BEIJING: Valtteri Bottas, current world championship leader one point ahead of his teammate at Mercedes Lewis Hamilton, said Friday his ambitions by setting the fastest time of the second free practice session of the GP of China.
On the Shanghai circuit, where the 1000th Formula One Grand Prix will take place on Sunday, the Finn finished 27ths faster than Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari, which had the best time of the first session of the season. free practice earlier in the morning.
“The day ended well, we are at the top of the timesheets but it is still very difficult to find a good balance on the whole of a lap: we arrived there little by little and At the end the car was good, but it’s only Friday and it’s the next two days that matter, “said Bottas.
As for Vettel, he was more mixed: “Couci-Couça Overall I’m happy but I think the car can give a lot more, there was also a little more in me and you have to put everything together. (…) I was expecting (the Mercedes) to be very strong here but if we can be near them then it’s a good sign. ”
Behind, Max Verstappen (Red Bull) was ambushed, ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Hulkenberg (Renault).
Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), hero of the previous Grand Prix in Bahrain, had to join the stands while there was 30 minutes of session for a mechanical problem without being able to leave. As a result, the Monegasque could only achieve the 7th time more than 8 tenths of a second Bottas. According to his stable, a check of the cooling system of his car was necessary in order to avoid more serious damage.
“I think the + perfo + is still there, it is the most important and it will be better tomorrow,” hoped that poses as the star of this season.
The duel between Mercedes and Ferrari, therefore, seems to have to continue in China, the two teams standing very closely. In Bahrain, it was a mechanical failure that had earned Charles Leclerc to hand over control of the race to Lewis Hamilton, while Vettel committed a pilot error while being overtaken by the British.
So Hamilton and Bottas, winner of the first event of the season in Australia, had achieved the double, Leclerc finishing 3rd and Vettel 5th.