Nico Rosberg beat his Mercedes team-mate to take pole position for Sunday’s Russian Grand Prix. The German was fractionally quick than Hamilton on their first runs in Q3 which is unusual as the final lap in the session is normally the fastest.
Rosberg will be hoping he can hold of Hamilton in a bid to close the gap to his championship rival. The Mercedes powered Williams of Valtteri Bottas was third ahead of the Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
Preparations for this weekend were harmed further during the final practice session after Carlos Sainz crashed heavily into the barriers. The Spaniard was forced to miss qualifying and remains in hospital for observation. He faces checks tomorrow to see if he is fit to race and if he fit he will start from the pit lane.
Kimi Raikkonen will start fifth ahead of the Force India’s of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez. Romain Grosjean starts eighth for Lotus and Sainz’s team-mate Max Verstappen will start ninth after beating the main teams Daniel Ricciardo by eight seconds.
Rosberg look on form though-out the session with his team-mate struggling on the street circuit in Sochi. Hamilton was forced to abort his last run following a mistake after running off at turn 13.
Rosberg said it had been a “difficult weekend because we didn’t get much practice but qualifying worked out really well. It felt comfortable and I got some good laps in.”
The home crowd were disappointed after Red Bull’s Daniil Kyvat failed to make it into Q3 after failing to beat Verstappen’s time. Both McLaren’s and Manor’s failed to make it into Q2 with nineteen cars taking part.
Alonso will start last anyway because of a 35-place penalty for using too many engine components. Will Stevens beat Manor team-mate Roberto Merhi for eighteenth.