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The milestone is subject of contention as while the first world championship was held in 1950, Formula One races began four years earlier.

The five-time world champion has competed in nearly a quarter of F1's 999 races and, from those 231 starts, he has enjoyed remarkable success, with his 74 wins ranking second only to racing great Michael Schumacher. Teams can use only two control electronics boxes for an entire season, so Ferrari have now used up their allocation. After securing race wins in the opening pair of Global Positioning System in Australia and Bahrain the Silver Arrows have once again locked out the front row of the grid.

Although, the same perhaps could not be said about present day with Mercedes and Ferrari dominating the front row and Williams now struggling at the back week in, week out - it really has been the significant fall of a once, great giant.

The sport has often had a problem with anniversaries, with statisticians quibbling over how many starts teams and drivers have made, according to different definitions, and this one is no exception.

Here we look at some of the key Opta facts ahead of the race at the Shanghai International Circuit.

Wind your way back down memory lane as F1 reaches 1000 not out.

The Ferrari driver left the last round under a cloud after he was beaten by his team-mate Charles Leclerc.

With finishes of fifth and third in the season's first two races, respectively, Leclerc has earned 26 points so far in 2019 while Vettel has earned 22 points as a result of his fourth and fifth place finishes in these two races.

It turned out to be an important moment in the fight for third position, as Verstappen never came close enough to attempt another overtake for the rest of the grand prix.

Sebastian Vettel went fastest for Ferrari in Friday's opening practice session for the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix. "We've got work to do, particularly on my side as Valtteri looked much more comfortable in the vehicle".

"But I think he sees Formula E as an option for the future, all the drivers here have come from professional motorsport and other formulas".

Ferrari will not roll over easily and are rightly favourites but when you are getting 5/2 on Lewis Hamilton to win at one of his favourite circuits, it feels like a no-brainer to get behind him. While there is no rule about overtaking on the qualifying laps, there is a sort of gentleman's agreement among the drivers, to not pass each other on the second last or the last corner before a flying lap.

Vettel made errors in Bahrain, spinning while trying to defend second place from eventual victor Lewis Hamilton, and said afterwards that he had "homework" to do.

"I was struggling with the vehicle today", he said.


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