Bottas, Vettel lead Chinese GP practice sessions

Bottas, Vettel lead Chinese GP practice sessions

Bottas, Vettel lead Chinese GP practice sessions

Off the track, Formula One prepared to celebrate its 1,000th race on Sunday.

Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix will be the 1000th Formula One world championship race. Liberty is in the middle of negotiating a new, hard contract with its 10 teams that would go into effect with the 2021 season. After securing race wins in the opening pair of Global Positioning System in Australia and Bahrain the Silver Arrows have once again locked out the front row of the grid.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc also had a disappointing session.

Ferrari stressed it was "no big concern" and that it had parked his SF90 as a precaution, but it nonetheless left the youngster missing out on the part of the session in which drivers typically undertake race simulations.

'The Silverstone people would be anxious about losing out on revenue so I would have made sure we made up the difference from Formula One's own pockets, ' Ecclestone said.

Ferrari has confirmed Sebastian Vettel will continue receiving priority treatment, despite his underwhelming start to the season.

At Ferrari, the question is not only if they can replicate the Bahrain performance in China, but whether Leclerc will again comprehensively outshine four-time champion Sebastian Vettel, who struggled to fifth place in the last race.

The Chinese race is held on a 3.4-mile, 16-turn circuit known for fast corners, a smooth surface, and plenty of overtaking opportunities. A ton has occurred in the just about seven decades since F1's first season, however astonishingly two groups that contended in those days are as yet present today: Alfa Romeo and Ferrari.

"But on the track, they're free to fight, on the track I think if there is one driver who is certainly faster, he will get the advantage".

Binotto added: "He won four championships and certainly for us he's the driver who has most probability to challenge for the title". 'It was definitely not a ideal race, very different from Melbourne, but it was nothing to worry about as everything is understood'.

"We still have to do some homework, the picture is a bit similar to Bahrain, where we were competitive", said Vettel.

"Ferrari still seem to be quicker than us on the straights, whereas we were better in most corners in FP2", explained Bottas, who now leads the drivers' championship.

"The truth is that we weren't as quick as our direct competitors throughout qualifying and the race in Bahrain", he said. I was actually trying to be nice and not overtake, as that's not what you do in qualifying when you're all trying to prepare for the last run.

Red Bull has also picked one podium finish so far, but looks off the pace compared to Mercedes.

"I was struggling with the auto today", he said.

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