Ferrari F1 boss: Charles Leclerc is 'right to be upset'

Formula 1 Ferrari defend use of team orders to help Sebastian Vettel

Ferrari were the chasing pack, four-time champion Vettel in third with his team-mate Leclerc in fourth.

Bottas refused to be too downhearted by the result, however, and insists that he will be "back" in the running in the next race.

But the Frenchman also got an overtake in the first lap on his fellow Ferrari driver.

Hamilton was second fastest in the morning but struggled in the afternoon.

Could Ferrari have better protected third and fourth if they had left the cars in their initial order?

F1's magic number may not have been of import to Hamilton but they stack up well for him in China.

"A little bit of a struggle this weekend for me, but once I got into qualifying, a little bit of a shift in driving style enabled me to unlock a bit more potential with the auto which Valtteri was clearly able to do", said Hamilton.

After revealing that Mercedes was losing 0.5 seconds of lap time to Ferrari on the straights in Bahrain, Wolff said the straight-line speed loss in China was slightly less and was outweighed by Mercedes' strengths in the corners.

"I was pushing really hard and we can be happy with the team result", said Verstappen.

Leclerc got the jump on Vettel at the start of the race but was unable to pull away from his teammate, with Vettel saying he could go faster.

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Sign up to The Recap, our weekly email of editors' picks. Ferrari then asked Leclerc to give up the position, although Vettel himself then struggled to open up a significant gap. "I had no idea that we'd have three 1-2s so early on in the season".

Hamilton had been out of sorts for much of the weekend, complaining about the set-up of the vehicle, but in a brilliant start he claimed the lead from team-mate Bottas, who had been on pole.

"I think after the first stint, the second and third stint were very similar".

The comfortable win in a race short on thrills was the 75th of Hamilton's career, and second in a row after his lucky triumph in Bahrain two weeks ago.

Shortly after, the instruction came over the radio for Leclerc to move over and let Vettel past.

The team had said they would favour Vettel in 50-50 situations and clearly adjudged this to be a case in point and that they genuinely believed he could go quicker.

On lap 11, Ferrari delivered their answer.

The duo were well clear of the two Ferraris, with Sebastian Vettel ending Q3 ahead of Charles Leclerc.

But that did not work either, and Leclerc pitted on lap 22, only five after Verstappen, rejoining now 11 seconds behind the Red Bull exclusively because of his weaker strategy. He emerged just in front of Verstappen who attacked up the inside into the hairpin and nearly made it stick, Vettel squeezed him wide on the exit and kept the place but it was bravura stuff from the Dutchman.

Leclerc was promoted to second when the leaders stopped again, and Ferrari may have hoped that he would get to the end.

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