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Ferrari face tough questions and pressing need to do well in Baku

If the Scuderia are unable to challenge Mercedes in Azerbaijan it is difficult to see where they will be able to

The Ferrari team principal, Mattia Binotto, has been a picture of considered, affable and approachable calm this season. Indeed, in that respect his leadership has been a welcome breath of fresh air at the Scuderia. Come Formula Ones next round in Azerbaijan, though, it would be understandable if some nerves were beginning to jangle behind his Harry Potter spectacles. Ferrari are winless after three races and the question they face if they cannot perform next Sunday is ominous: if not in Baku, then where?

Ferrari had looked the team to beat in testing at Barcelona but at the opener in Melbourne they could not match Mercedes. At the next race in Bahrain, Charles Leclerc had a car with the form from Spain and a win was denied him only by a mechanical problem. Optimism soared as a consequence, only to take another beating in China, where Mercedes had clear distance in race pace.

Related: Lewis Hamilton urges Mercedes to step up F1 title fight with Ferrari

Related: Ferrari defend team order favouring Vettel in futile pursuit of Hamilton

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Lewis Hamilton urges Mercedes to step up F1 title fight with Ferrari

• ‘The key is to deliver near perfect weekends,’ says Englishman
• Ferrari principal Mattia Binotto says team orders will continue

Lewis Hamilton believes Mercedes will have to operate with maximum effort to maintain a competitive edge in their fight with Ferrari this season – but he expects greater performance advances from his team.

Ferrari’s principal, Mattia Binotto, meanwhile confirmed that they would continue using the team orders which favoured Sebastian Vettel on Sunday in Shanghai, where Hamilton won the Chinese Grand Prix.

Related: Lewis Hamilton cruises to secure sixth F1 Chinese Grand Prix

Related: Ferrari defend team order favouring Vettel in futile pursuit of Hamilton

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Ferrari defend team order favouring Vettel in futile pursuit of Hamilton

• Charles Leclerc told to let Sebastian Vettel past in Chinese GP
• Team principal Mattia Binotto says ‘we tried and it didn’t work’

Ferrari defended their use of team orders in China, despite the decision failing to make any difference to their finishing positions. Mattia Binotto, the team principal, remained convinced it had been the right thing to do, while Charles Leclerc conceded he had accepted the team’s explanation for telling him to cede his place to Sebastian Vettel.

Leclerc had jumped Vettel at the start taking third place but Ferrari ordered him to let Vettel past, believing the German was quicker. Having done so, however, Vettel made no inroads into Lewis Hamilton’s lead and the pair finished third and fifth.

Related: Lewis Hamilton cruises to secure sixth F1 Chinese Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton wins Chinese GP and takes F1 championship lead – video

Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Chinese Grand Prix, a win which puts him in the lead of the Formula One world championship for the first time this season. The win, a one-two with his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, also ensures the British driver enters the history books, taking the flag in the 1,000th world championship race since the series began in 1950. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was third after the team ordered his teammate Charles Leclerc to move over for the German. Leclerc finished in fifth behind the Red Bull of Max Verstappen. Hamilton now leads Bottas by six points in the title race and is 31 points ahead of Vettel. This was Hamilton’s 75th career victory and the sixth time he has won the Chinese Grand Prix, its most successful driver.

Lewis Hamilton cruises to secure sixth F1 Chinese Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton cruises to secure sixth F1 Chinese Grand Prix

  • Mercedes driver overtakes teammate Bottas on lap one
  • Finn finishes second for one-two ahead of Vettel

Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Chinese Grand Prix, a win which puts him in the lead of the Formula One world championship for the first time this season.

His win, a one-two with Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, also ensures the British driver enters the history books, taking the flag in the 1000th world championship race, since the series began in 1950.

Related: Formula One: China Grand Prix – live!

Related: Ross Brawn: ‘We want innovation in F1 without becoming gimmicky’

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Formula One: China Grand Prix – live!

  • Updates from the second race of the season in Shanghai
  • Any thoughts? Email or tweet @JPHowcroft

Here’s Giles Richards’ report from qualifying, noting the intriguing battle likely to unfold during the race whereby Ferrari’s straightline speed will offer them an advantage on the two long straights but it remains to be seen if that’s enough to counteract Mercedes’ superior control through the 16 corners.

Related: Bottas pips Hamilton to pole for Mercedes one-two at Chinese Grand Prix | Giles Richards

Jump onboard for the lap that put @ValtteriBottas on pole for the 1000th F1 race ⏱

And bagged him the @pirellisport Pole Position Award in Shanghai #ChineseGP #Fit4F1 pic.twitter.com/0Y7azonaBW

Lights out at 2.10pm local time (7.10am UK or 4.10pm Australia).

Hey guess what? Pit lane is open!

Just over half an hour until we get this #Race1000 party started... pic.twitter.com/6tjDzjJfLg

It’s an all-Mercedes front row in China with championship leader Valterri Bottas edging teammate Lewis Hamilton for pole. Behind them, and for only the second time in F1 history, the top ten continues the symmetry with each row occupied by two cars from the same team.

