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Sebastian Vettel won the first Grand Prix of the season in Melbourne. However, the Ferrari driver admitted to having ‘chickened out’ in the closing stages of the qualifying stages to allow rival Lewis Hamilton get the golden opportunity of starting the grid in the Chinese Grand Prix.

He maintained that his car was in a superb condition and he felt confident going into the race. “We will see tomorrow how important it was,” Vettel said. “Obviously, it was a nice session, I enjoyed a lot.

“I think I would have enjoyed it more if it’d been quicker at the end. The last corner, maybe I lost a bit and chickened onto the brakes too soon.”

It is clear that Mercedes and Ferrari are the favourites to finish on top as other teams are still quite a distance behind them.

Vettel added, “We will see tomorrow how important being on front row is. If we could have been a bit quicker it would have been even nicer.”

Hamilton, meanwhile, has vowed to come back stronger in the Shanghai race.

Hamilton might have had to taste defeat in the season opener, but he set a track record to capture his sixth pole position in China, breaking the 13-year-old mark held by Michael Schumacher by more than half a second.

His teammate Valtteri  Bottas came third in qualifying as Mercedes look to change their fortunes in the second race of the season. He said, “It is a real shame Seb managed to get between us but the race is tomorrow.

“We are starting first and third and that’s a good place to start, the weather can be anything tomorrow.

“Lewis was strong, Ferrari was strong and we’re expecting a tight race. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.”

All the ingredients seem to be in place to ensure a rather mouth-watering affair on Sunday.

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