Bottas, Vettel lead Chinese GP practice sessions

Ferrari

Leclerc also ran into problems later in the session - he was unable to do his race-simulation run because of a problem with the cooling system.

The 31-year-old will be hoping to bounce back this weekend at the Chinese Grand Prix.

Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas enjoyed a comfortable one-two in Shanghai, becoming the first team since Williams in 1992 to control the first two positions in the first three races of the season.

The Scuderia, so strong in testing, were off the pace at the opening grand prix in Australia, where Hamilton was second to teammate Valtteri Bottas.

The Monegasque was restricted to only 13 laps, 20 fewer than Vettel, after he suffered a mechanical issue which brought his running to a premature end.

24 - If Mercedes earn at least 24 points they will reach the 284-point mark in China, more than the German team have amassed at any other circuit.

I'm sure this will swing around and happen to other people at another time but it's annoying as we were fighting for third.

As Britain's auto industry thrived during the latter 20 century added with the world's leading engineers, this was reflected on the grid as Tyrell, Lotus, Williams and McLaren took centre stage, to showpiece some of the most enthralling cars and title wins the sport has seen.

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Designed by renowned F1 architect Hermann Tilke, the Shanghai International Circuit opened in 2004 at a cost of 450 million US dollars, making it at the time the world's costliest motorsport venue.

Formula One is celebrating its 1,000th grand prix this weekend as Shanghai hosts the Chinese grand prix, and to mark the occasion may of the drivers are sporting one-off helmets, with special meanings to them.

After being urged to speed up by his race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase, Verstappen yelled over the team radio: "F--, I'm finished mate".

It was pretty poor from most teams to leave it this late and Mercedes got their strategy right and benefitted. "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".

The Mercedes star from Britain is facing multiple challenges this season, primarily from Ferrari, who go into the third race of the season with the fastest auto.

While his auto 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.

Ferrari's German driver Sebastian Vettel.

The Red Bull driver, furious that the Frenchman had cost him victory following their crash, was also warned about his future conduct by the FIA.

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