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Hamilton dominates opening practice session in China

14 April 2018
Hamilton dominates opening practice session in China

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have moved on from last weekend's on-track spat after the Mercedes driver went to see the Dutchman in Shanghai on Thursday.

Hamilton expects it to be more hard to fend off the Ferrari challenge this season but the four-time world champion is content that Mercedes are well equipped for more glory.

With track temperatures low and wind speeds high, several drivers joined Hamilton in suffering off track moments.

With the two at odds, Hamilton took it upon himself to seek out Verstappen in China and shake hands with his opponent.

"I was in the auto, so I felt it, saw it", he told a news conference. I feel like I did in the race but it was too late by then.

"Regardless if it is his fault or my fault, it's in the past".

WE ARE not even three races into the new season and there are already rumours swirling as to who will be Lewis Hamilton's team-mate next year.

"You can't say that they were ideal and neither were we". "That's racing. You can say what you like about the incident".

"If we had a punch-up here, jeez, your career would be over". And how they know where I was going, I don't know?!

Hamilton, who is playing catch-up in the championship race after losing out to rival Sebastian Vettel in the first two races finished clear of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen with his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas third.

The Brit said: "They are going to be hard to beat". "So I really hope that I'm able to climb the ladder and get back to where we've been working towards being in the last two races". So I'm anticipating they will be very, very fast.

Hamilton, however, made some key errors on his fastest lap, spinning his rear tyres into over-steer at turns 12 and at the hairpin at turn 14.

Haas and Renault look as though they could be locked in a battle this weekend for "best of the rest" with the quartet locking out positions seven through to 10 in opening practice as Toro Rosso look to have taken a step backwards from last weekend's high in Bahrain with Pierre Gasly only 11th quickest. "It is a good track for us but it will be closer than you think so we need to bring our A-game every weekend".

Hamilton said over team radio that it was good for only one qualifying lap before the best of the rubber had been used, and no driver managed to get much more than 10 laps in race simulation mode without complaining of severe degradation.