Ferrari set to continue prioritizing Sebastian Vettel

Jolyon Palmer Vettel's spin in the race in Bahrain was amateur

Hamilton and championship-leading team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who was fifth, set their fastest laps on the grippier soft tyre with Vettel and Leclerc setting their best efforts on the less sticky but more durable medium compound rubber. "Max drove the wheels off the vehicle all afternoon, and although he fought hard to pass Vettel and challenge for a podium, we just didn't quite have the pace to get ahead of him".

He was 46 years and 41 days when he clinched his fifth championship (PA Archive/PA Images) Out of the 764 drivers to have started an F1 race, the United Kingdom - with 163 - has had more participants than any other country (David Davies/PA) Monza has staged more grands prix (68) than any other country.

Valtteri Bottas lines up on pole for the first time since the Russian Grand Prix last October. In the Constructors' Championship, Mercedes leads with 87 versus the 48 of Ferrari and 31 of Red Bull.

There's bundles of stuff to get through before we're lights out so I'll curtail this preamble and start sending through plenty of goodies to whet the appetite. I know the things I need to work on, I probably need to change a bit my driving style and with the team working together we can find a direction to make it a bit more suitable to myself.

But the reigning five-times world champion can expect a stiff challenge in his bid for an unprecedented sixth triumph with Ferrari tipped as favourites following their Bahrain performance and Red Bull also in with an outside chance. "And nothing accentuates that rich history more than celebrating our 1,000th race".

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"There are so many possibilities that can happen in the race", Vettel added.

This is not only for the fact that it marks the 1000th Grand Prix in the celebrated journey of Formula 1. And around 80 percent of a lap is spent cornering, so the tires struggle to last, making this one of the races where strategy can make a huge difference. "It was ok previous year, and I need to change a bit the way I drive to get the maximum from the auto".

While his auto was running during the qualifying simulations, Leclerc only managed a 1m34.158s lap for seventh on the timesheet after facing traffic on his first lap and making a mistake on his second timed effort.

But the Italian press have been less benevolent towards Vettel after his recent struggles, as new Ferrari driver Charles LeClerc earns all the praise.

Red Bull has also picked one podium finish so far, but looks off the pace compared to Mercedes. That left very little time on the clock for the drivers to complete the out lap and get their flying laps started before the session clock stopped, as cars go slow on their outlaws, especially the Mercedes cars who were at the head of the que going into the final lap.

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