Chinese Grand Prix: Who'll win the 1,000th race?

Jolyon Palmer Vettel's spin in the race in Bahrain was amateur

The Battle With Ferrari

Leclerc indicated he could be a title contender in Bahrain, but was behind Vettel in both sessions. "The vehicle has the pace in it to compete at the front, we just need to find the right set-up".

Vettel was second fastest overall in the second practice, only falling short to championship leader Valtteri Bottas by 0.027 seconds.

Leclerc's team-mate Sebastian Vettel led the way in the first practice session before trailing Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas by just 0.027s in the second session. This time it caught me out so I'm not happy about that, but it'll swing around and come back to others sometime.

But, as F1 prepares for its party in Shanghai, Hamilton claimed the day would be "absolutely no different to any other race weekend for me", with his focus exclusively on delivering another title for Mercedes. "So now we just have to do more overtaking".

"It's great for a real current superstar, a five-time world champion, to be talking about the possibility of racing in Formula E".

To mark the 1,000th race, several drivers have changed their helmet designs. 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.

Friday's two sessions, ahead of what will be the 1000th Formula One world championship race on Sunday. Charles Leclerc deserved a win in the Bahrain Grand Prix - he would have been a successful 5/1 tip from this very column - and the disappointment in his voice was heart-breaking to hear.

After emerging victorious in the first two races of the 2019 Formula 1 season, Mercedes will be looking to fend off the challenge from a resurgent Ferrari and make it three wins from three at this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.

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. What's more, around 80 percent of a lap is spent cornering, so the tires battle to last, influencing this one of the races where methodology to can have a huge difference.

While his vehicle was running during the qualifying simulations, Leclerc only managed a 1m34.158s lap for seventh on the timesheet after facing traffic on his first lap and making a mistake on his second timed effort.

The German has won just once in China, when he handed Red Bull their maiden victory in 2009, before the current V6 turbo hybrid era.

Ferrari's German driver Sebastian Vettel. A lot has happened in the nearly seven decades since F1's first season, but impressively two teams that competed back then are still present today: Alfa Romeo and Ferrari.

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