Formula One: Young star Leclerc eyes victory in F1's 1000th race



Speaking straight after the Grand Prix, which saw Lewis Hamilton inherit the win from Charles Leclerc after the latter suffered engine issues, Wolff conceded that Ferrari's strong pace in Bahrain had been less of a surprise than their lack of pace in Australia - and he was full of praise for the Scuderia's impressive power unit performance, particularly on the straights.

"I hope the vehicle will be as good as it was in Bahrain, so that I can continue to go for the results we deserve", said the 21-year-old Monegasque.

"Following the race, technicians and engineers traced the fault on the vehicle to a short circuit within an injection system control unit", Ferrari said in a statement.

The young driver was desperately unlucky last time out in Bahrain, leading for much of the race before his Ferrari lost power, allowing Lewis Hamilton to snatch victory.

Hamilton leads team-mate Bottas by just a point after his triumph in Bahrain and the world champion will be eyeing a sixth success at the Shanghai International Circuit.

Valtteri Bottas claimed a dominant victory in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix with world champion Hamilton second.

"The truth is that we weren't as quick as our direct competitors throughout qualifying and the race in Bahrain", he said.

"We all worked so hard through the weekend as we do every weekend but we underperformed".

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Meanwhile, Daniel Ricciardo - victor in Shanghai previous year - believes Renault are heading in the right direction after failing to finish his first two races with his new team.

Shanghai has one of the longest straights in the 21-race championship and should be ideal for Ferrari's searing pace, with reliability the main concern for the Italian marque.

However, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff is under no illusions about the challenge posed by Ferrari.

"At the next two races there are massively long straights and I think here they were making more than 0.4s only in straight lines per lap".

Red is seen as a lucky color in China and Leclerc, who hung on for third in Bahrain and a first podium finish, could do with a slice of good fortune after the disappointment in the desert.

The German has won just once in China, when he handed Red Bull their maiden victory in 2009, before the current V6 turbo hybrid era.

"Overall, Shanghai provides you with a lot of opportunities to fight and set up overtakes", said Max Verstappen, who botched his chances of victory and a possible one-two a year ago with scrappy attempts to overtake Hamilton and Vettel.

"We've seen exciting races so far this season and we're looking forward to the next fight in Shanghai".

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