Vettel leads 1-2 for Ferrari in qualifying at Sochi Autodrom
Ferrari did a great job before the Russian Grand Prix race after Sebastian Vettel won the pole position while Kimi Raikkonen will start from the second place. It was really exciting qualifying session in which Scuderia occupied the front row for the first time since 2008 French Grand Prix.
The first qualifying round was marked by the crashes of Jolyon Palmer and Pascal Wehrlein in the final moments of the session. Both drivers were eliminated from the second qualifying round, as well as Romain Grosjean, Marcus Ericsson, and Stoffel Vandoorne. Mercedes cars were the fastest in Q1, with Valtteri Bottas at the top with a lap time of 1:34.041 what was 0.368s better than the result of his teammate Lewis Hamilton.
The Finn again was the faster of two Mercedes drivers in the second qualifying round. He set the time 1:33.264 what was 0.399s better than the result set by Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen and almost 0.5s better than Hamilton’s result. Carlos Sainz Jr, Lance Stroll, Daniil Kvyat, Kevin Magnussen, and Fernando Alonso were eliminated from the last qualifying round.
Last 10 minutes were exciting and thrilling. Raikkonen led at the mid-stage of Q3 and managed but in the very last moment, Vettel was able to overtake him by only 0.059s and score his only the 2nd pole as Ferrari driver. Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton will start from the second row, Daniel Ricciardo and Felipe Massa will start from the third row while Max Verstappen, Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez, and Esteban Ocon will start from the 4th and 5th row.