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Rosberg takes pole at the Russian GP ahead of Hamilton

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Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg took back-to-back pole positions this afternoon in Russia, followed by team-mate Lewis Hamilton, and Williams driver Valtteri Bottas. 

The weekend was eventful for Formula One, with Friday practice sessions being dominated by rain, thus causing a lack of running around the Sochi track.

Saturday mornings practice was also cut short. Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz Jr. crashed into the barriers at turn 13 with speeds of 200mph, consequently sending the Spaniard to hospital and cutting the session short in order to fix the barriers.

It has since been announced that the young driver is OK, however is staying in hospital for observation; whether he’ll be racing tomorrow is unknown.

Qualifying started with doubt as no-one knew for sure how the cars would perform at the dusty track. Last year Mercedes engines were dominant at Sochi, however with the Ferrari’s catching Mercedes this year it was uncertain how well Mercedes powered cars would do against Ferrari.

Q1 started abruptly with the majority of the field leaving the pit-lane in order to catch some much-needed laps. The session continued as normal and ended with Alsono, Ericsson, Stevens and Merhi missing the cut. Alonso and Merhi both have penalties, which will send the drivers to the back of the grid tomorrow, behind Sainz if he can race tomorrow.

Super-soft tyres were the preferred choice going into Q2. After Hamilton’s out-lap he immediately took the top of the time sheets ahead of Rosberg, who promptly went faster. The final few minutes of Q2 caused tensions as many seasoned drivers were battling with young drivers in order to clinch the final spots into Q3. Rosberg finished the session fastest, Verstappen pushed out senior Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat managing to get himself into Q3. Out after Q2 were: Kvyat, Nasr, Button, Maldonado and Massa.

The beginning of Q3 began the battle for pole between the Mercedes drivers. Lewis and Nico managed to top the time sheets, however, on Lewis’ final lap of the day he ran wide at turn 13 with two minutes to go and destroying any chance he had to grab pole off his teammate.

The rest of the positions in the top 10 was a battle for the other drivers. Their concerns to get as high as possible in order to grab a better position for the race tomorrow. Bottas shone in the final session, grabbing P3 from four-times World Champion, Sebastian Vettel. the German was followed by team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, then both Force India drivers, Frenchmen Romain Grosjean, 18-year-old Max Verstappen and finally Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top 10.

Max Verstappen performed well this afternoon in Russia. He was the only driver representing Toro Rosso, and managed to beat both Red Bull drivers. A great feat for the young man in his rookie season. Force India have also performed well over the weekend, the team being consistent and having both drivers close to Ferrari. Allowing them to have a good chance at moving up the grid in tomorrow’s race. We should be in for a good race tomorrow!

The race tomorrow starts at 14:00 local time (12:00BST).

View image | gettyimages.com


Carlos Sainz Ferarri Force India lewis hamilton Lotus manor McLaren mercedes nico rosberg Red Bull Russian GP Sauber Sochi Grand Prix Toro Rosso Williams

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