Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix preview

Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix preview

The 2006 Chinese Grand Prix marked the last ever race win for seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, while the 2012 event saw Nico Rosberg cruise home to his first ever Grand Prix victory, and Sebastian Vettel took the first of many wins for Red Bull Racing in torrential conditions in 2009.

Leclerc's display across the Bahrain GP weekend, where he claimed pole and was robbed of victory by an engine issue, prompted questions over Ferrari's pre-season decision that they would give Vettel priority.

Bottas said that although Ferrari still appears to have an edge in straightline speed, the nature of the Shanghai circuit meant Mercedes' cornering advantage left things finely poised at the front.

"I was struggling with the vehicle today, so we've got work to do, particularly on my side as Valtteri looked much more comfortable in the auto".

The Scuderia, so strong in testing, were off the pace at the opening grand prix in Australia, where Hamilton was second to teammate Valtteri Bottas.

The Finn was on course for victory in Shanghai a year ago until a virtual safety vehicle handed it to then-Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo, who has yet to score a point this season for Renault, instead.

The Chinese Grand Prix has one of the longest straights in Formula One, which will suit Ferrari's awesome pace.

However, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is under no illusions about the challenge posed by Ferrari. "At the beginning I tried not to drop too much with the soft tyres behind the top five on the mediums and tried to take care of it".

Red Bull
Can Leclerc beat the Bulls on Sunday

Red is seen as a lucky colour in China and Leclerc, who hung on for third in Bahrain and a first podium finish, could do with a slice of good fortune after the disappointment in the desert.

It puts him six points clear of Bottas in the standings after three rounds of the 21-race season.

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.

Vettel is in a pickle.

Ferrari nearly cost Vettel by leaving him this late until he took matters into his own hands.

He struggled with his vehicle and finished fourth in Melbourne, and was then dominated by Leclerc - who is a decade younger - in Bahrain.

Ferrari's German driver Sebastian Vettel. Liberty is in the middle of negotiating a new, hard contract with its 10 teams that would go into effect with the 2021 season. What's more, around 80 percent of a lap is spent cornering, so the tires battle to last, influencing this one of the races where methodology to can have a huge difference.

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