Vettel and Raikkonen storm to Ferrari front row for Russian GP

Sebastian Vettel will start from pole position alongside team mate Kimi Raikkonen in an all Ferrari front row, ending Mercedes 18-race streak locking out the front row.

The top three were separated by just five hundredths of a second by the end of the session, as Valterri Bottas out qualified Lewis Hamilton for the second time in a row and will start from third.

The three-time world champion was compromised when Nico Hulkenberg passed him at the start of Q3 coming out of the pits, with the pair engaging in a race for track position which wasted crucial lap time. Then on his next run Hamilton struggled with tyre temperatures on the Ultra Soft, despite setting the quickest first sector he couldn’t translate that into an improvement later on in the lap and was 1.2 seconds off the pace at the end.

Raikkonen was on provisional pole before Vettel managed to improve in the final run from being third quickest. Ferrari were able to make use of an extra set of Ultra Soft tyre having not run them in Q1, in the second part of qualifying which means they also have an upper hand heading into the first part of the race tomorrow.

Felipe Masas split the two Red Bulls to go sixth fastest ahead of Max Verstappen, while Nico Hulkenberg starts from eighth quickest in another impressive qualifying showing.

Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz managed to qualify 11th quickest, however his three-place grid drop that puts him down to 14th behind Kevin Magnussen who was significantly quicker than team mate Romain Grosjean.

He starts plum last having struggled with the brakes in his Haas, despite the team switching back to Brembo from Carbone Industrie today having had an inconsistent car balance throughout Friday, but it seems they were still suffering from balance issues.

Jolyon Palmer splits the two McLaren drivers having qualified 16th quickest, although he ended the first part of qualifying having crashed at Turn 4 after clipping the kerb on the inside. That significantly damaged the front-end of his Renault and also parts at the rear, while Sauber’s Pascal Wehlein who starts from 18th spun at Turn 12 which made it a messy end to the session.

Stoffel Vandoorne meanwhile will start from the back of the grid having incurred a 15-place grid penalty due to taking his fifth turbo charger unit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *