Leclerc was told to let teammate Sebastian Vettel past on lap 11 of the race, having got ahead of the four-time world champion at the start.

It was the third time in three races a team order has been issued to Leclerc.

He asked if he could attack Vettel late on in Australia and was told to hold position, and then ignored a command to stay behind Vettel in Bahrain, where he passed Vettel for the lead.

“That [the early order in China] was harsh,” said Rosberg on his YouTube channel after the Chinese GP. “I guess he has to live with it at the moment. They have told him for now he will be a little bit of a number two at times.

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Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton may have taken the 1000th championship race in Formula 1 history, but all eyes were once again on Ferrari after a dismal showing in Shanghai.

Say what you will about Ferrari so far this season, credit where it’s due: they really know how to hog the headlines.

Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes were utterly dominant on Sunday, and yet the biggest story by far is the hullabaloo surrounding Ferrari’s ill-fated decision to swap Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel.

Maybe the Scuderia have been misinformed that this year’s championships will be decided not on amount of points, but column inches. More likely though, this was the case of a team that once again found itself slightly wide of the mark, and in so doing has further opened itself to external scrutiny and internal discontent.

At least in a vacuum, the swap itself can’t be considered that controversial – all F1 teams (and Ferrari in particular) will swap cars when the occasion calls for it – but this being Ferrari, and it backfiring so considerably has only served to highlight both their ongoing struggles with consistent pace and driver politics.

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Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff believes Ferrari’s decision in China to swap the running order of its drivers early in the race may have set a risky precedent.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc overtook team mate Sebastian Vettel at the start of the race in Shanghai but was ordered to yield to the faster German after ten laps, to give Vettel an opportunity to bridge the gap with the front-running Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Vettel failed to catch up with the Silver Arrows cars while Leclerc, as a result of letting his team mate through, eventually fell into the clutches of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and lost a position to the Dutchman during the race’s first pit stop rotations.

Wolff said he understood the motivation behind the Ferrari pit wall’s decision to swap its drivers, but insist

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Mercedes were on another planet yet again as they dominated, unchallenged, Formula 1’s much-hyped 1000th race – the 2019 Chinese Grand Prix – which may also go down as one of the most boring.

Lewis Hamilton made no mistake as he powered from second on the grid into the lead by Turn 1 and was never headed again as his teammate Valtteri Bottas, who started from pole, chased all afternoon to claim second place.

A third one-two for the World Champions who have got a clear march on their rivals very early on in the season. The first time a team has locked out the first three races of an F1 season since Williams accomplished the feat in 1992.

Hamilton said afterwards, “It’s not been the most straight forward of weekends but what a fantastic result for the team. We didn’t know where we would stand with the Ferraris, they were so quick in the last week.”

“Valtteri was quick all weekend and to have a one-two together is really special in the 1,000th GP. The start was where I was able to make the difference. It’s still very close between us all. I have no idea how the next race is going to turn out.”

So dominant was Hamilton that he hardly got any screen time on a day in which he was unmatched, he did everything he needed to do and put to bed any dreams of a Bottas reloaded because, after that, the Finn held station and never unleashed an attack on his teammate, an option that might have spiced up the race but did not happen.

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Kiwi Mitch Evans valiantly fought off the relentless assaults of poleman André Lotterer to clinch Jaguar’s first win in the ABB FIA Formula E championship.

Conditions were mixed in the Eternal City on Saturday with a rain-hit qualifying session that saw Techeetah’s Lotterer secure pole from Evans and HWA’s Stoffel Vandoorne.

The clouds had blown over however by the time the afternoon race was launched, but a messy first lap and a mishap by José Maria Lopez led to a pile up involving Gary Paffett and Jean-Eric Vergne, with several other drivers stranded as collateral damage.

The red-flagged race was suspended for 45 minutes and when it resumed…

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Lewis Hamilton rejected Max Verstappen’s suggestion that an unwritten rule exists between drivers that governs on-track behavior during out laps in qualifying.

The Red Bull charger took aim at Sebastian Vettel and both Renault’s drivers after Saturday’s shootout session in Shanghai, accusing the group of ruining an attempt at a last-ditch effort in the closing stages of qualifying by overtaking before the end of his out lap.

“So they f****d up my entire build up, while there is an unwritten rule that you just follow each other,” an angry Verstappen told Dutch broadcaster Ziggo Sport when all was said and done.

Hamilton responded on social media to the Red Bull drivers “unwritten rule” claim with a laconic “Nope”.

Daniel Ricciardo, who was among those that overtook Verstappen at the end of Q3, argued…

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todt bottasMercedes report from qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix, Round 3 of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship, at Shanghai International Circuit.

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport lock out the front row for the 1000th Grand Prix

  • Valtteri claimed his seventh Formula One pole position – his first of the 2019 season and first in China
  • Lewis will start the 1000th Formula One race from P2 on the grid, completing the front-row lockout for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport
  • Both drivers will start tomorrow’s Grand Prix on the Medium tyres

Valtteri Bottas: “It feels good to be on pole. I think it’s going to be a very close race tomorrow, so it’s a good thing to start from the front. It’s been a strong weekend for us so far and it was nice to continue that way in the first session that counted.”

“Because in the end when you go into Qualifying it doesn’t matter if you’ve had a good weekend up to that point; the only thing that counts is if you can deliver a good lap. I’m happy I was able to do that today. I think we were still a little bit behind on the straights compared to Ferrari, but we were stronger in the corners and ultimately gained more than we lost to them on the straights.”

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Max Verstappen was furious after he was thwarted during his last flying lap effort during the final stages of qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix.

As cars streamed around for their final Q3 hot lap, the Dutchman toed-the-line as the cars circulated behind one another on the back end of the circuit at which point the Red Bull driver was overtaken by the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel and a host of other cars.

Verstappen was unable to cross the line to start his final run before the clock ran down, which prompted a frustrated outburst over the radio from the 21-year-old Dutchman as it meant he will start the race from fifth on the grid when he believed he had a good shot at third place.

Speaking to Ziggo Sport immediately after the afternoon session in Shanghai, Verstappen fumed, “It’s an unwritten rule that you follow one another but that doesn’t matter… from now on I’m going to fuck them up in qualifying too.”

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