After seeing Sebastian Vettel win his second successive Formula 1 Grand Prix, world champion Lewis Hamilton is eager to “take the fight” to the Ferrari driver.
Vettel has won in Australia and Bahrain to score maximum points from the two opening races of the season. He is top of the drivers’ championship, 17 points ahead of Mercedes star Hamilton.
The British driver has opened the season with a second in Australia and third in Bahrain, where he came from ninth to secure a podium spot.
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Hamilton was delighted to get third place in Bahrain, but is keen to win his first race of the season this weekend at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.
Quoted by the Daily Express, he said: “I’m really, really keen [to get that first win]. I’m glad that the races are back-to-back because we’re coming on strong.
“It’s going to be a close race in Shanghai. The Ferraris have shown they are incredibly quick. It’s a good track normally for me so let me see if I can get the car where I need it and really take the fight to Sebastian.”
Hamilton won the 2017 Chinese GP ahead of second-placed Vettel and Red Bull driver Max Verstappen who came third.
Vettel defends Hamilton over Verstappen comment
In the green room after the conclusion of the Bahrain Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton was captured on camera calling Red Bull’s Max Verstappen a “dickhead”.
Verstappen attempted to overtake Hamilton in lap two in Bahrain. After the cars went wheel-to-wheel, the Red Bull driver suffered a left-rear puncture which ended his race.
When a journalist asked Hamilton about his comment in the post-race press conference, Sebastian Vettel sprang to the defence of the British driver.
Vettel said: “I think it’s not fair... I don’t know what Lewis did but we’ve all been in that situation, we fight someone, we go sometimes wheel-to-wheel, it’s close and you have a lot of adrenaline going.
“Do you think, comparing to football, if you have a microphone on a football player’s mouth, that everything he says is... a nice message when the guy tackles him and maybe sometimes he fouls him?”
Vettel added: “I don’t think it’s justified to give us these kind of shit questions” and make up “a story out of nothing, if we are just racing.”
2018 F1 Chinese Grand Prix guide
- When: Sunday, 15 April
- Where: Shanghai International Circuit
- Number of laps: 56
- Lap record: 1:32.238 by Michael Schumacher in 2004
- 2017 result: 1st Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes); 2nd Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari); 3rd Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing)
How to watch the Chinese Grand Prix on TV
The third Grand Prix of the 2018 F1 season will take place in China this weekend. Sky Sports F1 will show live coverage from Shanghai.
- Thursday, 12 April: drivers’ press conferences (8am UK time)
- Friday, 13 April: practice one (3am); practice two (7am)
- Saturday, 14 April: practice three (4am); Chinese GP qualifying (7am)
- Sunday, 15 April: Chinese Grand Prix (7.10am)
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