Provisional grid Russian GP: Norris on pole, Hamilton P4 and Bottas P7

25-09-2021 16:15
Provisional grid Russian GP: Norris on pole, Hamilton P4 and Bottas P7

Qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix was expected to be easy for Mercedes, but changing conditions threw a spanner in the works. The session on Saturday ended up being a chaotic and very surprising qualifying, with the following starting grid for the Russian Grand Prix for the time being.

We've seen quite a few surprises in 2021, but they often came on Sunday. At Sochi Autodrom, it was time for a very surprising qualifying session, where actually an easy pole position for Lewis Hamilton or Valtteri Bottas was expected. Especially with Hamilton's skills in the rain, a wet Sochi would have been a dream scenario for him.

Disaster for Hamilton

At the end of qualifying, however, everything fell apart for the Brit. While just about everyone else went to the pit lane for soft tyres, Hamilton also drove in. He hit the pit wall. Then Lando Norris, Carlos Sainz and George Russell managed to get the soft tyres working and make for a surprising top three. And all that while Hamilton ended up in the wall again. It wasn't much better from Bottas, despite him always shining at Sochi. The Finn will have to start the Russian Grand Prix from the seventh starting position.

Verstappen's role, meanwhile, was long overdue in Q3. In fact, the Dutchman didn't even do a single fast lap in Russia. That's because the Red Bull Racing driver added a new engine to his collection, forcing him to start at the back of the field. There he has Charles Leclerc and Nicholas Latifi with him, who received the same penalty. With the current line-up the Russian Grand Prix has everything to become a very surprising Grand Prix.

Provisional starting grid Russian GP 2021

1. Lando Norris

2. Carlos Sainz

3. George Russell

4. Lewis Hamilton

5. Daniel Ricciardo

6. Fernando Alonso

7. Valtteri Bottas

8. Lance Stroll

9. Sergio Perez

Esteban Ocon

11. Sebastian Vettel

Pierre Gasly

13. Yuki Tsunoda

14. Kimi Raikkonen

15. Mick Schumacher

16. Antonio Giovinazzi

17. Nikita Mazepin

18. Nicholas Latifi

19. Charles Leclerc

20. Max Verstappen

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