F1 Russian GP Live Updates - final practice and qualifying


By: Jake Boxall-Legge


Hamilton takes pole for Russian GP from Verstappen after disappointing Q3 for Bottas.
Six-time world champion only squeezed through to Q3 after scrappy Q2 in which his first timed lap was deleted for track limits, had to use soft tyres after a red-flag for Vettel's crash at Turn 4.
Verstappen starts on the front row for the first time in Sochi, Bottas shares row two with Perez.
Ricciardo quickest after Q2 runs but starts fifth ahead of Sainz.
Leclerc, Kvyat, Stroll, Russell, Vettel eliminated in Q2.
Grosjean, Giovinazzi, Magnussen, Latifi, Raikkonen knocked out in Q1, two Ferraris on the cusp of elimination in P14-15.
Status: Stopped
09:35 Until then we will sign off for the afternoon to chase up the latest reaction and information from the Sochi paddock. But be sure to return tomorrow for live coverage of the Russian GP, with the race starting at 13:10 BST (15:10 local time).
09:32 The result of all these incidents sets up an intriguing Russian GP tomorrow. Subject to his race stewards investigation, Hamilton will start from pole position but on the soft tyre with Verstappen in second and Bottas in third on the medium tyre. Tasty.
09:27 Hamilton will be joined in the dock by Latifi, Grosjean and Magnussen who are also under investigation for qualifying infringements.
09:27 So, Hamilton has won the battle by taking pole position but is he on the backfoot for the race? It could get worse for Hamilton as he is under investigation for not going through the correct bollards at Turn 2 during Q2.
09:24 Hamilton: "I will probably get out-dragged as this is one of the worst places to start from pole position and the two drivers I am racing are starting on the other tyre."
09:23 Hamilton on his pole position: "It was one of the worst qualifying sessions, it was horrible, heart in my mouth the whole way. I lost my first [Q2] lap by going wide for the first time this weekend and I wanted to stay out for another lap but they said I had new tyres but then there was the red flag. It was a risk and ultimately I am starting on the soft tyre which is not good."
09:20 Verstappen on his front row: "I think we were struggling a little bit to find the balance but in Q3 on the final run it was not bad. To be second on the grid I didn't expect it. If we can have a decent start, the tow effect is very big around here so who knows what will happen into Turn 2."
09:19 Bottas on qualifying P3: "I felt the pace has been really good but Q3 I don't know I felt I found some gains but not enough. The second run, I don't know, I just couldn't go any quick but P3 is a good place to start here and I think I am on the right tyre too."
09:17 It is Mercedes on Mercedes for the top three post-qualifying chat with Vandoorne asking the questions. Talk about Merc domination.
09:16 Sainz joins Ricciardo on the third row for the Russian GP by qualifying in sixth place, with Ocon in seventh and Norris in eighth. Gasly puts him AlphaTauri in ninth ahead of Albon in the Red Bull.
09:14 Perez, who briefly climbed to third before Verstappen's late lap, takes fourth place for Racing Point ahead of Ricciardo.
09:13 Verstappen splits the Mercedes pair and gets on to the front row in second place - what a lap by the Red Bull driver. He produces a 1m31.867s to beat Bottas by one-tenth.
09:11 ...and Bottas can't find the time gains as he puts in a 1m31.956s to stay second. Hamilton, who does improve, takes pole position with a 1m31.304s.
09:10 The Finn sets a personal best first sector but loses time in the second sector, so it is all or nothing in the last sector...
09:10 Bottas gives it full beans on his final lap as he jumps over the kerb on the exit of Turn 2, but will it cost him time?
09:07 So Hamilton holds a 0.793s advantage over Bottas after the first runs, but there is no waiting around as the cars return to the track for the second runs with four minutes of the session to go.
09:06 Verstappen takes third place with a 1m32.360s to edge ahead of Ricciardo by 0.004s. Fine margins ahead of the second and final runs in Q3.
09:04 But here come the Mercedes pair, Bottas notches up a 1m32.184s to take provisional pole but it doesn't last for long as Hamilton delivers a 1m31.391s to go P1.
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