Shanghai circuit and clocked only the seventh-best time.

Leclerc's performance in Bahrain raised questions about Ferrari's policy of favouring Vettel in marginal calls at the start of the season.

Vettel's £36m-a-year contract with the Prancing Horse expires at the end of next season.

Leclerc said: "I understand".

Leclerc felt there had been no risk in making the move at Turn One on Lap Six, while Vettel said he was "not surprised" by his teammate's action.

Vettel, still sporting his retro moustache, has also faced criticism for the series of mistakes which have derailed his last two title challenges. "With both cars having progressed through to Q3, Max and Pierre set the fourth and sixth fastest times respectively after their first run".

Related news