Sci-tech

Vettel snatches pole position in Ferrari one-two

Vettel snatches pole position in Ferrari one-two

It wasn't the only mistake Verstappen made during the race.

We've seen Ferrari lock out the front row before in this hybrid era.

With Mercedes struggling to mount a challenge - Bottas and Hamilton were evenly matched but nearly half a second down the order - the battle for P1 came down to the red-suited drivers.

This wasn't a high-downforce circuit, such as Monaco or Singapore, which favours Ferrari's package and leaves Mercedes struggling.

Vettel and Verstappen were seen speaking in the paddock after the race, and the Ferrari driver suggested Verstappen had to improve his decision making, having also collided with Hamilton a week ago in Bahrain.

After years of qualifying inadequacies and under-performing on a Saturday, the Scuderia have finally made a auto that can beat the Mercs. "All these racing drivers know they have to be in the coming team and the team that is showing it's going to be the team for the next era".

"He messed up, took out the world championship leader, his team-mate won it in an incredible way". Now comes China. Another track, but Ferrari still looks dominant.

And it's why the Chinese GP is so crucial, perhaps the most important for the reigning world champions since their era of dominance began.

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Nineteen victories from 19 starts? He has won five times in China, including previous year, and has won the pole six times. Raikkonen looked like the faster of the two Ferraris up until the final sector of his final lap where he made a mistake at Turn 14 and lost pole position to a cleaner, more clinical lap from his teammate. No driver has won the opening three rounds and not gone on to take the title.

Daniel Ricciardo was the surprise victor of the Chinese Grand Prix as inspired tactics by his Red Bull Racing team and some ruthless overtaking gave the Australian victory in Shanghai.

Max Verstappen will line up fifth on the starting grid.

What's more, all three teams were neck-and-neck when it came to the longer runs during practice, with only a couple of tenths between their race pace averages.

Daniel Ricciardo faced a race against time to be ready for qualifying after his engine blew up in dramatic fashion in final practice. In Q2 just 0.3s separated five cars from ninth to 13th and with mixed tyre strategies we appear to be set for another enthralling race for the lower points positions.

The midfield battle is as tight as ever.

Nico Hulkenberg was seventh for Renault ahead of Force India's Sergio Perez. And don't forget McLaren... Inside the auto, judgements are very hard to make.

Magnussen, Windows, Alonso, Vandorn and Hartley failed to qualify in the top 10. It's an under-performing Saturday package, but the MCL33 already boasts impressive race pace.


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