Chinese Grand Prix 2024: Lewis Hamilton will ‘have some fun’ from 18th on grid

Norris agreed that the Ferraris were likely to be the second fastest cars behind the Red Bulls in the race.

“It buys a bit of leeway on the Ferraris but more than likely they will be overtaking us tomorrow. I think our battle will be with the Aston and probably the Mercedes at some point.

“Red Bull are a mile ahead and Ferrari are another big chunk ahead of us but with everyone else we are there or thereabouts and it should be a good race.”

Norris said he had “no chance” of a podium, adding: “The Red Bulls will probably lap everyone. Ferrari will not be as quick as them but they will be quick enough. They are out of our league.”

Leclerc said: “We have a good car for the race. We are good in tyre management, we just need to do a good start, have a clean first couple of laps and then use our pace to come back in front. Podium is the target for sure.”

Sainz is the subject of a protest from Aston Martin following a crash in the second session.

The Spaniard managed to return the car to the pits after losing control at the final corner and lightly hitting the barrier, and he took part in the rest of qualifying.

Aston Martin have protested on the grounds of a rule that says that “any driver whose car stops on the track during the qualifying session will not be permitted to take any further part in that session”.

Verstappen, who has won three of the four races so far this season and retired from the other with a brake problem, said: “We should be quick, normally. But after a sprint a lot of people can analyse more what they and we are doing. So naturally the gaps will become a bit smaller but I am still very confident we can have a good race.”

Alonso said: “We are completely out of position for tomorrow with whatever position we are. I think seventh, eighth, ninth is our natural order tomorrow when we see the chequered flag, but we are qualifying extremely well this year and we’ll take it.”

SOURCE: BBC Sport   (go to source)
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