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Wednesday, 24 October, 2018

Vettel could show his pace early in Bahrain practice

Ferrari eyeing another strong showing in the desert

Sebastian Vettel (left) and Lewis Hamilton look set for a fierce championship battle
1 of 1

Practice one
Channel 4 & Sky Sports F1, midday Friday
Practice two
Channel 4 & Sky Sports F1, 4pm Friday

Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel head to Bahrain tied for the lead in the F1 world championship after two races.

The timing of pitstops played a big part in Vettel's victory in Australia and in Hamilton's win in China last weekend.

And the strategists from Mercedes and Ferrari could have their work cut out again this weekend as strong winds are expected on Sunday. Sand blowing across the circuit could cause tyre wear to become a factor.

The desert track has seen Ferrari post competitive performances in the last two seasons, and that will encourage the Scuderia, whose 2017 challenger appears to be a match for the Mercedes.

Ferrari have waited until Saturday to show their speed thus far this season, but Friday's action was all but abandoned in China.

Hamilton heads the betting to top the first session but Vettel could be the value pick. There is likely to be a fierce development battle between Ferrari and Mercedes, but little is likely to have changed on the cars in the five days since the race in China.

Recommendation
S Vettel fastest in practice one
1pt 5-2 Ladbrokes

The desert track has seen Ferrari post competitive performances in the last two seasons
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