In Review

F1 Chinese GP: Bottas on pole, qualifying reactions, 1,000th race start time, predictions, betting odds, TV guide

Mercedes secure a front-row lockout after qualifying in Shanghai

2019 Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix
  • What: race No.3 on the F1 2019 calendar 
  • When: 12-14 April 
  • Where: Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China
  • Race start time: 7.10am on Sunday 14 April
  • TV channels: live on Sky Sports F1 and highlights on Channel 4

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas will be on pole position for Sunday’s Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix.

In Saturday’s qualifying session the Finn was fastest ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton as Mercedes secured a front-row lockout at the Shanghai International Circuit. Recording a time of 1:31.547, Bottas finished 0.023s quicker than Hamilton.

Ferrari duo Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc were third and fourth while Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly were fifth and sixth.

The 2019 Chinese GP, F1’s 1,000th world championship race, starts at 7.10am (UK time) on Sunday 14 April.

Chinese GP top ten starting grid
  • 1. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 
  • 2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 
  • 3. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 
  • 4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 
  • 5. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 
  • 6. Pierre Gasly (Red Bull) 
  • 7. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) 
  • 8. Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) 
  • 9. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) 
  • 10. Romain Grosjean (Haas)
Qualifying: driver reactions

What the drivers said to Sky Sports after qualifying in China.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, pole position: “It’s been a good weekend so far. Felt really comfortable today. Honestly struggled to get the perfect lap in Q3 but it was good enough. The lap was OK. Not completely how I want it. The car has been really good this weekend and Lewis improved a lot. It was super close.”

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, starting second: “I didn’t give up, I kept pushing. Valtteri has been stellar all weekend. I’ve been fighting the car but I’m much happier. It was eight tenths at one stage so to be as close as we are at the end is fantastic. It’s an incredible result for the team. Ferrari are particularly quick on the straights. It’s evident this weekend we’ve gained some performance through the corners.”

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, starting third: “Right from Q1 Mercedes seemed to start from a better place. I think we had a good session, maybe there was a little bit more. I was actually quite happy I managed the final attempt because it was quite marginal on time. I think there was maybe a little bit more but not enough to beat these guys today. They are bloody quick in the corners. When we get close we have an advantage on the straight line so maybe we can do something there.”

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, starting fifth: “I could also have overtaken the Ferrari in front but it’s just not what you do in qualifying. I’m not happy about it but it will swing around and it will come back to others as well. We were fighting for third. When you then can’t do your final lap you know that the guys who are doing the lap have a chance of overtaking you.”

2019 F1 Chinese GP race guide

  • First grand prix: 2004 
  • Number of laps: 56 
  • Circuit length: 5.451km 
  • Race distance: 305.066km 
  • Lap record: 1:32.238 by Michael Schumacher in 2004 
  • 2018 podium: 1st Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull Racing); 2nd Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes); 3rd Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari)
When are the practice sessions?

There are three full practice (FP) sessions in China. On Friday 12 April FP1 takes place at 3am and FP2 is at 7am. FP3 will be at 4am on Saturday 13 April. All times UK.

When is qualifying?

Qualifying for the F1 Chinese GP starts at 7am on Saturday 13 April.

What time does the race start?

The 2019 F1 Chinese Grand Prix starts at 7.10am (UK time) on Sunday 14 April.

Betting odds

Prices according to Oddschecker (as of 13 April).

Chinese GP race winner odds
  • Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari): 10/3
  • Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): 15/4
  • Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes): 9/2
  • Charles Leclerc (Ferrari): 15/2
  • Max Verstappen (Red Bull): 20/1
  • Pierre Gasly (Red Bull): 200/1 
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc (right) finished third at the F1 Bahrain GP as Mercedes’s Lewis Hamilton (left) won the race

Andrej Isakovic/AFP/Getty Images

Chinese GP predictions

Joe Krishnan, London Evening Standard - Charles Leclerc (Ferrari): “It’s impressive how the youngster has settled so quickly into life at Ferrari considering his tender age and the fact it’s only his second season in the sport. But the manner in which he dominated the whole race weekend in Bahrain would have certainly wowed the bosses at Maranello while his team-mate Sebastian Vettel continues to struggle for consistent pace. For now, the Scuderia may be best placed in backing the 21-year-old while he’s quickest and with the fastest car in a straight line, they have to get their strategy bang on in Shanghai. After the car let Leclerc down just ten laps from victory in Sakhir, there’s no reason why Ferrari should deny their prodigy a maiden win at the third attempt.”

