Vettel sets the pace in first Chinese GP practice

F1 Preview – China Grand Prix

Chinese Grand Prix Betting: Hamilton's happy hunting ground

Dutch Formula 1 ace Max Verstappen couldn't contain his anger during qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix, letting out an expletive-laden rant at his track rivals and accusing them of holding him up.

Max Verstappen's Red Bull was third fastest, 0.221secs off the pace despite running wide at the final corner.

Bottas and Hamilton both spun their cars early on in second practice in nearly identical fashion, but the only real harm done was to their pride. Hamilton knows he only inherited his win there after an injection system fault scuppered Charles Leclerc's dominant lead for Ferrari.

It's probably not the 1000th Grand Prix or even the 1000th F1 race, despite what you may read this weekend.

'If everyone would have sped up the way I did then we would have all made it, but I obviously prioritised at that point to make the lap.

The young driver was desperately unlucky last time out in Bahrain, leading for much of the race before his Ferrari lost power, allowing Lewis Hamilton to snatch victory.

However, as the Dutchman was preparing a final hot lap in Q3 he was overtaken by Vettel and a chasing Renault at the hairpin.

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. 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. Teams can use only two control electronics boxes for an entire season, so Ferrari have now used up their allocation.

And Bottas also appeared to have a slight performance advantage in the race runs later in the session. "I am not going to be in Formula One as long as Bernie was that's for sure, but I hope I am going to be as fit and sharp as he is today when I am 88".

"They obviously have a great package", Hamilton said.

"I am of course not happy with that, or to be fifth, but we didn't get the opportunity to do a final lap. We will see what happens". Meanwhile, Hamilton would have finished the race in second and sat in third in the standings with 63 points.

Toro Rosso's Alexander Albon survived a huge smash, having run wide at final corner, remarkably walking away unscathed from the wreckage of his auto.

This is because of repeated failures in the new design of MGU-K that was introduced for this season.

Qualifying featured only 19 cars because Alexander Albon's Toro Rosso could not be repaired in time after the Thai driver had a heavy practice crash.

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