Sebastian Vettel on pole for Chinese Grand Prix

Kimi Raikkonen

Verstappen spun after damaging his auto in the opening race in Australia and then retired after contact with Lewis Hamilton in Bahrain, and after a third disrupted race says he will try and learn from the hard start to the season.

The Red Bull driver took fifth after being handed a 10-second penalty and, while measured in his response, Vettel was keen to remind Verstappen, 20, that he was no longer a rookie.

Speaking after the race, Verstappen confessed that he had got it wrong.

"I didn't see him until very late, I left a little bit of room as well", he said. That was of course my fault. Not what I want.

'It's easy to say afterwards I should have waited, it probably would have been the best idea but unfortunately it happened'.

Watch the Chinese GP exclusively live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend.

"Just at the moment it's not going the way I like, of course".


"I think he realized he was wrong", said Vettel. "I just need to analyse everything and try to come back stronger for the next race".

Valtteri Bottas was the better Mercedes driver in qualifying, but both he and teammate Lewis Hamilton struggled on the ultrasoft tyres in the chilly Shanghai conditions.

Nico Hulkenberg was sixth for Renault, ahead of Fernando Alonso's McLaren and an upset Vettel, whose championship lead has been cut to nine points. He took his first win of 2017 on the Sunday, too, ahead of Vettel, to draw level in the championship after two rounds. I was expecting him to come earlier. I had no intention to resist because it was clear with Daniel as well that there was no point doing so - they were just too quick on the fresh tyres. All four of the drivers on the front two rows used the soft compound tyre in Q2, meaning they will start the race on that set with the likely aim of a one-stop strategy. Therefore that I didn & rsquo, they were overly fast to the tyres;t need to compromise my race into the inventors supporting.

Even the German explained this kind of mistake may happen to anybody generating such untoward decisions. I was a bit wide at the apex in case he misjudged his braking and obviously he misjudged more than I thought.

Asked whether he felt Verstappen needed to calm down, Vettel replied: "He has done enough races, but this can happen also if you have done 300 races".

"He's done enough races so you know, but again, this can happen to you also when you've done 300 races so inside the auto, you know, you mustn't forget that the judgements are very hard to make but you ultimately have to have these things in mind and yeah, make sure you don't crash". "We were both lucky to continue but it was not necessary".

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