Vettel on police in China as Hamilton struggles

Lewis Hamilton

Dutchman Verstappen received a 10 second penalty for causing the collision with championship leader Vettel in the later stages of the race in Shanghai.

Hill believes Lewis Hamilton needs to pay attention to this potential swing in momentum before signing a new long-term deal with Mercedes.

Hamilton looked set to run away with the championship after crushing his rivals en route to pole at the season opener in Australia, but his misfortunes and Ferrari's sudden hot streak have left him on the back foot. "Hopefully we can make up tomorrow what we lost today". "Somehow they've found a turbo button on the straight because they are really quick and still in the corners they are reasonably quick".

Hamilton must now try to stop Vettel gaining more ground in the title race.

The Finn had led the timesheets as the drivers embarked on their final flying laps and appeared set to clinch pole position after going fastest in the opening two sectors.

Lewis Hamilton admits his side of the Mercedes Formula 1 garage is now underperforming based on what he called a "disaster" of a Chinese Grand Prix.

'I don't need to say anything here, ' Vettel said after his coming together with Verstappen at turn 14.

"We got through all the laps that we needed and got some good feedback about the auto", said Hamilton after a cold afternoon.

"I knew I could step it up, because I had a lot more in me", Vettel said. "We will be starting the race on a different tyre and strategically that could be quite interesting". According to oddsmakers at YouWager, Sebastian Vettel is the current favorite, as he is getting odds of -175 to win.

Several other drivers spun or went off the track as they tested the limits, with the cool and blustery conditions catching them out.

Max Verstappen has accepted the blame for colliding with Sebastian Vettel at the Chinese GP.

"I was in no-one man's land today, I had no pace", Hamilton told Sky F1. "To have that much of a gap (over Mercedes), it is a surprise". However, he might still be viewed as a favourite on Sunday despite missing pole position. But Vettel, who made a couple of errors on his first flier, pulled out just enough in the end to deny the 38-year-old what would have been his first pole since last year's Monaco Grand Prix.

"We definitely have work to do", Bottas said.

The acute struggles of the beleaguered Williams outfit continued as both Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll fell at the first hurdle for the second successive race while both Pierre Gasly and Marcus Ericsson, point scorers in Bahrain just a week ago, also suffered an early exit as they failed to progress beyond Q1.

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