Bottas recovers to outshine Hamilton, Ferraris in China

Florence Fletcher
April 14, 2019

But Binotto, who took over as team principal at the start of this year, said that the policy, which he introduced for the start of the season, could potentially change in the future.

"I was just trying to be nice and everybody's f**ked it up".

"Max got himself into a good position between the two Ferraris for the final run but unfortunately as things got backed up at the last hairpin, he was passed by Sebastian", Horner said.

But just two races into 2019 and the very same questions will be asked once more, and this time they will be asked louder.

"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". "It's still a tricky weekend so I think we're happy with the position, but I'm not satisfied with my driving still. We were following each other and towards the end of the lap you didn't know whether to try and overtake people, which in that case they are going to defend and it was messy". "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".

"We can see I'm fighting (the car) more and I'm quite aggressive with the way I go on power which doesn't help with this vehicle".

At Friday's practice session, Mercedes-AMG's Valtteri Bottas proved the fastest, though only by the tiniest of slivers. "We'll see how it goes".

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He finished in second place in the Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai International Circuit while Hamilton finished in fourth, and he was on pace to win the Azerbaijan Grand Prix with Hamilton in second before a tire puncture forced him to retire from competition, handing Hamilton the victory. He walked away unharmed but will start at the back.

Then there is Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who leads the championship by a point from the Briton after two races and looks determined to put up a fight this season.

"It has been a good weekend so far", he said. "It was okay previous year, and I think I need to change a bit the way I drive to get the maximum from this auto".

Channel 4 have just the one live race this year - the British Grand Prix - but their race highlights packages start at 3pm BST on Sunday.

Daniel Ricciardo was sixth for Renault ahead of Frenchman Pierre Gasly in the second Red Bull and Russian Daniil Kvyat in the Toro Rosso.

"Bringing new parts between Bahrain and China is not easy, also because of customs issues here", said Verstappen. "I could have passed him back on the next straight, but I judged it that it's going to lose me more time and him more time".

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