Vettel not a magician says Verstappen

Vettel not a magician says Verstappen

"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.

Leclerc also ran into problems later in the session - he was unable to do his race-simulation run because of a problem with the cooling system.

It's probably not the 1000th Grand Prix or even the 1000th F1 race, despite what you may read this weekend.

Yet Vukovich never drove a Formula One vehicle even if his F1 record stands at a remarkable two wins, one pole position, three fastest laps and 19 points from five races-all of them in Indiana.

Valtteri Bottas lines up on pole for the first time since the Russian Grand Prix last October.

The German topped the time sheets in the first practice session of the weekend ahead of Mercedes AMG Petronas'Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc.

The third round of the 2019 Formula One season marks a momentous occasion for the sport, as this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix will be the 1,000 race in F1 history.

Hamilton, the most successful driver by far around the 5.4-km Shanghai International Circuit with five wins to date, ended the day fourth. The 270-degree double right-hander is entered at great speed and gradually tightens towards the exit, requiring drivers to brake and steer at the same time.

The five-time world champion has competed in nearly a quarter of F1's 999 races and, from those 231 starts, he has enjoyed remarkable success, with his 74 wins ranking second only to racing great Michael Schumacher.

Despite the fact that Vettel has been given priority over Leclerc so far this season and the fact that an engine issue cost Leclerc what would have been a dominant Bahrain Grand Prix victory, Leclerc now sits ahead of Vettel in the driver standings.

Vettel finished fifth there and media in Ferrari's native Italy have their knives out. Charles Leclerc deserved a win in the Bahrain Grand Prix - he would have been a successful 5/1 tip from this very column - and the disappointment in his voice was heart-breaking to hear. It briefly looked like the pair could come to blows during the move, with Verstappen forced to put two wheels on the grass as Vettel squeezed him on exit. "I can do better and we have lots of races to prove that but, at least when I am not at the top, it's good that he is".

Champions Mercedes have won the first two races of the season one-two but against the odds, with Ferrari looking ominously quick in Bahrain until Leclerc's loss of power.

As Kimi Raikkonen, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button all claimed a title each between 2007 to 2009, Adrian Newey, Sebastian Vettel and the Red Bull vehicle then became unstoppable for four straight years.

Admitting "they obviously have a great package", the Briton added: "You could say (they have) a stronger package than previous year".

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