Formula One’s 1,000th race

Jolyon Palmer calls Vettel an amateur who panics in the heat of battle

Out of the two Ferrari cars, Vettel had a relatively clean Friday compare to his team-mate, who missed out on half an hour of the second session due to cooling issues with his vehicle.

However, Leclerc and Vettel both have a new control electronics system fitted to their engines, which Autosport can confirm is in response to Leclerc's Bahrain problem.

"I hope the auto will be as good as it was in Bahrain, so that I can continue to go for the results we deserve", said the 21-year-old Monegasque.

Watch the Chinese GP, F1's 1,000th race, live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend.

Yet Vukovich never drove a Formula One vehicle even if his F1 record stands at a remarkable two wins, one pole position, three fastest laps and 19 points from five races-all of them in Indiana.

Lewis Hamilton narrowly missed out on pole position at the Chinese Grand Prix, but the Brit will be satisfied knowing he starts second and his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas begins in pole. "So in the end it was Sir Jack Brabham's inspiration, so something for me, obviously being Australian, and I think he did a really good job".

"It's so annoying as we could have fought for third", he said. The top four cars spent most of the session swapping and changing showing signs of a small gap.

Bookmakers are backing Ferrari to overcome a hard start to the season and put the struggles of the first two weekends behind it.

Despite the fact that Vettel has been given priority over Leclerc so far this season and the fact that an engine issue cost Leclerc what would have been a dominant Bahrain Grand Prix victory, Leclerc now sits ahead of Vettel in the driver standings.

"Ferrari still seem to be quicker than us on the straights, whereas we were better in most corners in FP2", explained Bottas, who now leads the drivers' championship.

It's also the 1000th F1 World Championship Grand Prix, or something like that.

Going into the third race of the season, Verstappen is third in the standings, behind the Mercedes pair, with Leclerc and Vettel fourth and fifth.

Contrasted with the past Bahrain Grand Prix, the cooler temperatures in China this season are a lot kinder on the cars and the crew, in spite of the fact that the climate can be very variable and downpour is frequently a feature.

"I think we won the race in Bahrain by reliability, not by speed, but in this sport, you need both".

Throughout the session, all four drivers were swapping and changing positions, perhaps showing clues of a small difference between the Ferrari and Mercedes cars this weekend.

Vettel's £36m-a-year contract with the Prancing Horse expires at the end of next season.

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