SHANGHAI, April 10 ― Formula One will stage its 1,000th world championship race at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on Sunday.
Team orders restricted Leclerc from passing the four-time champion in the season opener, and shortly after he relinquished the lead from the pole position at the start of the season's second race to his teammate, he chased him down and defied team orders to pass him for the lead before going on to dominate the race as Vettel fell farther and farther behind.
Formula One will celebrate its 1,000th race at the Chinese Grand Prix this weekend but the milestone means nothing to defending champion Lewis Hamilton. The 20-year-old completed a Ferrari test in Bahrain, and with no Formula 2 in Germany, Ferrari is looking at taking the next step.
With his first career top five finish and his first career podium finish in the books, the next thing on Leclerc's agenda is earning his first career Formula 1 victory.
"I already feel quite a lot more comfortable in the auto compared to where I was in Australia".
71 Tracks have hosted a grand prix, including Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, which hosted its first race in November 2009.
Evergreen FerrariItalian Giuseppe Farina was victorious in May 1950 and went on to clinch the world championship four months later in his home country.
Is this Ferrari's strongest challenge over last few years?
Vettel finished fifth there and media in Ferrari's native Italy have their knives out.
"If a backmarker rookie had spun in the manner Vettel did, they would have been a laughing stock after the race", Palmer told the BBC.
He was succeeded in the 1960s by multiple world champions Jack Brabham, Jim Clark, Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart. Given that Mercedes have won 4 of the last 5 outings at Shanghai International Circuit, that could certainly represent some fantastic value given the above doubts around the Ferrari pair.
Team mate Valtteri Bottas, who leads Hamilton by one point in the standings after winning the opener in Australia, should also be a contender.
"Most times, actually. I manage not to show it too much", he said.
And although Mercedes are way ahead in the Constructors Championship - that has mainly been down to Ferrari's reliability issues and team boss Toto Wolff is well aware.
"The truth is that we weren't as quick as our direct competitors throughout qualifying and the race in Bahrain", he said. "So it's quite a unique place, and a nice feeling over one lap". "But for now, maybe we need to keep a more basic approach and just do what we can, do it well and then probably not look for that extra one per cent at the moment".
Daniel Ricciardo won here for Red Bull previous year, following a late safety vehicle, a stop for fresh tyres, and a number of fine passing moves.
Moved aside in 2017 when US -based Liberty Media took control, and given the title of chairman emeritus, he will not be in Shanghai. It's always very hard to reach the apex because it's so late in the corner that it [catches you out].