Mercedes' Bottas, Hamilton qualify 1-2 for Chinese GP
Apr 15 2019
His team, Red Bull Toro Rosso, did not have enough time to fix the battered auto for qualifying.
The Finn had a close call with team mate Antonio Giovinazzi with Raikkonen accusing the Italian of nearly hitting him on objective over the team-radio.
Sky F1 expert Simon Lazenby correctly predicted the Thai wouldn't be participating in qualifying later in the afternoon with his vehicle "disintegrated".
Alex Albon started from the pits after a crash in FP3 meant he had to sit out qualifying. "I was initially close but obviously when you are behind, you are sliding a bit more, overheating the tyres a bit more. In the dirty air I couldn't follow", he told Sky Sports after the GP. It's always a little bit loose and normally you can recover it, but this time I was a bit greedy with the throttle. He tried to regain control, but the auto spun around and the front left side plowed into a wall near the pit lane, scattering parts of the vehicle across the track.
"The weekend so far has been very good", Bottas said.
The championship leader, a point clear of Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton after two races, set a benchmark time of one minute 33.330 seconds on Friday afternoon.
Gasly was sixth, ahead of Renault's Daniel Ricciardo - the Australian's first finish of the season after two retirements- and Racing Point's Sergio Perez.
"To have a one-two (for Mercedes) is really special in the 1,000th grand prix but the start was where it made the difference and the rest is history", said the Briton. The drivers are not free to race, and Leclerc has to accept a No. 2 role to Vettel for the season.
Toro Rosso driver Alexander Albon of Thailand waits for help to get out of his crashed vehicle during the third practice session for the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit in Shanghai on Saturday, April 13, 2019. Sebastian Vettel eventually finished third for his first podium of the season, but teammate Charles Leclerc lost out to Red Bull's Max Verstappen and finished the race back in fifth.
Mercedes' decision to bring Bottas in first to protect from Vettel behind dropped the lead to less than two seconds, but Hamilton soon pulled away again to take his second victory in a row.
The youngster's session ended early as he parked up in the garage with some 20 minutes to go so that Ferrari could carry out cooling checks. "We still have 18 races to go and a lot of work to do", he said. "We will check it but no big issues". By Lap 27, Bottas had a number of fast laps to his name that concerned Hamilton who wanted to pick up that extra point.
Binotto went on: "I think that if Charles is upset, then he is right to be upset, and we should accept it". Otherwise, the feeling was okay.
Carlos Sainz was eighth for McLaren.
Pierre Gasly denied Vettel an additional point by posting the fastest lap at the climax of the race, providing a boost after a hard start to his Red Bull career.