Published On: Mon, Apr 1st, 2019

Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes star AND Valtteri Bottas reveal FEAR ahead of Chinese Grand Prix | F1 | Sport

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Hamilton and Bottas have enjoyed a strong start to the new F1 season having secured one-two finishes in Australia and Bahrain.

But the points the Mercedes duo claimed in Sakhir on Sunday did not tell the full story after Ferrari had looked set to dominate the weekend.

Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel thrived at the desert circuit, topping the standings in practice and qualifying.

And it was only bad luck befalling Leclerc and Vettel that allowed Lewis Hamilton and Bottas back in to finish first and second respectively.

Ferrari have insisted the engine problem Leclerc experienced is a one off, while Sebastian Vettel is unlikely to be involved in too many similarly unfortunate on-track incidents across the campaign.

Hamilton and Bottas are both fearful of the pace their rivals possess on the straights with the Chinese Grand Prix a couple of weeks away.

“If they have this straight-line speed in the next race then we’ll be watching them disappear,” Hamilton said in Bahrain.

Hamilton’s concern is echoed by Bottas, who believes the F1 track in Shanghai could play into Leclerc and Vettel’s hands.

“The straights are even longer in China,” Bottas said. “So Ferrari’s advantage could be even bigger.”

Ferrari have come out on top in China four times since the Chinese Grand Prix first took place in 2004.

Rubens Barrichello, Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen all did the business there for the Prancing Horse in the 2000s.

But you would have to look back to 2013 for their most recent success in Shanghai, when Fernando Alonso was the winner.

Since then, Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have claimed victory for Mercedes, in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively.

Daniel Ricciardo secured Chinese Grand Prix glory for Red Bull last year, with Bottas and Raikkonen second and third.

The Australian is unlikely, though, to have much chance of beating Hamilton, Bottas and co. to the win this time around.

Ricciardo has failed to finish either race since joining Renault from Red Bull during the winter.

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