Valtteri Bottas claims pole in China

Heather Diaz
April 14, 2019

I had been playing around with that AstroTurf at the last corner for a while now because it's a bit quicker using that extra bit of track. I think the racing vehicle is a package of the power unit and the chassis and you need to get the job done in both of those areas.

"I would have preferred to have spun to the left side of the track, but the auto went to the right and I hit the wall".

Hamilton echoed the importance of a good start being crucial to Mercedes' race plan, but added: "Starts have not been my strength, so I've got to try to figure out if I can pull off a good start tomorrow". I think the car's really strong.

With the opportunity of securing Mercedes' third race victory of the season on Sunday, Toto Wolff will make sure his team's "rules of engagement" are left ringing in the ears of his two drivers ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix.

"It has been a good weekend so far", said Bottas, who leads Hamilton in the championship by just one point.

Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas went fastest for the second practice in a row, with the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc second and third.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo finished practice as the ninth-fastest for Renault.

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Albon, who had looked in with a good chance of making the top 10, said: "I am OK". While unable to match the quick-cornering Mercedes cars for overall pace in Shanghai, Vettel hoped to be closer on Sunday thanks to the track's main straight being more than a kilometer long. Red Bull Racing were the next two, with Max Verstappen finishing fifth and Pierre Gasly in sixth.

His Honda-powered team won in China past year, when they used Renault engines, with Ricciardo.

Chinese fans waves a giant British flag to cheer on Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain during the qualifying session for the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit in Shanghai, China, Saturday, April 13, 2019. Ferrari are particularly quick on the straights.

Both the 21-year-old Monegasque and Vettel are running a new electronic control package as a precaution against a repeat of Leclerc's engine problem.

Hamilton was second fastest in the morning but struggled in the afternoon. "Maybe some safety cars will help, but we'll see".

Further down the field, it was a sobering day for McLaren, as Carlos Sainz and British rookie Lando Norris could manage only 14th and 15th places, a blow after their positive start to the season.

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