The feel-good factor that surrounded Ferrari during the winter tests is a long-distant memory, as the Scuderia has struggled in the opening two rounds. You can blame Vettel for not compromising his own race in order to stick to the agreement and overtaking Verstappen.
"I'm just focusing on trying to figure out what the hell is going on with my vehicle", the Formula One website quoted him as saying.
The Chinese Grand Prix has a habit of throwing up exciting races with mixed strategies, but tyre supplier Pirelli has predicted a one-stop on Sunday. The brakes on Alex Albon's Toro Rosso also caught fire at the end of the session with Ferrari mechanics standing close by and helping to douse it. In the Constructors' Championship, Mercedes leads with 87 versus the 48 of Ferrari and 31 of Red Bull.
Asked whether he felt he had a target on his back ahead of Sunday's third race of the year, Bottas told reporters at a cold and overcast Shanghai International Circuit that it certainly played a part in his thinking.
"He won four championships (with Red Bull) and certainly for us he's the driver who has most probability to challenge for the title".
His wheel-to-wheel clash with the four time world champion following their first pit stops was one of the highlights of the afternoon.More news: Kim Jong Un says he’s open to another summit with Trump
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Liberty Media say they are interested in holding a second grand prix in the world's most populous country. 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.
If fans could have rigged the calendar, there would have been a number of circuits F1 supporters would have chosen ahead of Shanghai - Silverstone, Interlagos, Monaco, Albert Park just to name a few - to host the 1,000th Grand Prix. A ton has occurred in the just about seven decades since F1's first season, however astonishingly two groups that contended in those days are as yet present today: Alfa Romeo and Ferrari.
Compared to the previous Bahrain Grand Prix, the cooler temperatures in China this time of year are much kinder on the cars and the crew, although the weather can be quite changeable and rain is often a feature. When I was racing in the junior categories, we didn't really learn anything about fuel and lubricants as it was standardised across the grid.
Red Bull's Pierre Gasly rounded out the top 10.
Ferrari's German driver Sebastian Vettel. "It was ok past year, and I need to change a bit the way I drive to get the maximum from the vehicle".
"In a season it's unusual if other teams don't have problems too, so if we can finish third every time we have an issue - then I'll be very pleased".