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Difficult: Set-up problems give Vettel worries

The first and second Free Training for the China Grand Prix gave the Ferrari team a pleasant insight: Sebastian Vettel has – stand: Friday – the material necessary to celebrate his third victory in the third race of Formula One-season 2018.

The German in the overall class only landed in the fourth ranking, However, his delay on the fastest Mercedes pilot Lewis Hamilton was only 0108 seconds.

Even better on the way was teammate Kimi Ruikkunen, who separated from the best mark as the second 0007 seconds. I had a little traffic and could have been on a lap faster,”the Finnish says, that he could have beaten Hamilton as well. With the feeling that his SF71H in Shanghai conveys to him, he is “quite satisfied”. Vettel has more to object to.

The German describes the first sessions as “all in all difficult” and reports: “We are not where we want to stand.” The tyre temperatures make Vettel problems. Due to the long-drawn curves of the track they fluctuate strongly, so that the bolt repeatedly surprises him with his driving behaviour. Most of the time the tires are too hot, time and balance are going to flow.

Vettel: “Then it will definitely get tight”

If the temperatures are in the right window, Ferrari can “get out of the car” promises Vettel and recognizes progress in the set-up finding: “It has the necessary speed, But we have to make sure the tires work. It was like this once, like this. In the afternoon it went better.”Nevertheless: The car does not always do what Vettel demands.

Accordingly, the Reds on the long runs did not look as good as in the qualifying simulations: The kites practiced with the soft mix and full tank only briefly, With a cut time of 1:39.9 minutes, however, remained clear about Hamilton’s (1:37.9) values of the Red Bull driver (1:38.5 or 1:38.7 respectively).

Vettel, who only lit up the medium with fuel on board, was somewhat better on the move with 1:38.4. With only three rounds quoted, however, the constancy cannot be estimated.

Whether it is enough to offer Mercedes not only Paroli on Sunday, but to force the silver arrows into his knees, Vettel cannot judge: “It is hard to read,” he says. “It is hard to read.” It’s definitely going to be difficult. I hope we get there. If so, it will definitely be tight.”