Hamilton survives a scare to qualify on pole for the Russian GP, Verstappen P2

26-09-2020 14:12 | Updated: 26-09-2020 14:28
by Matt Gretton
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Hamilton survives a scare to qualify on pole for the Russian GP, Verstappen P2

Lewis Hamilton survived a Q2 scare to qualify on pole for the Russian Grand Prix where he hopes to equal Michael Schumacher's career win record. The Brit sits on pole for the 96th time in his career, his second at the Sochi Autodrom. Max Verstappen will start on the front-row, after beating Bottas by less than 0.100 seconds. 

The World Championship leader was hampered by Sebastian Vettel's red flag in Q2. Hamilton sat in P15 with just over two minutes remaining. He made it over the line with a second to spare to start his final push lap of Q2. Under pressure, the six-time world champion emerged from the drop zone but will start the race on soft tyres. 

Bouncing straight back, Hamilton posted a 1:31.304 to get pole for the eighth time this season and records his fifth consecutive pole position. Bottas didn't improve significantly enough in his final Q3 run and left the door open for Verstappen who was last to cross the line. 

Sergio Perez will start next to Bottas on the second-row, with Daniel Ricciardo rounding out the top five. 

Qualifying results Russiand Grand Prix 2020

Q1

All drivers left the pit lane with soft tyres, except for George Russell who used the mediums for his first run of the session. Hamilton exceeded track limits at turn two on his first run, but a 1:32.983 put him safe the second time around.

At the half-way point, Esteban Ocon sat in the drop zone, but he elevated himself up to P4 in the final run of Q1. George Russell looked likely to drop out but posted a 1:34.020 to push him ahead of both Ferraris.

Sebastian Vettel escaped the drop zone by just 0.400. His former teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, will start last after a mistake in his final run.

OUT
16th - Grosjean
17th - Giovinazzi
18th - Magnussen
19th - Latifi
20th - Raikkonen

Q2

For the second time in the session, Hamilton had his time deleted. On this occasion, the infringement took place at the final corner. Bottas made a mistake on his opening run, putting him fourth fastest. Ricciardo topped the timesheets at the half-way point.

Vettel caused a red flag stoppage after a big crash. The red flag left 2 minutes 15 seconds on the clock with Hamilton and Albon in the drop zone. In the dash for the pit exit, Hamilton sat behind eight cars.

The Championship leader crossed the line with less than a second to spare to start his final lap of Q2. Despite not setting green sector times, Hamilton moved to P4.

OUT
11th - Leclerc
12th - Kvyat
13th - Stroll
14th - Russell
15th - Vettel

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