Hamilton On Pole For Russian GP But Likely To Struggle In The Race

Hamilton took pole by a comfortable margin at Sochi.

Lewis Hamilton has taken pole position for the Russian Grand Prix at Sochi, ahead of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen and Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

The six-time World Champion had to do three runs in Q2 and did his final and fastest lap on a set of soft-compound tyres, which he will start the race on.

So, Hamilton could be vulnerable in the race, as Verstappen and Bottas will start on more durable medium-compound tyres.

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Starting on the softs and switching on to the mediums early in the race is likely to be an inferior strategy, and being on pole also could be a disadvantage as there’s a long flat-out section before the first braking zone at turn 2, so Verstappen and Bottas have a good chance slipstreaming past him at the start.

After qualifying, Hamilton noted that he could be at a disadvantage in the race but he’s still hoping to claim victory at Sochi and equal Michael Schumacher’s record of 91 grand prix victories.

Sergio Perez will line up fourth on the grid, with Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz just behind him.

Esteban Ocon, Lando Norris, Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon will round out the top ten.

The two Ferraris will start the race 11th and 15th, with Charles Leclerc just missing out on getting into Q3 and Sebastian Vettel cutting his qualifying early after he crashed out towards the end of Q2.

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This resulted in the session being red flagged and almost led to Lewis Hamilton being knocked out, as he was very close to failing to start a flying lap in time.

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