Anish Vishwakoti, Sportskeeda - Charles Leclerc (Ferrari): “With the new talent of Leclerc arriving in F1 as we reach this huge milestone of 1,000 race, while I see the old guard of Hamilton taking pole on Saturday, I feel that in China he [Leclerc] will finally get his first win after a fantastic drive. While it may not be a passing of the torch, it will be the spark that lights Leclerc’s possible patch to real world championship contention.”

Matthew Atkinson, The Stats Zone - Charles Leclerc (Ferrari): “The 1,000th grand prix looks set to be a close fight between Mercedes and Ferrari. The Shanghai International Circuit is dominated by the pit straight, one of the longest on the F1 calendar, this should play to Ferrari’s power advantage in a straight line. However, there are many overtaking opportunities, especially into the never-ending turn one, which Hamilton will exploit. Sebastian Vettel will be keen to answer his critics and Charles Leclerc will be intending to put the torment of Bahrain behind him with another commanding performance. The youngster could well seal his first F1 victory this weekend. He has the motivation, pace and controlled aggression.”

Chinese GP TV guide

Sky Sports F1 will show live coverage of practice, qualifying and the GP from Shanghai. Channel 4 will show highlights of qualifying and the race.

Watch on Now TV

F1 fans can also watch the action live on Now TV. Viewers can subscribe to a Sky Sports F1 season ticket via Now TV for all race weekends in 2019. A one-off payment costs £195 - the equivalent of £5 per week.

Sky Sports coverage of the Chinese GP
Thursday 11 April
  • 7am: drivers’ press conference live (simulcast on Sky Sports Main Event) 
  • 10am: Welcome to the Weekend live
Friday 12 April
  • 2.45am: practice one build-up (simulcast on Sky Sports Main Event) 
  • 3am: practice one live (simulcast on Sky Sports Main Event) 
  • 6.45am: practice two build-up (simulcast on Sky Sports Main Event) 
  • 7am: practice two live (simulcast on Sky Sports Main Event) 
  • 9am: Chinese GP: The Story So Far (simulcast on Sky Sports Main Event)
Saturday 13 April
  • 3.45am: practice three build-up (simulcast on Sky Sports Main Event) 
  • 4am: practice three live (simulcast on Sky Sports Main Event) 
  • 5.10am: Paddock Walkabout live 
  • 6am: qualifying build-up (simulcast on Sky One and Sky Sports Main Event) 
  • 7am: qualifying live (simulcast on Sky One and Sky Sports Main Event) 
  • 8.30am: The F1 Show live (simulcast on Sky One and Sky Sports Main Event)
Sunday 14 April
  • 5.30am: Pit Lane live (simulcast on Sky One and Sky Sports Main Event) 
  • 6.30am: Chinese GP On The Grid live (simulcast on Sky One and Sky Sports Main Event) 
  • 7.10am: F1 Chinese Grand Prix live (simulcast on Sky One and Sky Sports Main Event) 
  • 9am: Chinese GP paddock live (simulcast on Sky One) 
  • 10am: Chinese GP: The Notebook live 
  • 10.30am: Chinese GP full race replay (simulcast on Sky One and Sky Sports Main Event) 
  • 1.35pm: Chinese GP full race replay
Channel 4 coverage of the Chinese GP
  • Saturday 13 April: qualifying highlights at 1pm 
  • Sunday 14 April: race highlights at 3pm

1,000th race

It’s celebration time for Formula 1 as this weekend’s Chinese GP marks the sport’s 1,000th world championship race. F1 teams and drivers have their say ahead of a milestone weekend. 