Full Classification: Qualifying ⏱️@MercedesAMGF1 lock out the front row

And how close at @RenaultF1Team?!? #ChineseGP #Race1000 pic.twitter.com/MOpCcbyC8D

Hello everybody and welcome to live coverage of race three of the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship. Today’s racing is at the Shanghai International Circuit, home of the China Grand Prix, which today has the numerical distinction of hosting the 1000th GP in F1 history - more on that later.

So early in the season the competition has yet to establish a pattern, which continues to mean good news for Mercedes. After securing race wins in the opening pair of GPs in Australia and Bahrain the Silver Arrows have once again locked out the front row of the grid. Ferrari are hot on their heels though and Red Bull look to have their most promising set-up of the year behind them so we should be in for an action-packed couple of hours.

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Ross Brawn: ‘F1 is a fascinating story of man and machine’

Formula One’s sporting director talks about his unquenchable love for the sport and the daunting tasks ahead of him

Ross Brawn has spent a remarkable career in Formula One relentlessly looking forward. In a febrile paddock all that mattered was the next race, the next win, the next title. But times have changed and, in his current role as F1’s sporting director, the former Mercedes principal has the task of plotting how the sport will evolve, and Brawn is looking to take F1 back to the future.

F1 celebrates its 1,000th world championship race in China on Sunday morning and Brawn has become immersed in F1’s history in order to ensure it can boldly march on to another 1,000 meetings.

Related: Every F1 race is a thriller says FIA chief Jean Todt before 1,000th GP

Related: Before F1’s 1000th grand prix: the greatest races of all time

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Bottas pips Hamilton to pole for Mercedes one-two at Chinese Grand Prix | Giles Richards

  • Valtteri Bottas takes pole for Chinese Grand Prix
  • Ferrari remain positive with 3rd and 4th grid placings

Valtteri Bottas took pole position for Mercedes at the Chinese Grand Prix. With a superlative lap to pip his teammate Lewis Hamilton, the Finn has ensured he will start Formula One’s 1000th Grand Prix on Sunday from the front of the grid.

Hamilton was in second, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in third ahead of his teammate Charles Leclerc. Max Verstappen was in fifth for Red Bull.

Related: Every F1 race is a thriller says FIA chief Jean Todt before 1,000th GP

Related: Lewis Hamilton blocks out F1 party to focus on Chinese GP success

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Chinese Grand Prix marks milestone as F1 stages 1,000th race

The FIA president Jean Todt looks back over 70 years of the organisation which has overseen F1’s expansion from humble beginnings into a multimillion pound industry

“F1 is like a thriller,” says Jean Todt, president of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile. “I have been discussing it with friends recently, with Luc Besson and Michael Mann, the directors. I said: ‘You know, if you want to make a real movie about F1 there is no point because each race is a thriller.’”

Todt is speaking ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix and the 1,000th world championship race in Formula One history. The FIA has run the sport since its inauguration 70 years ago and for its current leader there comes a smile when he remembers what drew him to the sport in the first place.

Related: Before F1’s 1000th grand prix: the greatest races of all time

Related: Lewis Hamilton blocks out F1 party to focus on Chinese GP success

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Lewis Hamilton blocks out F1 party to focus on Chinese GP success

• Shanghai grand prix will be F1’s 1,000th race
• Mercedes driver says milestone is an ‘irrelevant figure’

Lewis Hamilton is in no mood for any distractions from the defence of his title, even as Formula One prepares to celebrate the 1,000th world championship race at the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday.

The five-times world champion has competed in almost a quarter of F1’s 999 races. From those 231 starts he has enjoyed remarkable success, with 74 wins, second only to Michael Schumacher, but as F1 made the preparations for its party in Shanghai, he was focused on another title with Mercedes.

Related: Before F1’s 1000th grand prix: the greatest races of all time

Related: Charles Leclerc’s Bahrain brilliance heralds start of a new dynamic in F1 | Giles Richards

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Before F1’s 1000th grand prix: the greatest races of all time

Ten of the best from the sport’s first 999 outings, featuring Fangio, Prost, Senna, Mansell and Stewart

Winner: Juan Manuel Fangio

Related: Charles Leclerc’s Bahrain brilliance heralds start of a new dynamic in F1 | Giles Richards

Twitter: follow us at @guardian_sport

Related: ‘It felt like home’: Mick Schumacher second in testing on maiden F1 drive

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Mick Schumacher runs Max Verstappen close in F1 testing for Ferrari

• Michael Schumacher’s son enjoys maiden F1 drive in Bahrain
• Fernando Alonso returns to test for McLaren

Michael Schumacher’s son, Mick, has made a hugely successful debut driving a Formula One car in a test for Ferrari. The 20-year-old completed 56 laps in Bahrain and was second fastest behind Max Verstappen in the Red Bull. Fernando Alonso also returned to F1, conducting a tyre test for Pirelli in the McLaren at the Sakhir circuit.

Related: Charles Leclerc’s Bahrain brilliance heralds start of a new dynamic in F1 | Giles Richards

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