Verstappen says fourth was 'maximised result' for Red Bull

Sherman Parsons
April 15, 2019

Sebastian Vettel was a distant third in his Ferrari. You can blame Vettel for not compromising his own race in order to stick to the agreement and overtaking Verstappen.

Verstappen holds the record for the youngest-ever F1 grand prix victor, clinching victory at the age of just 18 at the Spanish Grand Prix in 2016.

Vettel was second fastest overall in the second practice, only falling short to championship leader Valtteri Bottas by 0.027 seconds.

"I'm not one for birthdays, I'm not one for anniversaries, I'm not one for special days like this", said Hamilton, who is a point behind his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas at the top of the early drivers' standings. "There's long corners which put a lot of load on the tyres and actually the soft degrades more during the lap, even one lap, than the medium so soft might be a lot quicker at the beginning of the lap but by the end of the lap it is slower than the medium tyre".

Although, the same perhaps could not be said about present day with Mercedes and Ferrari dominating the front row and Williams now struggling at the back week in, week out - it really has been the significant fall of a once, great giant. "Hopefully we can recover and take the win here in Shanghai".

In a nail-biting session, Bottas saw off the five-time world champion by just 0.023 seconds at the Shanghai International Circuit. He also vowed to gain revenge the next time he qualifies for a race.

But the Italian press have been less benevolent towards Vettel after his recent struggles, as new Ferrari driver Charles LeClerc earns all the praise.

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This weekend's third round of the 2019 Formula One World Championship in China marks the 1,000th Grand Prix in the history of the sport.

Leclerc's performance in Bahrain raised questions about Ferrari's policy of favouring Vettel in marginal calls at the start of the season.

"I think we won the race in Bahrain by reliability, not by speed, but in this sport, you need both".

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 auto then became unstoppable for four straight years.

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. "You saw last weekend that we don't stand on each other's feet when one auto is faster than the other".

Red Bull will be on the lookout for any opportunity to repeat last year's success on the 10th anniversary of that first win.

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