F1: Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) Favored to Win Shanghai Grand Prix

Kimi Raikkonen

Lewis Hamilton is desperate to beat Ferrari at the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday after finishing behind Sebastian Vettel in the opening two rounds of the 2018 Formula 1 season in Australia and Bahrain.

Hamilton said he didn't have an answer for Mercedes' lack of pace in China, while team-mate Bottas said tyre temperatures couldn't explain the entirety of the half-second gap to Ferrari.

Hamilton has dominated in a decade of racing in China. "We've been progressing through all the sessions and we've got a good idea of where we are".

"They are rapid at the moment, that is a challenge but we will give it everything we've got".

Bottas said it felt like he had got everything out of the auto but pole had still been out of reach.

"We saw in the race before that we've been better in general with the harder compounds and that [the softer tyres] is something we're still working on to get more out of".

"It's quite straightforward here because all the tyres are quite similar in pace even though we have the double step between the ultra-soft and soft".

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Mr. Hamilton has won 5X's in, Mr. Vettel's only victory there was in Y 2009 when he was driving for Red Bull. The Renaults were next up, with Carlos Sainz placed eighth, but McLaren were two seconds off the ultimate pace despite using the quickest ultrasoft tyres.

His closest rival in the standings was his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who was 0.46s slower.

"I think it (the track) is in the top three of the easier ones to overtake. but the Ferraris are too fast on the straight so it will be interesting", he said. Maybe a little bit in terms of getting the tyres absolutely flawless for the lap but it's not half a second.

Added Bottas: "It's looking extremely close again with them (Ferrari) so I think tomorrow is going to be a close qualifying and for sure Sunday as well".

"[The balance] was a lot better in practice two". We were quicker in the race in the last race (Bahrain) but they (Ferrari) were able to hold on. "The auto, even though it was quick, it wasn't easy to drive at all", the Finn said.

A big second day of practice ahead for the New Zealand Formula One driver Brendon Hartley at the Chinese Grand Prix.

"Today was mixed, in the afternoon I was a bit happier but hopefully tomorrow I am very happy".

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