Nico Rosberg took pole position for the Russian Grand Prix on Saturday, as Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton could qualify no better than 10th due to a power unit failure.
Mercedes looked in ominous form during qualifying, comfortably lapping quicker than the rest of the pack. However, any hopes of a front-row lockout were dashed when Hamilton developed issues with his power unit, preventing him from running in Q3.
Hamilton’s non-participation in the final leg of qualifying allowed Rosberg to continue his pole streak, despite locking up on his second flying lap.
The German lapped the Sochi Autodrom in 1:35.417, seven tenths clear of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who is set to drop five places on the grid due to a gearbox change.
Valtteri Bottas qualified an excellent third, outpacing the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen. The Williams driver will start from the first row of the grid after taking Vettel’s penalty into consideration.
Meanwhile, Felipe Massa was fifth fastest, ahead of the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.
Sergio Perez, who registered a podium finish in Russia last year, qualified in seventh place, beating Daniil Kvyat and Max Verstappen.
Earlier in Q2, Carlos Sainz failed to make the cut, with both McLarens also missing out on the final leg of qualifying. Nico Hulkenberg’s struggles in Russia continued as he could only qualify in 13th place.
Both the Renaults were eliminated in Q1 for the third race running, with Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer qualifying in 17th and 18th places respectively.
by Rachit Thukral