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari: “In the past I’ve had some good races here with Ferrari, coming very close to winning. Maybe this time we’ll get that little bit of luck, so that we can really celebrate the thousandth Formula 1 race.”

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari: “Usually, the Chinese race is good fun, because the weather can be unpredictable and rain can arrive when you least expect it. It’s the thousandth race in the history of Formula 1 and I hope the car will be as good as it was in Bahrain, so that I can continue to go for the results we deserve.”

Nico Hülkenberg, Renault: “China is a busier one away from track as Formula 1 continues to grow in popularity there. It’s the 1,000th Formula 1 grand prix and that’s quite special to be a part in. The fans are usually very excited in Shanghai, which is awesome to see and makes it even more important for us to put on a show. Renault is a big market in China and there will be a lot of activities going on to harness that.”

Romain Grosjean, Haas: “It’s great. I’ve been following Formula 1 for a long time – not since the 50s, obviously – but I’ve been in love with the sport since the early 90s. Reaching 1,000 races for Formula 1 is very impressive. When they started, I’m sure they didn’t think it would come this far. It���s pretty impressive. It’s going to be a great grand prix in China. I’m looking forward to the event and, hopefully, some good luck.”

Lance Stroll, Racing Point: “I’m proud to be on the grid for the 1,000th F1 race. I’ve been watching this sport all of my life and I must have seen well over 250 races. When I was very young and living in Canada I would wake up early to watch the races in Europe at breakfast time. I remember supporting Michael Schumacher and I would always go to the Canadian race with my dad each year.”

Sergio Perez, Racing Point: “As it’s the 1,000th race, I’ve been thinking about some of the races I remember watching when I was younger. The first race I attended as a fan was Indianapolis in 2002 when I was 12 years old. It was the prize after winning a karting race in Miami organised by Juan Pablo Montoya. As a driver, the most memorable F1 race for me was probably Malaysia 2012. It was my second year in F1 and I finished on the podium in second place after a fantastic battle with Fernando Alonso.”

Robert Kubica, Williams: “It will be a privilege to drive in the 1,000th grand prix in Formula 1; it is a big achievement for all the F1 world and for the fans. It will make me very happy and proud to have the opportunity to participate.”

George Russell, Williams: “I am really looking forward to China as it is a circuit I have never raced at before. It is always a great experience driving on a new track. It is the 1,000th grand prix for Formula 1 so it is great to be one of the 20 drivers that are a part of that. There is so much history in the sport and this will be a historic race, so I am extremely proud to be lining up on the grid in Shanghai.”

Toto Wolff, Mercedes team principal: “1,000 races over almost 70 years is testament to the fantastic tradition and heritage of this sport. We’re proud to represent one of the world’s biggest brands in the series and we will do our very best to put on a good show on this historic occasion.”

Otmar Szafnauer, team principal of Racing Point: “The Chinese Grand Prix – the 1,000th Formula 1 race – is a milestone for the sport and one we will celebrate by carrying special stickers on our cars this weekend. This team, through its various guises, has played its part in about half of those races, and enjoyed plenty of special days over the last 29 years.”


One month to go: inside the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Village
Tokyo 2020 bedrooms
In pictures

One month to go: inside the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Village

Messi vs. Ronaldo: the rivalry and all-time career records
Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Juventus against Lionel Messi of Barcelona
In Depth

Messi vs. Ronaldo: the rivalry and all-time career records

Uefa Euro 2020 guide
Uefa Euro 2020
The big match

Uefa Euro 2020 guide

Carl Nassib comes out as gay: an NFL game changer
Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib

Carl Nassib comes out as gay: an NFL game changer

Popular articles

The GB News reviews: foxy, fresh or utterly deadly?
GB News launch
In Review

The GB News reviews: foxy, fresh or utterly deadly?

Is the UK’s holiday traffic light system ‘dead’?
Why we’re talking about . . .

Is the UK’s holiday traffic light system ‘dead’?

Inside Boris Johnson’s plan for how the UK can ‘live with Covid’
Boris Johnson walks up Downing Street to No. 10
Behind the scenes

Inside Boris Johnson’s plan for how the UK can ‘live with Covid’