Hamilton expects strong Ferrari challenge at Chinese Grand Prix

by Steven Clarke April 14, 2018, 11:30
Hamilton expects strong Ferrari challenge at Chinese Grand Prix

I think if we do our homework, if we get the auto balance right and we get everything together, then it should be a good weekend. "So I know how it is". But yeah, unfortunately this time it didn't work out. That's the only way I can see it.

Ferrari's (NYSE:RACE) Sebastian Vettel followed up his win at Melbourne with another victory at Bahrain last weekend, and he is favored to take the Chequered Flag at Shanghai this weekend.

It was a phenomenal effort from the Red Bull team to get Daniel Ricciardo out for qualifying after an engine failure in the final free practice session. "It's always good to show respect and being that I'm the older driver, I felt it was important that I went to him".

Hamilton has blamed Verstappen for what he called a "silly" and "unnecessary collision", while Verstappen has insisted Hamilton was at fault. If two of those legs are not there, the table falls over, and in the first race of the season we lost on strategy, and in the last race I had a gearbox penalty. "There's no reason for me to change anything". 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.

"It's obviously cooler. It's a different track, so I think, honestly, the first two races have been quite different, so it's not that straightforward to predict the third one".

"Well we have to get a really good qualifying in but in general even when that doesn't happen I think in the race we will be competitive and in this track you can overtake".

Hamilton is probably the favorite to win on Sunday in China.

The Shanghai International Circuit is a favourite of the reigning world champion, having secured pole six times and claimed victory five times.

While defending champion Hamilton was a third of a second clear of Raikkonen in the day's opening running, the margin at the conclusion of the second session stood at only seven-thousandths.

Verstappen was the youthful promise when — at 17 in 2015 — he became the youngest driver to race in Formula One. However, lead Ferrari, Raikkonen was a mere 0.007 seconds shy of P1.

Qualifying starts at 11.25am IST on April 14. The only bright spot early was his podium in China.

The world champion has said he can not afford to lose any more ground to the German in the title race.

"We gave each other, maybe not enough space (in Bahrain)", he said, "but that's racing".

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