Lewis Hamilton issues warning with strong Chinese Grand Prix practice showing

Brit driver Hamilton signs the cap in Shanghai ahead of this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix

Despite a later spin at Turn 11, Hamilton finished 0.359s ahead of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen with the other Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas in third, but 0.458s adrift.

Vettel, 17 points clear of Hamilton following victories in Australia and last week's Bahrain Grand Prix, was only sixth.

"We got it better for practice two and that way lap times were improving". So I'm anticipating they will be very, very fast and hard to beat.

"It was a good day and we got through all the laps that we needed and got some good feedback from the auto", Hamilton said.

"It has been a good day", said Hamilton, who has won the Chinese Grand Prix five times in his career.

With such drastic swings in momentum race-to-race, Vettel and teammate Kimi Raikkonen's hopes of breaking Mercedes' stranglehold can not be written off based on past form.

Both Vettel and Hamilton are chasing a fifth world title this year.

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Vice Premier Liu He has been telling visitors that China will retaliate proportionally to trade protection from the U.S. Earlier, China imposed tariffs worth $3 billion on 128 USA products in retaliation for US duties on steel and aluminum.

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.

Hamilton went on to finish third, but after the race claimed that Verstappen had lacked respect with his attempted manoeuvre. I'm definitely not one that likes losing, I've never made that a secret. A year ago in Mexico it could have gone wrong as well, maybe for me, maybe for another vehicle. "I'm comfortable with the way that I handle it but I am able to turn it into a positive into my next challenge". The former champions have finished on the podium in China in the last two years.

The power of Hamilton as a brand as well as a driver could be felt last night in downtown Shanghai when Tommy Hilfiger announced the world champion has been working on his own fashion collection.

"So the mindset, the strength in which I have now, I wish I had then because it would have changed my life I would imagine back then".

But even so, the enthusiasm of the fans in China still catches him off-guard.

"They're always so energetic and always excited that I'm there and I get to the hotel and, somehow, most often they've beaten me to the hotel! I don't know why that is".

Fernando Alonso showed reasonable pace for McLaren in 10th, but the team suffered a mixed day, having sent Stoffel Vandoorne to the track with a loose wheel, causing him to stop by the side of the road and prematurely end his session.

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