Saturday's pole was Vettel's second in three races this season and Ferrari's first in Shanghai since Brazilian Rubens Barrichello started the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix from the front in 2004. In an earlier attempt to overtake Hamilton he ran wide at turn 7, allowing team-mate Daniel Ricciardo to get ahead.
It looked like the win would be decided between Mercedes and Ferrari once again, until the safety auto handed a strong advantage to Red Bull, whose drivers started cutting through the front-runners at a frantic pace in the closing stages of the race. "I think if we do our homework, if we get the vehicle balance right and we get everything together, then it should be a good weekend - I don't see why not".
"I think Ferrari are still going to be very strong tomorrow but with Mercedes today, I think we can race them tomorrow". I left him a bit of room.
"The amusing thing about being outperformed on Saturday is that you are the lion that is just waiting to jump on its prey", he added.
"I don't think I necessarily need to change a lot of things, it's just I need to learn from what happened today", he added.
"At the moment things are not going the way I like of course".
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Vettel ended up finishing eighth after the incident with Verstappen and the result has reduced his F1 World Drivers' Championship lead to nine points. I'll say my side, but also us as a team. I had no intention to resist because it was clear with Daniel as well that there was no point doing so - they were just too quick on the fresh tyres.
"Maybe not even calm down but maybe oversee the situation a little bit more. We had a tail wind down that straight the whole race, so I guess he misjudged and compromised both of our results".
The reigning world champion dropped several spots with a sluggish opening lap, before spending the first stint of the race battling to hold on to the back of Kimi Raikkonen in fifth position. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial of either, and you can then watch the race live on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app. Inside the vehicle judgements are very hard to make.
"You mustn't forget that inside the vehicle the judgements are very hard to make but you have to ultimately have these things in mind and make sure you don't crash".
"I don't know if we can challenge, we're half a second behind today", he said, hoping that expected warmer conditions on Sunday would help at a circuit where overtaking is easier than most. The Ferrari driver finished half a second ahead of both Bottas and Hamilton at a track where, until yesterday, you had to go back to 2011 for the last time a non-Mercedes auto occupied the front slot on the grid.