Chinese GP: Vettel over Hamilton in Practice 1

Sebastian Vettel quick so far
Sebastian Vettel quick so far

After choking in Bahrain last week, Sebastian Vettel appears to have the bit between his teeth this weekend.

Two weeks on from his costly spin when battling Hamilton in Bahrain, Vettel started the China weekend on the right foot by turning in a fastest time of 1m33.911s, lapping two-tenths of a second quicker than the rest of the field.

He topped Practice 1 using Medium tires on his Ferrari while Lewis Hamilton was 2/10ths behind of Soft tires.

Advantage Vettel, so far.

Of course this was just practice 1 and Mercedes has yet to show their full hand.

Charles Leclerc was close behind Hamilton in the 2nd Ferrari with Max Verstappen [Red Bull] and Valtteri Bottas [2nd Mercedes] rounding out the top-5.

Having endured a torrid start to his career with Renault, Daniel Ricciardo – wearing a special Jack Brabham tribute helmet – put in a great lap to head the midfield for the first time so far in 2019, finishing P6 and ahead of the Red Bull of Pierre Gasly, Ricciardo’s time 1.328s off Vettel’s pace.

Gasly refrained from using the soft tires – perhaps partly explaining his deficit to team mate Verstappen – while Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat in P8, Racing Point’s Lance Stroll in P9 and Haas’ Romain Grosjean in P10 were all separated by just 0.06s. Stroll, meanwhile, provided the main entertainment in the session, slewing his RP19 wildly across the track at the final corner early on in FP1 before getting back on his way.

Giovinazzi in the 2nd Alfa Romeo never put up a time. Reports circulated that it was a power unit issue which hampered Giovinazzi – the Italian having completed just two laps. Alfa Romeo are working hard to get his car ready – but they ran out of time in this session.

Practice 1 Results

POS NO DRIVER CAR TIME GAP LAPS
1 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:33.911 +0.000s 19
2 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:34.118 +0.207s 21
3 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:34.167 +0.256s 21
4 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Honda 1:34.334 +0.423s 20
5 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:34.653 +0.742s 23
6 3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:35.239 +1.328s 23
7 10 Pierre Gasly Red Bull Racing Honda 1:35.428 +1.517s 23
8 26 Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 1:35.447 +1.536s 24
9 18 Lance Stroll Racing Point BWT Mercedes 1:35.466 +1.555s 25
10 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:35.507 +1.596s 24
11 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:35.517 +1.606s 25
12 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:35.591 +1.680s 22
13 4 Lando Norris McLaren Renault 1:35.631 +1.720s 24
14 23 Alexander Albon Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 1:35.695 +1.784s 26
15 7 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 1:35.729 +1.818s 23
16 55 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault 1:35.756 +1.845s 24
17 11 Sergio Perez Racing Point BWT Mercedes 1:35.820 +1.909s 24
18 88 Robert Kubica Williams Mercedes 1:36.847 +2.936s 27
19 63 George Russell Williams Mercedes 1:37.619 +3.708s 28
20 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari No Time No Time 2

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