Sunday, 20 August, 2017

Lauda made bet on Vettel for pole with Wolff

Lewis Hamilton speaks to Sky Sports Martin Brundle following his Chinese Grand Prix win Lewis Hamilton speaks to Sky Sports Martin Brundle following his Chinese Grand Prix win
Saul Franklin | 09 April, 2017, 03:26

I think it's both that we need to really work on to understand, because I think it's hard to understand the changes we do. "The Ferraris have looked so fast through practice this morning and through each qualifying session, so we knew it was going to be close and it was going to mean that we would have to pull out all the stops and really have a very, very ideal lap".

"But the lap started off not as well last the first Q1 lap but then it got better and better - maybe it was tyre temperatures or something".

"It's super-exciting for me because we're really fighting these guys, having to raise the bar every time we go out - it's awesome".

"I think Mercedes still has to be the favourite, obviously", he told reporters on Thursday.

The Chinese Grand Prix is set to go ahead as planned, but there is speculation that qualifying could be moved from Saturday to Sunday morning.

"I didn't win the last race which I wanted to do and I'm here to change that", said Briton on Thursday.

"You feel it straight away [the first time in the car]". "So tomorrow will be a new lesson for me".

It's the second race weekend from two with the exact same qualification order, with Bottas yet to make the front row of the grid.

Vettel clinched an impressive victory in the season-opener in Melbourne a fortnight ago to send a warning to the British star's all-conquering Mercedes team.

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"It's more exciting than ever for me because we're really fighting these guys. But I think it is very close". "We know that we have a good package which puts us in a strong place but. we know there's a lot of things that we need to do to keep up with them and keep the position that we are in now, to fight for good races".

Valtteri Bottas starts third Sunday.

"I think our vehicle is strong no matter what; it obviously depends on what these guys [Mercedes] are doing".

"We'll see tomorrow how important starting from the front row was", Vettel said, looking very happy with his performance despite missing the pole.

Bottas, meanwhile, was just 1000th of a second off Vettel's time.

"We gave up way too much laptime there, never really got it back".

Hamilton also started from pole position at the Australian GP, but Vettel beat him on race day when Hamilton pitted early and got stuck in traffic and couldn't catch up.

Wolff said that for Mercedes it will be a case of heading into the unknown because the team have had no experience of running on this season's revised wet weather tires.

Sauber's Antonio Giovinazzi, who got impressively up to speed on his debut in Australia as a stand-in for Pascal Wehrlein, caused the biggest drama of the day when he ricocheted off the barrier lining the start-finish straight after losing control of his auto in the final corner.

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