Leclerc surprised by Red Bull's China pace

The Battle With Ferrari

F1 Preview – China Grand Prix

"As I've said in the last three races, overall in a team I think we need a number one and a number two, but I will make sure to change these things as quickly as possible". He took part in the roadshow with his team's F1 auto, attracting many people curious to learn more about Chinese motor racing.

It's fair to say that Red Bull driver Max Verstappen did not have the best time during qualifying for tomorrow's Chinese Grand Prix.

His Honda-powered team won in China past year, when they used Renault engines, with Australian Daniel Ricciardo.

But despite having spent so many years away from his homeland, Zhou remains fiercely proud of his Chinese roots, and explained how much it would mean to him to become China's first ever F1 race driver.

Before battling back to take the lead from Vettel, Leclerc also lost second place Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport's Valtteri Bottas and battled back to pass him.

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Leclerc indicated he could be a title contender in Bahrain, but was behind Vettel in both sessions.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc also had a disappointing session.

"We maximised the result", he told the media after the end of the race. "We will check it but no big issues".

That put him just 0.027 seconds clear of Vettel, who had gone fastest in the morning by a 0.207-second margin ahead of Hamilton.

"On the straights they've been really good so they are clearly, whereas they usually have a really strong vehicle and not so strong engine, it's the other way this year".

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Ricciardo, who qualified seventh, was asked how his relationship with Nico Hulkenberg at Renault compares with the one he had with Max at Red Bull.

Perhaps it may not be entirely incorrect to state that Red Bull often tend to hold the joker's card in the pack in Formula 1. Friday's two sessions were relatively trouble free apart from a few spins as the drivers explored the limits and got to grips with the track.

Both Bottas and teammate Lewis Hamilton spun at the notoriously hard first complex of corners in the opening minutes of the session, with both drivers seemingly struggling to generate enough heat into their tyres.

The midfield fight is everything Liberty would have wanted, with little, if anything, to choose from between Renault, Haas, Racing Point, Alfa Romeo, Toro Rosso and McLaren - all have scored points and "best of the rest" has been secured by a different team at each race this year.

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