Sunday, 19 August, 2018

F1-Chinese GP-Practice

Lewis Hamilton signed autographs for fans on Tuesday as he enjoyed some time in Shanghai Lewis Hamilton signed autographs for fans on Tuesday as he enjoyed some time in Shanghai
Ivan Hill | 14 April, 2018, 11:20

Lewis Hamilton topped both practice sessions in China, but Ferrari and Red Bull are in very close quarters.

Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton still managed to take second and third place for Mercedes.

The impact punctured a tyre on Verstappen's vehicle, eventually damaging the gearbox and forcing him to retire.

Red Bull did not have the pace to clear Q2 on the slower soft compound and will therefore start the race on the faster but less durable hyper-soft. "I was beating myself up but I knew if I had a better lap I could do it".

"Then I think for Bahrain obviously we had a different plan going into the race, but we wanted to win, so we had to change it, and it worked out".

When asked if he would talk to Hamilton ahead of Sunday's race in Shanghai, Verstappen left the possibility open.

Defending champion Hamilton will be keen to get his title assault back on track after mixed performances in the opening rubbers, and his strong performance in the first running of the weekend will provide him with the confidence that he can do just that. Because it's quite easy and simple to blame the younger driver. While F1 retirement is still probably two or three years off, he told me recently how he sees fashion design as the next chapter in his life.

"That's racing", Verstappen added. I had a fair shot at it. It was nothing insane, nothing risky. "This time it didn't work out". He said he might, but only "if it's really necessary".

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Max Verstappen was fifth, 0.701secs off pole and 0.152secs quicker than team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

However, ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix, the Dutchman has responded, insisting there was "nothing crazy" about the incident with the Mercedes driver.

"So yeah, I'm just looking forward to get started again here, because we have a good package, and there are a lot of good things coming".

LEWIS HAMILTON only wants positive fortune cookies in China. Hamilton has won at the Shanghai International Circuit a record five times, while the Silver Arrows team have lost the race just once in the last six years.

A late rain shower meant the session effectively ended 10 minutes early, although some drivers went out on intermediate tyres to get a feel for the track in slippery conditions.

Despite the war of words between the two, they seemed cordial when they met in the paddock ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix.

The qualifying simulation session was an opportunity to gather important data on the purple-striped ultrasoft tyre, which has never been used in Shanghai, and the results suggest it will be of little use in the race.

Wolff said the quick turnaround from Bahrain is a blessing.

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