Sixth was Verstappen's team-mate Pierre Gasly, the Frenchman earning a bonus point for clocking the quickest lap, one minute 34.742 seconds, in windy and hazy conditions.
"I knew the moment it was happening that I would have to face these questions", he said.
"They are such w*nkers honestly".
"We tried to stick with them today, but we just couldn't", said Vettel. At the time, you always try to do what is right. If he misses qualifying he could still race from the back of the grid. "It was solid, maybe had a tiny edge over Ferrari, but not what we've seen in the race".
"I'm glad he talks like that because it shows maturity", he said.
Lewis Hamilton leads Valterri Bottas. 2019 Chinese Grand Prix Sunday – Wolfgang Wilhelm
"We were fighting for third".
However, former drivers-turned pundits Martin Brundle and Nico Rosberg both denied any such "gentleman's agreement" existed.
Sky F1 expert Simon Lazenby correctly predicted the Thai wouldn't be participating in qualifying later in the afternoon with his auto "disintegrated".
In fairness, Ferrari's boss Mattia Binotto had repeated earlier in the weekend that in any 50-50 scenario Vettel would still take priority - and this was one of those occasions.
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I can see that it's not easy for anyone involved, but as I said, we try to obviously get stronger and fight Mercedes which are now a little bit ahead. "He got caught out and got angry, probably with himself". Bottas became the first Mercedes to stop a lap after, picking up hards before emerging between the two Ferraris, and Hamilton took his own set of hards the next lap, rejoining the race where he left it-in the lead.
"As a team, we didn't expect to have three 1-2s", Hamilton said.
"We need to try to get stronger and fight Mercedes, which are now a little bit ahead". And there is one hell of a straight at the Shanghai International Circuit. It was also the five-time and defending champion's 75th career victory, which moved him into the lead in the overall standings after three races.
The next race is the Azerbaijan GP on April 28 in Baku. Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel took third place.
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'It is far too early to look at the numbers, ' said Hamilton.
"And after that it was kind of history".
There has yet to be a victor this year from pole position, with Bottas triumphant in the Australian opener in similar fashion to Hamilton in China. "The Ferrari is very strong, and we expect this fight for pole position and as a effect race wins to continue". We have so many races, only time will tell whether we did something right or wrong.
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